George LaBrasca, Jr., 90, widower of Pansy LaBrasca, passed away peacefully Tuesday, April 30, 2013 at Riverside Health and Rehab.
George was born on January 6, 1923, in Miami, Florida, the son of the late Effie Demetree LaBrasca and George LaBrasca, Sr. He graduated from Murray Vocational School and Clemson Military College and in 1944 was drafted and served two years in the Marines. After having been honorably discharged in 1946, he got off the bus and went to the Chicken Shanty restaurant (across from LaBrasca’s Spaghetti House) and met his future wife Pansy Hammock, who at the time wanted nothing to do with him. But George was smitten with her and was determined that she should see him for the charming and overall good fellow that he was, which she eventually did, and they were married on June 6, 1950.
After getting married George and Pansy moved to Aiken where he owned some land and they started a trailer park to accommodate working folk at the newly built bomb plant. These were halcyon days for George and Pansy, the kind of happy time married folks look back on with fond remembrance. After two years in Aiken, he and Pansy moved back to Charleston for the birth of their daughter. Also during this time George became president of LaBrasca’s Incorporated where he later planned the expansion of the franchise through the LaBrasca’s 5-minute Pizza Restaurants. In addition, he became one of the early presidents of the South Carolina Restaurant Association.
He opened several restaurants in the Charleston area and one in Columbia, that still operates to this day. The Columbia restaurant was special to George. After he opened it, he personally ran it for a while, as he always did, but his wife and family were in Charleston. Not willing to move to Columbia, he needed someone reliable to run the place. George liked Jack Jackson the moment he met him. He was a big strapping man with a no-nonsense approach to business and a sense of humor. George asked him if the liked to make pizza. Jack said he didn’t know but would try it for a week. He tried it for a week and much longer. George and Jack became the best of friends, brothers really, and business partners. George sold him the restaurant, and it can be said, certainly the people of Columbia know that the popularity and profitability of the place was due not only to skillful management, but to the warm and friendly treatment Jack Jackson gave to all who walked through his doors.
George LaBrasca is survived by his daughter Ramona LaBrasca; son George LaBrasca III, business partner, best friend and brother Jack Jackson; and several nieces, nephews and Godchildren.
The family would like to thank the staffs of Twin Oaks Villas, Riverside Health and Rehab, and Heartland Hospice for their care.