Horace Tabb Branch Sr. was born on June 23, 1925, in Dinwiddie, Va., to Mamie and William Branch. He was the youngest of six children born of that union. Horace attended Dinwiddie County Schools and thereafter entered the United States Army, where he served honorably during World War II. He was discharged in 1946, and upon leaving formal military service, was employed by the U.S. civil service at Fort Lee, Va., for over 22 years. During his time at Fort Lee, he met and married Florence (Ogburn) Branch, of South Hill, Va., and they had one son, H.T. Branch (Richmond). After retiring from Fort Lee, Horace Branch spent the rest of his working life building and rehabilitating homes in Dinwiddie County and Petersburg to provide affordable housing to many people. For some, his generous spirit often allowed some to obtain housing at little to no cost. Due to failing health, Horace moved to Richmond, Va., where he was cared for until his passing by his devoted son.
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Horace Tabb Branch Sr. accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior at an early age, and was a member of Olive Branch Baptist Church even until his death. After he moved to Richmond in 2007, on occasion, he attended First Baptist Church of South Richmond, where H.T. and Pamela Branch are members. He attended the South Richmond Adult Day Care for nearly three years, where he was adored by staff, volunteers and its administrator, Saundra Rollins. Horace enjoyed participating in group activities, telling stories about his life, making others laugh and having fun in the Lord.
Horace Tabb Branch Sr. leaves behind his wife, Florence O. Branch (Sutherland); his son and daughter-in-law, H.T. Branch and Pamela (Johnson) Branch (Richmond, Va.); three grandchildren, Brandon Tabb Jennings (Chesapeake, Va.), Gabrielle McKinney (Houston) and Jacquelyn Elise Tabb Branch (Richmond, Va.); two sisters-in-law, Iris Valentine (Portsmouth, Va.) and Wilhelmina Branch (Dinwiddie); one brother-in-law, Robert "Bobby" Ogburn (California); a devoted nephew and namesake, Horace C. Fields (Richmond, Va.), along with a host of other nieces, nephews and friends. Horace Branch is revered by many friends, former neighbors, business associates in the Dinwiddie County and Petersburg communities. He will be missed by many.
A homegoing service will be held at 1 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 18, 2013, at the Olive Branch Baptist Church, Dinwiddie, with the Rev. Kevin M. Northam officiating. Burial will follow at the Dinwiddie Memorial Park. A repast will follow the interment at the Olive Baptist Church Fellowship Hall. Viewing will be held Thursday at the funeral home.
Funeral arrangements are entrusted to the Joseph M. Johnson & Son Funeral Home, 530 S. Sycamore St., Petersburg, 804-863-4411.
Published in The Progress-Index on Jan. 16, 2013