Donald LeRoy Branyon Jr., M.D. passed away peacefully at home August 26, 2014. Dr. Branyon was a retired Obstetrician – Gynecologist. He practiced medicine in Athens from 1965 to 2003. He was in private practice until 1993 when he then began working at the University of Georgia Health Center.
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Dr. Branyon grew up in Athens and attended the University of Georgia. He then received his medical degree from the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta. While there, he met the love of his life, Gloria Wadsworth, an aspiring Registered Nurse. They were married for 52 years until her death in 2013. He next served our country as a flight surgeon in the U.S. Air Force. His next move was to Atlanta, where he worked at Grady Medical Hospital. Given a chance to come home, Don was the medical partner of longtime friend, Ellis Dixon. Together, they served Athens area patients at both Athens Regional and St. Mary's hospitals. As their practice grew, Dr. Bill Bowen joined the partnership and remained a lifelong friend. "Bill is my second brother", he would say. Next, Dr. Branyon spent 10 years with a younger set of patients at UGA.
Dr. Branyon served his community, state, and colleagues in various roles over his career. He was Chief of Staff at both Athens hospitals, served on the Georgia State Composite Board of Medical Examiners, and was once the President of the Georgia Association of Ob-Gyn practitioners. Long an advocate of education, he served on the Board of Trustees for Athens Academy. Upon hearing that the Cedar Shoals Chorus needed help to go on a long field trip, he assisted financially on the spot after hearing them sing. He also served as the Chairman of the Board of Deacons at Athens First Baptist Church.
Helping, serving, and teaching were all important to Dr. Branyon. Don kept many letters he received from grateful friends over the years. Numerous medical students asked him for advice and seemed most appreciative. Patients sought him out for spiritual counsel as well. He felt a commitment to reach out to others as his own parents had taught him – a gift he demonstrated for his own children and grandchildren.
Dr. Branyon is survived by son, Philip Branyon; daughter, Lynda Sizemore and her husband William Sizemore and grandchildren John and Harry Stathakis. Dr. Branyon was preceded in death by his daughter, Judi Branyon.
Funeral services will be at 2 p.m. Friday, August 29th at Athens First Baptist Church, Reverend Paul Baxley officiating.
In lieu of flowers, friends are asked to give a memorial to the church in Don's memory.
Lord and Stephens, EAST, is in charge of arrangements.
Lord & Stephens Funeral Home - East Chapel
4355 Lexington Road
Athens, GA 30605
Published in Athens Banner-Herald from Aug. 28 to Aug. 29, 2014