Manuel Soares(1942 - 2014)

Manuel (Mel) Soares Jr.
December 13, 1942 - April 1, 2014
Manuel (Mel) Soares Jr. died at home in Madera surrounded by loved ones on Tuesday, April 1. He was 71 years old. Mel was preceded in death by his parents Manuel and Theresa Soares and his brother John Soares. He is survived by his wife Rosealind Soares, brothers Norman Soares (Pat) and David Soares (Willie) and their families, children Kimberley, Darren (Kim), Mathew (Tammy) and Steven, stepchildren Loren, Shawn and Kenneth and fourteen grandchildren Jeffrey, James, Sarah, Laurin, Corrie, Lindsey, Michael, Brittney, Zachary, Jackson, Sam, Alyssa, Garrett and Kenzie as well as two great-grandchildren AJ and Ava. Manuel was born in Gustine on December 13, 1942. His family moved to Rhode Island for a brief time when he was young but returned to the valley where he attended school in Los Banos. His strong work ethic was instilled at a young age while he grew up working on the family dairy. He was lead singer and manager of a rock band (The Pendletons) in the early 60's performing as the headliner act at venues such as the Flamingo, The Sahara and The Silver Dollar in Las Vegas. His love of music continued through the rest of his life. Mel had aspirations to become a police officer and attended the police academy and served as a reserve officer for a time. Family obligations interferred with his pursuit of that career. He possessed an entrepreneurial spirit and owned several businesses including Asphalt Maintenance Specialists and Soares Asphalt & Chemical based in Fresno as well as Boots 'n Britches western clothing store in Chowchilla. But he enjoyed his greatest success and fulfilled a personal dream when he purchased Bootjack Market & Deli with his wife Rose. Together they worked tirelessly to turn it into a thriving business. Despite his professional successes, Mel's greatest joy was derived from his family. He took quiet pride in the successes of his children and was a devoted "Pops" to his grandchildren. He went to great lengths to create memorable moments and events for his family and recorded those times with thousands of family photos. Photography was a hobby that extended beyond family photos and the photograph library he has left behind is a legacy his children and grandchildren will treasure forever. He also enjoyed woodworking and building things for his family. He had a passion for ranching and raising cattle and after retirement, enjoyed nothing more than working out in his barn or being on his tractor. A memorial service will be held in his honor on Sunday, April 13 at the Mariposa Fairgrounds, Building B from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm. The event will be potluck.

Published in Merced Sun Star on Apr. 11, 2014