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Asheville - Vernon Nathaniel Branson, 94, of Asheville, passed away Monday, August 18, 2014 at Givens Highland Farms Retirement Community in Black Mountain, NC.
He was born February 24, 1920 in Buncombe County, NC to the late John and Roberta Branson.
Mr. Branson was a graduate of Swannanoa High School and a World War II U.S. Navy veteran, rising to the rank of Chief Petty Officer before his Honorable Discharge in 1946. Mr. Branson served aboard the battleship USS Tennessee when it was attacked during the battle of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 and was a proud member of the Pearl Harbor Survivors' Association.
He retired after 30 years of federal civil service with the Air Weather Service, now known as the National Climatic Data Center, in Asheville, NC. He was a member of First Baptist Church of Asheville for over 50 years.
He is survived by his loving wife of 65 years, Mary Revis Branson. Also surviving are his sons Rev. Vernon "Ronnie" Branson, his wife Susan, and their three children, Rebecca, MaryClaire, and John of Franklin, NC, Steve Branson, his wife LuAnne, and their two daughters Stephanie and Jessica of Asheville, NC, and Gary Branson and his wife Ann also of Asheville, NC, and his special cousin, Minnie Hollar. Preceding him in death are his three sisters, Grace Brigman, Lillian Maney, and Mildred Reighard, all of Buncombe County.
Mr. Branson was a faithful and devoted husband and father who worked hard to provide for his family and taught the values of personal integrity, education and work to his three sons. All of his family members have their favorite "Grandpa" or "Paw" stories that they will cherish forever. He will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved him.
The family would like to extend its deepest gratitude to all the staff of Givens Highland Farms for the extraordinary care and kindness they've shown during Mr. Branson's stay.
A funeral service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, August 21, 2014 at Groce Funeral Home, 1401 Patton Ave., Asheville, with the Rev. Leah Brown officiating. Graveside services with military honors provided by the NC Honor Guard will follow at Forest Lawn Memorial Park. His family will receive friends one hour prior to the service at the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Givens Highland Farms/Health Care, 200 Tabernacle Rd., Black Mountain, NC 28711.
The online register is available at www.grocefuneralhome.com.
Groce Funeral Home at Lake Julian
1401 Patton Avenue Asheville, NC 28806
Published in the Asheville Citizen-Times on Aug. 20, 2014