Albuquerque Journal - April 3, 2003
Justo Baladjay Bravo died on March 31, 2003 at his home in Rio Rancho at the age of 85. He was born on December 5, 1917 in Ipil, Barbaza, Antique, Philippines to Feliciano Tan-Bravo and Perpetua Baladjay Bravo, the last of 12 children. He graduated from Antique High School with honors in 1935. He then moved to Manila where he attended Adamson University, graduating in 1939 with a BS in Chemical Engineering with honors. While at Adamson University he met Aurora Motomal whom he married in 1942. During World War II he served in the US Armed Forces in the Far East as a first Lieutenant. He was captured by the Japanese and spent one year as a prisoner of war. After the war he returned to Adamson University to teach. In 1949, he won a Navy fellowship to pursue further education. He immigrated to the United States in 1949 to the University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS to pursue a doctorate and also to teach chemistry. In 1950 Aurora and their three little daughters joined him in Kansas. In 1953, he received his PhD in Chemistry from the University of Kansas. For the next 15 years he worked in the chemical industry developing lithium fuel cells for the Apollo missions. 1954 was a proud year for Justo when he achieved American citizenship. In 1968, he returned to his great love, teaching, as Professor in Chemistry at West Chester University, West Chester, PA. While there, he developed an American Chemical Society approved graduate program in Chemistry. Upon his retirement in 1982, he was conferred Emeritus Professor status by West Chester University. A few years ago, he was pleased to see the new Chemistry building that he planned while he was Chairman of the Department of Chemistry. In 1982, he and Aurora then left Pennsylvania to spend their retirement years in Rio Rancho, New Mexico. One of the greatest blessings in JustoÃ‰Â¹Âs life was the birth of his 6th grandchild, Jesse Bravo-Spiegel, in 1988. For the past 14 years, Justo and Jesse have been the greatest of friends as well as having an extraordinary close relationship of grandfather and grandson. Justo is predeceased by his wife, Aurora in 1996, and one daughter, Lisa Bravo Nast in 1972. Besides Jesse, he is survived by daughters, Desi Bravo, Merriam, KS; Eleanor Bravo and Stephen Daniels, Corrales, NM; Binney Nast, Camarillo, CA; grandchildren, Mark and Beth Schaffer, Christy Bravo and Christopher Coleman, Kansas City, MO; JB Nast and Liz Durkin, Phoenix, AZ; Jeffrey and Jennifer Nast, Lansdowne, PA; Gregory Schaffer, Seattle, WA; and three great-granddaughters, Juliette Nast, Olivia Nast and Amy Schaffer. He was loved and admired by all who knew him for his honesty, integrity and love of family and friends, and for his adopted country. Visitation at Vista Verde Mortuary, 4310 Sara Rd. SE, Rio Rancho, NM 87124, Friday April 4, 5:00 - 7:00 p.m. Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church, 1502 Sara Rd. Rio Rancho, NM on Saturday April 5 at 10:30 a.m. Entombment to follow at Vista Verde Memorial Park. Reception following at 3000 22nd Ave., Rio Rancho, NM. In lieu of flowers, please make donations in his name to the Gerald and Betty Ford Library, The Bosque School, 4000 Learning Road NW, Albuquerque, NM 87120 Attn: Lynn Trojahn.