MANUEL B. BRAVO, JR.
October 01, 1928 – December 23, 2021
Manuel B. Bravo, Jr. (Meme) joined our Lord Jesus Christ on Thursday, December 23, 2021, at the age of 93. He was preceded in passing by his immediate family, parents, Zapata County Judge Manuel Box Bravo and Josefa V. Bravo, siblings, Edward Bravo (Ana Maria), Joseph A. Bravo (Virginia), and Aurora Bravo-Cabello (Antonio).
The youngest of four children, Meme was raised during the height of the Great Depression. A childhood of hand-me-downs and frugality formed an early knack for business in Meme. He operated his own business, a farm and feed store, after graduating from Saint Edwards High School in Austin at the age of 16.
Meme joined the US Army at the age of 21, trained at Fort Hood; hitchhiked back to Zapata to visit family for the final weeks before his deployment. He proudly served his country during the Korean War as a Sergeant 1st Class from 1950–1952.
After returning from Korea, he decided to visit downtown Laredo. Meme was standing on the street corner and became awestruck by a jeep full of girls. There in the back seat, he saw his future wife, Olivia. They ran into one another later that same day, where she invited him to a dance. He proposed to Olivia in 1952 and they decided to move to Austin Texas. Olivia supported the family by working for Southwestern Bell, while Meme pursued his education at the University of Texas at Austin under the G.I. Bill. He graduated in 1954, with a degree in Business Administration focused on International Trade.
Meme was employed at the San Antonio National Bank of Commerce before moving to Laredo, where he operated his own businesses, Bravo Insurance and Bravo Outdoor, until his retirement in 2020. Meme was proud to be named a director of the Union National Bank by the Keck family. He was an active volunteer in many community organizations and was a strong believer in education. He served as an elected member of the Texas State Board of Education, of the LISD-LJC School Board, and he spearheaded the establishment of the Nuevo Santander Museum. He served as President of the Rotary Club, the International Good Neighbor Council, the Washington’s Birthday Association, the UT-Austin Alumni Association, the Boys and Girls Club, among others. Meme was instrumental in securing adequate funds for the construction of the Boys and Girls Club in South Laredo through his friend, Judge Solomon Casseb. He was also President of the Blessed Sacrament Parents Club, the Ursuline Academy Parents Club, and the Saint Joseph Academy Parents Organization during his children’s school years.
Meme was an avid hunter, both in the United States and Mexico, appearing in several films taken by professional hunting groups. He traveled extensively with his family and especially enjoyed going to Ushuaia, Argentina.
He is survived by his loving wife of 67 years, Olivia, his children Manuel B. Bravo III (Martha), Diana Bravo-Gonzalez (Francisco), Linda J. Bravo, Melissa Bravo, grandchildren Olivia D. Gonzalez, Francisco M. Gonzalez, Alejandra V. Bravo and Manuel Ben Bravo IV.
We regret that due to the current Covid situation, we must curtail the despedida of our beloved Jr Bravo. There will be no visitation and respectfully ask for your understanding and prayers.
Arrangements have been entrusted to the care and direction of the funeral service professionals at Joe Jackson North Funeral Chapels & Cremation Services, 1410 Jacaman Rd., Laredo, Texas 78041; (956)722-8850. The Services will be live-streamed at https://www.joejacksonfuneralchapels.com
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