Leo Chester Brandon
Leo Chester Brandon, a well-known and well-loved resident of the Lake Chapala area, died in the IMSS Ayala Hospital in Guadalajara, Tuesday, June 5, a few days after learning that he was suffering from cancer. He was 79 years old.
Brandon was born September 7, 1938 to Georgia Kelley and Frank Brandon in Jefferson, Arkansas. Affectionately known as “LC” by his brothers and sisters, he attended Barnes Memorial School on Princeton Pike in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. He confessed a hope in Christ at an early age and was baptized at First Baptist Church of Dew Drop, Arkansas, where the family lived.
Brandon moved to Chicago, Illinois in 1954 and graduated from St. Malcharly High School, where, despite the accidental amputation of four fingers and half of his right hand, he was the school’s basketball and American football star. After graduation he worked for periods of time with the Salvation Army, the University of Illinois and the YMCA. He then retired following years of work as a freight operations manager of Consolidated Freightways.
Brandon relocated to lakeside and became immediately involved in various projects to improve life for the community’s youth. He taught American football and basketball to boys and girls. He organized teams and leagues and successfully got adult members of the community to help by donating funds, land and labor to provide playing fields, professional quality electronic score boards and equipment for the young people who were active in the sports he was sponsoring. At one time, he was also the legendary head cook for the American Legion in Chapala.
More recently, Brandon was known as the number one person whose help was sought when one needed a caregiver in the home. He gave unequaled help to numerous lakesiders seeking to regain their health and strength after surgery or a disabling illness or injury.
Brandon was preceded in death by his parents and 11 siblings. He leaves behind his wife, Maria de Jesus Barragan de Brandon; daughter Cina Somone Brandon; stepson Rafael Leon Barragan; four grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
Friends of Brandon plan to have a “get together” tribute to Leo to share memories and celebrate his life at American Legion Post 7 Chapala (Calle Morelos, corner of Guerrero), Friday, June 22, from 4-6 p.m.