Iris Godfrey Branch
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Virginia Beach - Iris Godfrey Branch passed away peacefully on May 26, twelve days after celebrating her 111th birthday. The daughter of Walter T. (Papa) and Florence Roberts Godfrey, Iris was one of seventeen brothers and sisters. She grew up on a farm on Virginia Beach Boulevard in Norfolk, where she developed her lifelong passion for gardening. At age 18, she met Linwood which resulted in a marriage that lasted for 56 years until his passing in 1977. The young couple worked at Kittermans Cottages on Atlantic Avenue and 11th Street, renting out the nine cabins with outhouses to summer vacationers. Linwood also worked as the Purchasing Agent for the City of Norfolk, and their hard work resulted in the purchase of the property and construction of a new 29 unit motel, the Lynn-Dee Motel, named after their sons Linwood Jr. and Deon. The motel featured pay televisions, shuffleboard, and an elevated sundeck. Linwood Jr. and Deon attended and graduated from the United States Naval Academy, a source of great pride for their parents. In the late 1950's, the couple built their dream house on 48th Street at the north end, and partnered in another motel, the Empress, at 28th Street and Oceanfront. Their annual winter trips to Florida were a ritual, as were many good times with friends and family. Iris was a member of the Cavalier Garden Club, Princess Anne Country Club, Virginia Beach Methodist Church, the Beasley Bible Class and was an active member of the Circle of the King's Daughters. She fascinated her many grand and great grandchildren with stories told to her by her parents and grandparents of events that had occurred dating back to the Civil War. The things that occurred in her lifetime represent a great part of American history, and her stories and life will be long remembered by her friends and family. Mrs. Branch was predeceased by her husband Linwood Oliver Bowers Branch, Sr., her daughter Jacqueline Branch, son Linwood O. B. Branch Jr. and his wife Patricia, daughter-in-law: Jacqueline Ann Branch, wife of Capt. A. Deon Branch. Survivors include her son Capt. A. Deon Branch, brother, Dan Godfrey, her grandchildren, Linwood O. B. Branch, III and his wife Robin, Jackie Branch McAfee and her husband Tom, Larry O. Branch and his wife Deborah, Dee Branch Oliver and A. Deon Branch Jr. She is also survived by her 11 great-grandchildren and 4 great-great grandchildren. Mrs. Branch's funeral service will be conducted Monday, June 2, 2014 at 11:00 AM at H.D. Oliver Funeral Apts. Laskin Road Chapel. Burial will be in Eastern Shore Chapel Cemetery. Condolences may be made at www.hdoliver.com.
H.D Oliver Funeral Apartments
2002 Laskin Road Virginia Beach, VA 23454
Published in The Virginian Pilot on May 31, 2014