Prominent Alexandria attorney drowns while vacationing

By Erich Wagner (Courtesy Photo)

Renowned Alexandria real estate and tax attorney John Braswell died Friday while swimming in a lake while vacationing in Michigan.

Braswell, 58, was a partner at local law firm Redman, Peyton and Braswell, served a stint as president of the Alexandria Bar Association, and participated in various business and arts groups in the community.

John Rodgers, a fellow partner at the Old Town firm, described the Alexandria native as a nice guy who was physically active.

“He really enjoyed swimming and soccer,” he said. “He played soccer when he was at Duke, so he enjoyed soccer quite a bit.”

According to The Washington Post, Braswell and another individual were swimming from an island in Michigan’s Long Lake to the shore. During the trek, he told his partner he couldn’t make it and instead would try to go back to the island.

The other swimmer then lost sight of Braswell and assumed that he returned safely.

In addition to his legal work, Braswell was active in the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce as well as many local arts charities. While Braswell focused professionally on things like real estate, tax and personal estate law, Rodgers said that he loved a good mystery or legal thriller.

“He had a good sense of humor, and he was the kind of person who loved to watch legal mystery shows and stuff like that,” Rodgers said. “If there was a big trial going on, he’d sit up at night and watch the wall-to-wall coverage out of curiosity.”

John Braswell is survived by his wife, Pauline Braswell; daughter, Morgan Braswell; father, Thomas Braswell Jr.; mother, Jeff Braswell; and three brothers, Harry, Thomas and Andrew Braswell.

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