Bruno Hugo Zavaleta Jr., 75, died Wednesday, June 9, 2021 in Brownsville, TX. After being in hospice care for cancer, he died peacefully in his home surrounded by family.
Bruno was preceded in death by his parents, Bruno Hugo Zavaleta Sr. and Beatrice Marques Zavaleta; and an aunt Maria Magdalena “Manena” Zavaleta.
Bruno is survived by his wife of 51 years, Rita Bada Zavaleta; daughter, Rita Maria Zavaleta Olvera and son-in-law Jose Rolando Olvera Jr; son, Bruno Hugo Zavaleta III and daughter-in-law Beverly Aist Zavaleta; grandchildren: Jose Rolando Olvera III, Rita Catarina Olvera, Bruno Hugo Zavaleta IV and Diego Alfonso Zavaleta; sister, Cecilia Zavaleta Vela and brother-in-law Roberto Vela; sister, Carmelita Zavaleta Salinas and brother-in-law Ruben Salinas; and numerous cousins, uncles, aunts, nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews.
Bruno Hugo Zavaleta Jr. was born in Mobile, Alabama in 1945, the oldest of three children. When Bruno was two years old, the family moved back to Brownsville, TX, where he made his home for the rest of his life. Bruno attended St. Joseph Academy and graduated in 1963. He served in the US Army and thereafter assumed ownership of Alamo Finance Co., the Zavaleta family business. In 1969, he married Rita Bada and they had two children, Rita Maria and Bruno Hugo III.
Bruno was known for his warm and easygoing personality. He and Rita created a home where everyone was welcome, thus growing a large extended family of “adopted” children, including Ignacio and Nico Aubone and Deana Downey Elzner. Bruno had a special bond with his four grandchildren. He rocked them patiently to sleep when they were babies and built treehouses for them when they were older. The grandchildren called him “Da,” a name that has stuck to this day.
Bruno loved auctions and garage sales and he and Rita would travel the Rio Grande Valley visiting sales and vintage shops. Bruno also loved fishing and over the years he spent hours on the bay. He was a music lover and listened to all types of music from Willie Nelson to Celine Dion to African pop music. Bruno was often found combing the beach looking for driftwood and relics or sitting on his porch painting on fallen palm fronds.
Services to honor Bruno’s life will be held at Darling-Mouser Funeral Home on Saturday, June 12, beginning with visitation 10 am followed by a rosary at 11 am. A funeral mass will be held at St. Mary’s Catholic Church at noon.
In lieu of flowers, please consider sending a donation to Sea Turtle, Padre Blvd., 6617 South Padre Island, Texas 78587; 956-761-4511 and https://seaturtleinc.org/shop/give/donations/.
You may share your memories of Bruno with the Zavaleta family at www.darlingmouser.com.
Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to Darling-Mouser Funeral Home, 945 Palm Blvd., Brownsville, Texas 78520 and 956-546-7111.
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