BRANHAM, BOBBY W., 76, of Louisville, peacefully passed away on May 14, 2013 at Sacred Heart Memorial Hospital in Eugene, OR. He was a native of Jenkins, KY. Bob began his career in public service as a fire fighter on the Louisville Fire Department and then followed his passion to become a police officer with the Louisville City Police Department. While there, he worked in several divisions including Patrol, Vice and as a member of the Scuba & Recovery Dive Team. He loved his career as a policeman but was medically retired after being seriously wounded in the line of duty in 1973. Hiram Polk, M.D. is credited with saving Bob's life and he and Bob maintained a close friendship until Bob's death. During his career with the Police Department, Bob was honored as Police Officer of the Year in 1969 and received the Mayor's Award in 1973.
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After Bob was medically retired from the Police Department he continued his law enforcement career as South Regional Security Director for Steward's Dry Goods and L.S. Ayres. He was subsequently recruited to serve as Assistant Chief of Detectives and then Chief of Detectives for the Commonwealth Attorney's office. Bobby Wayne continued to be an active member of the Fraternal Order of Police and served for many years as a board member of the Policemen's Retirement Board.
Bob was preceded in death by his parents, Alpha and Merida Branham; sister, Lorraine Gibson; brothers, Junior, Randall and Johnny Branham. Bob was happily married to Paulette Branham, for more than 30 years until her sudden passing in 2008.
He is survived by his wife, Mary Carroll Burnett; daughter; Cynthia (Carl) Sowers; grandchildren, Dustin (Ashley) Sowers and Carla Sowers; great-grandson, Westin Sowers; and a niece, Debbie (Mike) Bolton. Bob maintained an especially close relationship with his niece, Destiny (Jimmy) Fristoe and his cousin Jessie Scott. The two of them, remained steadfast in their love and support of Bob.
A special thanks goes out to the caring staff at Sacred Heart Memorial Hospital, especially to Suzy, an angel/ICU nurse who lovingly and respectfully eased Bob out of this life and into the next.
Bob was well-liked and held in high esteem by everyone who knew him. After he met Mary Carroll, Bob was warmly welcomed by her friends and family and the two of them enjoyed traveling, cooking together and a shared passion for music, good food and camaraderie with their mutual friends and family.
Visitation will be held at Newcomer Funeral Home, 235 Juneau Dr., Middletown, 3-7 p.m. Friday. Immediately following will be a celebration of Bob's life. Everyone is invited. The venue to be announced In lieu of flowers, it is suggested that donations be made to the Humane Society or similar organizations, in acknowledgement of Bob love for animals and law enforcement.
Newcomer Funeral Home
235 Juneau Drive Louisville, KY 40243
Published in The Courier-Journal on May 19, 2013