William Junior Branch; beloved father, grandfather, great-grandfather and great-great-grandfather, passed from this earthly existence July 22, 2013. Known as Bill to his family and friends, he entered life August 5, 1926, in Ogden, Utah, as the fourth child and second son of William Henry and Althea Leola Wilde Branch. He was raised on the family ranch in Croydon, Morgan County, Utah, and graduated from Morgan High School in May, 1944. Soon thereafter, he joined the U.S. Navy and spent two years aboard the USS Lavaca, a troop transport ship, as part of the Philippine Liberation effort in World War II.
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When the war ended, he returned to Croydon, married his sweetheart, Elaine Francis on June 11, 1947, in the Salt Lake temple, and began a family that would eventually number 11 children, 44 grandchildren, 90 great-grandchildren and seven great-great-grandchildren. Bill was an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and served faithfully in many church callings including scout leader, bishop's counselor, high counselor and temple worker. He and Elaine served a full-time mission in the Arizona Phoenix Mission from June 1992 through December 1993.
Over the years, Bill and Elaine made their home in many communities including Ogden, Morgan, Centerville, Snowville, Nibley, Wellsville, and Providence Utah; McKinnon, Wyoming; and Stone, Idaho.
Bill made a living for his large family by working in a variety of settings, but what he enjoyed most was working on the farm; at first for his family, later as a part-time farmer and full-time mechanic/tool crib manager, and eventually on his own farms; first in Nibley and later in Stone. He also worked as a custodian at Morgan High School and for the LDS church.
Bill was known for his hard work and gentle nature. He was loved by his family whom he served so well as provider and supporter. He and his wife Elaine endeared themselves to their many neighbors and ward members wherever they lived.
Bill is survived by his children: Kevin (Christine) Branch of Richmond, Utah; Becky Dawn (Richard) Hamblin of Morgan, Utah; Lori Larsen (Mark) of Providence, Utah and Star Valley, Wyoming; Randy (Shawna) Branch of Snowville, Utah; Jillene Israelsen of Providence, Utah; Nolan (LuAnn) Branch of Malta, Idaho; James (Rose) Branch of Wellsville, Utah; LaNae (Carl) Richards of Hyrum, Utah; and William (Reba) Branch of Hyrum, Utah; as well as his sister Colleen Esarey of Georgetown, Ind. He was preceded in death by his wife, parents, son Alan, daughter Marlene, brother Warren, sisters Verla and LuJean, and sons-in-law Michael MacArthur and Robert Israelsen.
A funeral to honor Bill will be held at 11:30 a.m. on July 27, 2013, in the Cobblestone First Ward Chapel located at 420 W. 100 North in Providence, Utah. A viewing will be held at the same chapel prior to the funeral from 9:30 until 11:15 a.m. Interment will be at the South Morgan Cemetery in Morgan, Utah. The dedication of the grave and a brief graveside service is planned for 4 p.m. in Morgan.
Send condolences to the family at www.walker-mortuary.com.
Published in Logan Herald Journal on July 26, 2013