KINSTON - Doris Heath Branch, 86, a longtime resident of Kinston, passed away Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013 after a courageous battle with Alzheimer's.
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She was born in Lenoir County on Dec. 4, 1926. She was the first daughter born to the late Henry Lee Heath and Lillian Vogler Heath. She was a wonderful, giving, and loving wife, mother, grandmother, sister, great-grandmother, aunt, and dear friend. She taught us all how to appreciate all of the good and beauty in life and she will be sorely missed by all whose lives she touched.
Doris graduated from Contentnea High School and graduated with a BS degree in Education from East Carolina Teachers College (ECU). She was a highly regarded educator for thirty years in Lenoir County having taught at Dover School and Southwood Elementary.
She and her mother opened Vogue Hat Shop in downtown Kinston in 1961 and later expanded into the bridal industry as Vogue Hat & Bridal Shop until 1991. She then partnered with her daughter, Belinda until the closing in 2004.
Doris's hobbies included going to her beach home with her family, working in her flowers, and keeping a beautiful yard. She also was an artist who loved to work with ceramics, painting with oils, and feeding the birds in her yard. Her beloved cat, Fluffy was able to live with her as a dedicated companion in assisted living the last few years. She was an active member of Queen Street United Methodist Church and loved her Sunday School class who kept in touch, even when she was unable to attend anymore.
In addition to her parents, she was predeceased by her partner and loving husband of 63 years, William J. (Jack) Branch Jr.
She is survived by her daughter, Belinda Howard and husband, Robert; grandson, Kevin Howard and wife, Julie; granddaughter, Susan Howard; great-grandchildren, Haley and Tyler Howard; sisters, Betty H. Woolard of Camden, S.C. and Sue H. Hunt of Maywood, N.J.; sisters-in-law, Eleanor B. Hooks of Greenville and Mary Ida B. Coltrain of Ayden, as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be held at 7 p.m. Saturday at Howard-Carter Funeral Home, 1608 W. Vernon Avenue in Kinston. The family will receive friends from 4 – 6:30 p.m. prior to the service and other times at the home of Robert and Belinda Howard, 309 Jacksontown Road, Ayden. Graveside rites will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday at Evergreen Memorial Gardens, Hwy. 11 North, Grifton.
A special thanks to Dr. Robert Turner, Carolina House of Greenville, Spring Arbor of Greenville, Dr. Dean Patton, and the most caring nurses at Inpatient Hospice of Greenville. We shall remember you lovingly.
Howard-Carter Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.
On-line condolences may be sent to howardandcarter.com.
Howard-Carter Funeral Home - Kinston
1608 W Vernon. St. Kinston, NC 28504
Published in The Daily Reflector on Oct. 11, 2013