Martin Bramante(1920 - 2014)

Martin Joseph Bramante
Martin Joseph Bramante passed away peacefully on March 6, 2014 at his home in Belvedere. He was born on January 31, 1920 in San Francisco to Giuseppe and Anna Bramante. He was raised in North Beach and was proud of the fact that he sold papers on the street corner with Dominic and Joe DiMaggio. During WWII, he served with the Navy close by on Treasure Island as a radio technician.

Martin enjoyed 94 years of a life filled with love for his family, hard work and a great zest for travel, socializing and playing cards. He loved people of all inclinations and found great satisfaction in being able to brighten anyone's day. He was admired for many things including his knack for never forgetting friend's or family member's birthdays and anniversaries. He had a big heart, a solid handshake, a tremendous wit and a razor sharp mind.

Martin was fiercely proud of his Italian heritage and had close ties with Fisherman's Wharf where his father was a commercial fisherman for many years. Although he had little formal education, his penchant for figures led to a successful business career in real estate acquisition and development in San Francisco, Marin and Sonoma. He and his partner, Bruce Bernhard, founded Calpox, Inc., which eventually became the parent company of his many business interests.

In 1967, Martin and his partner started San Quentin Disposal Site in east San Rafael. Many Marinites have fond memories of Martin handing out lollipops and doggie biscuits to children and dogs along for the ride. He operated the landfill for 20 years, closing it in 1987 to develop the property as Shoreline Center.

Martin loved business and was famous for his ability to work complicated financial equations with speed and accuracy ­­ and without the benefit of pencil or paper. He was active in local business for over 60 years and came to his office every day until shortly before his passing.

Martin was a man of tradition. Every Christmas season he passed out hundreds of Italian salamis and panettoni breads to his friends and colleagues. He loved fine Italian food and was a frequent patron of Marin Joe's for over fifty years. He delighted in the activities of his grandchildren and great grandchildren. His office was filled with family photos that captured nearly a century of events and celebrations.

A generous person in every aspect of life, Martin gave quietly and abundantly to many groups, causes and individuals over the years. In his final years, however, he was the recipient of the kindest assistance and care. A special thank you to Martin's loving caregivers: Grant, Alex, Oscar, Jay and Lynn.

Martin is survived by his daughter Kathy LeGrand (Ritch), grandchildren Stephanie Plante (Chris), Gregory Hansen (Kara) and Gianna Hansen as well as five great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife of 60 years Velia (Val), his daughter Susan Kirby, his brother Frank and his sisters Mary, Frances and Ann. Martin is also survived by many loving nieces, nephews, cousins and countless friends. All will miss him greatly.

A celebration of Martin's life will be held at noon on March 23, 2014 at the Meadow Club, 1001 Bolinas Road, Fairfax. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to Hospice by the Bay, 17 East Sir Francis Drake Boulevard, Larkspur, CA 94939

Published in San Francisco Chronicle from Mar. 16 to Mar. 22, 2014