Geo. H. Lewis & Sons Funeral Directors

1010 Bering Drive, Houston, TX


James Robert Bratton

June 13, 1927September 4, 2019

James Robert Bratton passed away on Wednesday, the 4th of September 2019, in Houston, at The Hallmark. He was 92 years of age.

Jim was born on the 13th of June 1927, in Franklin, Kentucky, the second son of Bessie and John Bratton. The family moved to Nashville where he spent his childhood. After attending Cohn High School, he graduated from Vanderbilt University.

Jim was one of few who served in both the Army and the Navy. He was drafted on the last day of World War II and spent 16 months in Bremerhaven, Germany. Once back at Vanderbilt he joined the Naval Reserve. The Korean War began, and Jim was soon called up to active duty, spending 21 months in the Navy aboard the USS Roanoke.

On departing his second military career, he returned to Nashville and joined Solar Steel Company. While with them he lived in Cincinnati, Detroit, and Chicago, ultimately returning to Nashville. Eventually, he made his way to Birmingham, Alabama, where he was employed by Hannah Steel, and this is where he met his future wife, Mary Haralson. After a six-month courtship, they were married on the 7th of February 1959.

He and a business partner decided to leave Hannah Steel to form a new company: Nashville Steel Corporation. Moving with his wife and twin baby girls, Elizabeth and Carrie, the young family resided in Nashville for 12 years. The twins were later joined by John Wallace and Mary Grace.

In 1972, the Brattons moved to Houston where he and his partner had decided to build a second plant, and thus White Star Steel was formed.

Though not a native Texan, Jim lived in Texas for 47 wonderful years and considered himself almost a native son.

A long-time member of the Rotary Club of Houston, Jim was so proud of their efforts in building the Rotary House International and his work on the scholarship committee. Jim and Mary were committed members of St. Philip Presbyterian Church for 45 years, where he served as a deacon.

His love of travel was profound having visited all 50 states and over 100 countries, often traveling with his good friends from their Tynewood neighborhood. The only thing that exceeded his love of travel was his love for his family.

Jim is survived by his wife of 60 years, Mary; his 4 children: Elizabeth Bratton, Carrie Pepi (Al), John Bratton (Kelly), and Mary Grace Carter (David); and his 8 grandchildren: George Pepi (Krissy), Bennett Pepi, Wallace Pepi, Jeff Derrett, Eleanor Carter, Jack Carter, Grayson Bratton, and Elizabeth Bratton.

The family would like to recognize and extend their enormous gratitude to the nurses and aides at the Hallmark Skilled Nursing Center for their kind and compassionate care.

A memorial service and celebration of life is to be conducted at half-past eleven o’clock in the morning on Saturday, the 7th of September, at St. Philip Presbyterian Church, 4807 San Felipe Street in Houston, where the Rev. Keatan King, Associate Pastor, will officiate.

Immediately following, all are invited to greet the family at a venue on the church grounds which will be announced during the services.

In lieu of customary remembrances, the family requests with gratitude that memorial contributions in Mr. Bratton’s name be directed to the Rotary House International/Jesse H. Jones Rotary House, 1600 Holcombe Blvd., Houston, TX, 77030; or to the Star of Hope Mission; 4848 Loop Central Dr., Suite 500, Houston, TX, 77081.


  • Memorial Service & Celebration of Life Saturday, September 7, 2019


James Robert Bratton

have a memory or condolence to add?

Lane and Mary Jean Hayden

September 7, 2019

What a wonderful guy! We know Jim will be sorely missed by all who loved him. And who could not, as Jim was a man of joy filled to the brim with zest for life. Jim and Mary welcomed we Haydens to Pirates Beach West with open arms and oh what good times we neighbors had - the Brattons, Mohns, Lees, Robinsons, Kinnears, Browns, Yosts, Greens. All of us are glad to have shared a part of this wonderful man's time on earth.

Bill & Betty Anne Poe

September 6, 2019

We love you all. You are in our prayers. Please give our special love to Babe.
Bill & Betty Anne

Lew Arend

September 6, 2019

Unfortunately, not able to attend celebration of life Sept. 7, but wanted to share my condolences for the loss of Jim. He was quick to greet me and others during our Rotary meetings and always had a story. Pleased he could enjoy some time in Galveston and enjoyed my lunch there with both of you. Most vivid memory is the two of us lifting my generator off my SUV to give your home some power during Hurricane season. All the best. Lew Arend

Ron and Eileen Reed

September 6, 2019

Dear Mrs. Bratton, Mary Grace and family,
After reading his story, we wish we had had the pleasure of knowing your husband and father. What a wonderful and caring life he has had. And your beautiful family is his legacy to all of us. Please accept our most sincere condolences. We regret that we will be out of town on Saturday and unable to attend the services but our prayers are with you all. Warmest wishes, Ron and Eileen Reed