Dapper Dan and jazz fan Emanuel (Manny) Joseph Braxton was the long-time companion of Councilmember Debi Rose. Manny was a native Staten Islander as was his father, Joseph Hall Braxton, who was born on the isle in 1903. Joseph died young but Manny served as caregiver for his late mother Eva May (Green) Braxton, who was 97when she passed. Manny rests in peace at age 79.
Manny grew up in the Markham Homes of West Brighton. He attended John Greenleaf Whittier Public School 18 in West Brighton and graduated in 1959 from Ralph R. McKee High School in St. George where he was trained as a tailor and took classes in beauty culture. In 1960, Manny enlisted in the US Air Force, and was stationed at the Stewart-Newburgh Base in New York. As an Airman First Class, Manny worked in the adjutant general’s office. Upon completing active duty in 1964, Manny joined the Air Force Reserve until 1966, where he earned the rank of Sergeant.
Manny’s dream deferred was to become a fashion designer. He has many fashionable achievements. 1) During his service in the Air Force, on the side, Manny used his sewing skills to tailor uniforms for enlisted service persons and officers. 2) After the military, Manny began a career with the United States Postal Service where he worked until his retirement in 2006, a total of over 40 years. On December 1, 1972, the New York Times pictured Manny and his winning design from the Manhattan postal fashion show judged by representatives of Singer, the Fashion Institute of Technology, and the press. (Google page 26.) Manny’s daughter Shannah Braxton graduated Curtis High School to achieve her dream of attending Harvard University, and he designed her prom dress as well as a formal gown which wowed all of the Ivy League. Forever the entrepreneur, Manny was known for marketing: shirts, sweaters, and sexy lingerie.
Manny was outgoing and outspoken, multi-talented and quick-witted, stylish and smart. He enjoyed spending time with lifelong friends at the Cargo, Adobe Blues, and Buddy’s on the island. Manny socialized avidly and debated politics passionately. He had a penchant for: German chocolate cake, Haagen Dazs ice cream, and Jack Daniels. In his spare time as a postal retiree, Manny also loved sitting on the stoop at Richmond Gardens in Graniteville -- where he lived for the last 30 years -- handicapping the Triple Crown horse races with good friends and neighbors.
Manny is survived by his: sister Dorothy Lee Green; sons Emanuel Braxton, Jr. and Emiri Braxton; daughter Shannah as well as her sister Kelly Haroldson. Four grandchildren; sister-in-law Sabra; nephews, nieces, and cousins survive Manny also. Manny was predeceased by brothers Baladan Braxton (who died in infancy), Baladan Matthew Braxton, and Ronald Braxton. Manny’s best friend, James Ellsworth Mitchell helped Manny as an amputee, and greatly mourns his passing.
Manny’s beloved companion, and friend of nearly 40 years, Councilmember Debi Rose will miss him dearly. Manny was an ardent supporter of her political career. He created tees, sweatshirts, and button-downs featuring Ms. Rose’s portrait. Manny stood by her side, for all campaigns and special occasions, earning him the title: Council Manny. In the wee hours of Valentine’s Day, he died with her by his side, and holding his hand as she promised him. Manny will be sorely missed!
*** I have fought the good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith! ***
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Emanuel "Manny" Braxton, Sr., please visit our floral store.