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Douglas Branch Jr.

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Douglas Branch Jr. Obituary
Douglas Branch Jr Douglas Branch Jr, 82, died peacefully on June 11, 2013 at his home in Austin TX after a courageous struggle to recover from a stroke he suffered in January of this year. He spent his last days surrounded by those he loved; his daughters Larraine and Shelly, his son in law Bryan Garrick and his "adopted son" Brent Shelton. He is also survived by his sister Maudine High, his twin sister Jean Spraetz and her husband Rollie Spraetz, all of Richardson TX. Also by his sister Linda Maxwell of AR and several nieces and nephews. Doug was born in Santa Rosa TX in 1930 and joined the Air Force serving 20 years and one day. He was stationed in England and served many years there, where he met the great love of his life 'Suzi', Suzanne Yvonne Hunter Branch, who preceded him in death in 2008. He mourned her passing every day since, but continued on strongly, filling his daily life with simple and good things, such as reconnecting with childhood friends of 60 years past, listening to bluegrass music, reading the bible (and spy novels) and taking care of his honey bees. After retiring from the Air Force, Doug also worked for the US Postal Service and the Veterans Administration; his entire working career was in service to his government and country. Doug was a well known beekeeper in Austin and many of his customers became good friends over the years. He loved to share his wisdom and time with others interested in learning this craft, and was very generous in helping new beekeepers continue this tradition supplying many of them with equipment as well as knowledge. He enjoyed 'discussing' politics with his friends, a good game of poker, and visiting on the back porch over a cup of black coffee. He was always on the quest for a good English cheddar, the tastiest Mexican beans, the perfect heirloom tomato plant, the next farm on which to place his bee colonies, and, of course, the best fishing spot. Doug was an honest and loyal man, a decent man who never shirked a task onto others. He quietly helped so many people, with rides to the hospital, visits when they were ill, helping them build things or repair things, and in some cases, when faced with adversity, inspiring them to be strong and put their lives back on track just by his example. As one friend described, "he was a man's man, who said what he meant and meant what he said - a true Texan". He believed in sharing what he had, living within his means, not putting on airs, respecting nature and his fellow men. Things that might ordinarily go unnoticed, such as the course of a rainfall, or the flight path of a bee, he considered part of God's wonders, and would often watch quietly in contemplation. Above all, he believed in being 'grateful for all the blessings of this life', as he often said, and in serving God in all that he did. Some of his last words expressed his desire to continue to be of service to others. His many quiet and good deeds to others are testimony to his generosity, as was his devoted service to his favorite charity, the Assistance League of Austin, where he volunteered "for the children" well into his eighties - always in "Doug style", doing heavy carrying and lifting with love. He will be missed deeply by his family and friends, who take comfort in knowing he has now joined those he loved who have preceded him. Memorial Service will be held at St Marks Episcopal Church at 2128 Barton Hills Drive on Friday, June 28 at 2:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Assistance League of Austin, founders of Operation School Bell.


Published in Austin American-Statesman on June 23, 2013
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