David Lee Branham was born September 7, 1933, in Hubbard Township, Minnesota, on the farm where he was raised.
He passed away in Port Angeles on March 10, 2014, with his family around him. He had the strength and will to live fully for more than 80 years.
As a young boy, he grew up on a farm in central Minnesota, where he learned to work hard, treat people kindly and grew to love the outdoors. He hunted, fished and ran trap lines in the winter.
At 16, he joined the Marine Corps and became a sharpshooter, holding the base sharpshooting record for a period of time. He was also was a drill instructor, training other men how to shoot.
In the Korean War, he was sent in to help fight as a sniper and at 18 was seriously wounded by a mortar explosion, for which he was hospital-bound for 18 months.
He was honorably discharged and began working for the U.S. Forest Service. This began his 30-year career as a land surveyor in Colorado.
He helped build the Flaming Gorge Dam on the Green River in Utah. He was one of the only few registered mineral land surveyors in the U.S. Many land disputes were resolved and roads built through Dave's guidance and help.
He retired and moved to the Olympic Peninsula, where he and his wife of 53 years, Joanne, continued to raise and enjoy their four children, 12 grandchildren and one great-grandchild. "Grandpa Branham" was well-known for his handcrafts, kites, flower and vegetable gardens and woodworking projects.
Many people enjoyed his help sorting out a problem and listening to the stories that he told so well. His last year was hampered with the struggle of Alzheimer's disease and diabetes. He is now at peace.
We will miss him greatly, cherishing his memories, his stories and wisdom.
A memorial service will be held at Dungeness Meadows Country Clubhouse in Sequim on Saturday, March 15, 2014, at 1 p.m.
The family has asked that those wishing to send flowers please consider sending a donation to the
, 866-232-8484 or Alzheimer's Foundation of America, 322 Eighth Avenue, Seventh Floor, New York, NY 10001, in memory of David Branham.