Robert H. Brace, age 84, longtime Waterford farmer, died Friday, June 2, 2023, at his home. He was born May 3, 1939, in Cambridge Springs, the son of Charles Thomas and Mary Ann Pasiecznik Brace.

Bob grew up on his family’s Waterford dairy farm, and, while just a teenager, began farming himself. He proved to be a gifted farmer and businessman with a strong passion for the land, and he built a farming legacy with his sons that continues strong to this day. He married his beloved wife Babe on November 28, 1959. Together they raised a family, worked hard, and even enjoyed some traveling in their early years.

After farming with his brother, Bob established Robert Brace Farms in 1974, growing cabbage and then potatoes throughout the region. Many local people remember working on Brace’s cabbage farms in their younger days. In 1987, Bob formed a partnership with his sons. Decades of hard work and successful farming led to Robert Brace & Sons becoming one of the largest producers of cabbage in the state, and eventually harvesting over 2,000 acres of grain locally. Bob started a trucking business in conjunction with the farming, and they delivered their own produce and other products all over the country.

As a landowner, Bob was a faithful steward of the land, always envisioning ways to develop and use it well. His deep respect for what land could provide made him passionate about corn as a resource to provide ethanol for renewable energy, a concept gaining ever-growing support even today. It also led him to develop a very successful natural gas business, drilling his first well in 1978. Bob also saw potential in properties that had been left uncared for by others, and he invested in them, feeling a responsibility for making them useful again.

In 1987, Bob co-founded the PA Landowners Association, an organization committed to protecting property rights and land use while encouraging responsible environmental stewardship. He dedicated the remainder of his life to courageously defending property rights.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a brother Gerald Brace; a sister Louise Brumagin; a son-in-law Thomas Paluh; and a loyal and faithful friend Arnold Loop.

Bob is survived by his wife of 64 years, Beverly “Babe” Owens Brace; daughters Rhonda McAtee and her husband Martin, and Ramona Paluh; sons Randy Brace and his wife Diane, and Ronnie Brace and his wife Gina; 12 grandchildren; and 11 great-grandchildren.

Friends and family may call at Van Matre Funeral Home in Waterford on Wednesday, June 7, from 2-4 and 6-8 pm. A private funeral service will be held on Thursday, with burial following at Brace Family Cemetery in Pittsfield, PA.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105, or visit, to donate online.