Photo Gallery | Jacksonville Suns: Peter D. Bragan, Sr. Eulogized

 

Peter David Bragan, Sr. (aka/Pappa), age 89.

Born: Tuesday, July 3, 1923, Birmingham, Alabama.

Died:  Saturday, July 7, 2012, Jacksonville, Florida.

 

"It is not the length of life, but the depth of life."  - Ralph Waldo Emerson.

 

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If there is one word to describe Peter Bragan, Sr., it would be "approachable."  He may have been the owner of the Jacksonville Suns and one of the most respected men in minor league baseball in the nation, but anyone could just walk over to his permanent seating area on the mezzanine level of the stadium and speak to him. 

Dr. Paul Reagan, M.D., a former neighbor and close friend of the Bragans commented, "Peter Bragan, Sr. was a true southern gentleman.  He would not only leave his condominium door unlocked, but also ajar.  Anyone could just walk on in.  That was just the way he was."  Reagan added, "If Bragan was down at the pool, you could just walk over to him and strike up a conversation.  He will be surely missed." 
 

One can say with 100 percent certainty that no one else in the history of Jacksonville has been given the kind of memorial service provided to Peter Bragan, Sr.  He was eulogized at the baseball park he so loved.

On Tuesday, July 10, 2012, son Peter Bragan, Jr. (Pedro) held services for his father where anyone who knew Senior would expect - in a baseball park.  The Bragan family kindly invited the entire City of Jacksonville to attend Bragan Sr.'s service.  Plenty of free parking, cold bottled water and popcorn was made available to those in attendance.  Free Jacksonville Suns' memorabilia fans were provided.

Just before the start of the Visitation, Viewing and Memorial Service for Peter David Bragan, Sr. at the Jacksonville Baseball Grounds on July 10, 2012, the rain clouds moved in to the downtown area and soaked the streets with rain.  But, just like a typical afternoon summertime storm, it was over by the time Bragan's admirers arrived at the Baseball Grounds to pay their respects to him and his family.  The Visitation and Viewing was from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m., and the Memorial Service started promptly at 7:05 p.m.  His wife and family greeted guests on the mezzanine level where fans would see Bragan, Sr. at all the baseball games and where he so famously rang the bell.  The last time I saw Bragan, Sr. was actually in that very spot at a baseball game where he would sit with his wife.  Tonight, instead, there was his casket surrounded by a gorgeous array of flower arrangements and a monstrous baseball glove that indeed set the stage for the service. 


His grandson delivered the eulogy.  He said that his grandfather loved to hunt, fish, and golf and that he was good at all three.  In fact, he said that he was better at them those most.   He noted that his grandfather's favorite snack was jalapenos, and that Senior had a gallon jar on the corner of his desk and would regularly grab one.

Other speakers included sportscaster Dan Hicken, former Mayor Jake Godbold, and sportscaster Sam Kouvaris.  Jake Godbold commented that Bragan Sr. knew what he wanted and negotiated wisely to gain the upper hand in dealings with the city.  

Even though there were torrential downpours two hours earlier with hundreds of lightening strikes, over 500 Jacksonville residents and other friends turned out to pay tribute.  In addition, the entire Suns roster was in the stands and sat together to support Bragan Sr.'s wife and son, Pedro.
 

The bell has rung for the last time for Peter Bragan, Sr., and the gavel has passed to his son.  Everyone knows Pedro's love of the game, and one can predict that the Bragan family will be involved in Jacksonville baseball for many years to come.  

Bragan's body will be transported to Birmingham, Alabama, where he will be buried on July 12, 2012.  The family appreciates your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.

 THIS INFORMATION WAS COMPILED BY RADIO SPORTS TALK HOST AND JACKSONVILLE GIANTS TELEVISION PLAY BY PLAY ANNOUNCER RICHARD MILLER.  AT 26, RICHARD MILLER IS THE YOUNGEST RADIO SPORTS TALK HOST IN THE NATION.  HIS SHOW, MILLER ON SPORTS, AIRS WEEKDAYS FROM 4:00 TO 6:00 P.M. ON AM 1600 – THE BEACH.  LISTEN TO MILLER ON SPORTS.   “EVERYTHING ELSE IS JUST TALK.”  All photographs and images are the property of Miller On Sports.  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. 

Photos by:  B.L. Miller

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