Gurnell Branch Johnson, 91 of Grand Ridge (affectionately known as Big Mama by her grandchildren & friends) went home to be with her Lord on July 7, 2013 at 1:35 p.m. C.S.T. after an extended illness. She was born on Jan. 2, 1922 to parents, Mary & Jim Robbirds. She was a lifelong resident of Grand Ridge, a member of the Shady Grove Methodist Church and retired from Florida State Hospital. Before her illness, she enjoyed spending time with her family, friends, fishing and working in her flowers. She was a member of the Disabled American Veterans Auxiliary.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Mary & Jim Robbirds; husbands, E.J. Branch and Charles Johnson; son, James Ellis Branch; grandson, Richard Keith Branch; sisters, Eunice Crawley Mathis, Bernice Gregg and Evelyn Robbirds and brothers, Charlie, Ed, W.W. (Tunk), J.D. and Cyrus Robbirds.
She is survived by her daughters, Nellie Ann Branch of Dothan, Ala., Linda Folsom and husband, Jimmy and daughter-in-law, Nancy Branch of Grand Ridge; step-son, Charles Johnson and wife, Debbie of Decatur, Ala.; grandchildren, Mike Branch and fiancé, Terri Taylor, Jason Branch of Grand Ridge, Ken Folsom of Grand Ridge, Kim Redd and fiancé, Jeff Shouppe of Dothan, Ala., Kristie Jo Hall and husband, Jody of Petal, Miss., and Kyle and Katie Johnson of Decatur, Ala.; great grandchildren, Darren Branch and fiancé, Julie Edenfield of Marianna, Ashlee Kelly and husband, Clint of Cottondale, Joshua Folsom of Alford, Tyler Ham of Dothan, Ala., Jennilynn, Jolie and Jacob Hall of Petal, Miss., Jimmy Ray Allen Folsom, Jake, Anna and J.C. Branch of Grand Ridge and Abby Johnson of Decatur, Ala.; great great grandchildren, Sidna and Mikalin Branch of Marianna and Anslee Grace Kelly of Cottondale; a host of nieces and nephews and many many friends and special mention goes to William, Debbie, and Craig McCroan and Naomi McKinnie who held a special place in Big Mama's Heart.
Funeral services were held Wednesday, July 10, 2013 at 10 a.m., CST at Shady Grove Methodist Church with the Rev. Jack Howell and the Rev. Raymond Owens officiating. Burial followed in the Shady Grove Cemetery with James & Sikes Funeral Home Maddox Chapel directing. The family received friends from 6 to 8 p.m. CST, on Tuesday Night, July 9, 2013 at James & Sikes Maddox Chapel, Marianna. Friends and family are being received at the home of Nancy Branch, Shady Grove Rd., Grand Ridge. A special thank you to Crystal Dawson and the staff of Southern Care Hospice of Dothan, Ala., also, a special thank you to the precious staff on the 6th North Tower of Flowers Hospital and Clint, Rasheem, and Scout from the ER staff of Flowers Hospital. Memorial contributions may be made to Southern Care Hospice; Dothan, Ala. Expressions of sympathy may be made online at http://www.jamesandsikesfuneralhomes.com/