STONEY CREEK - The Rev. Mr. Warren C. Brannon Sr., 81, of Stoney Creek, passed away at Twin Lakes Center on Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2012.
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Warren was born in Charlottesville, Va., and raised in Raleigh, N.C., the younger son of the N. C. State Entomologist Clarence H. Brannon and his wife, Mary Elizabeth Cloud Brannon. He was married to Johnsie Ellis Brannon of the home.
As a senior of Raleigh's Needham Broughton High School, Warren joined the U. S. Naval Reserve, which involved attending twice-a-month drills plus taking a cruise annually. He continued as a member of the reserves through his college years, at which time he enlisted in a two-year tour of active sea duty during the Korean War as a Navy airman in VS-30, an anti-submarine outfit, serving as a bombardier on what was then the largest single-engine aircraft in the world.
Warren followed his older brother, Loyd, to spend four years in scholarly pursuits at Hampden-Sydney College, a small, all-male school in the heart of Virginia.
During his collegiate days, Mr. Brannon was a member of the track team, a member of the traveling glee club, served as a staff writer for the campus newspaper and served as president of the Independents' Organization. He was a freshman counselor for two years and was a student instructor in freshman English while he was in his senior year. Also, he was tapped into three national honorary fraternities, including those for literary work (Sigma Upsilon), Greek and Latin studies (Eta Sigma Phi), and leadership (Omicron Delta Kappa). Mr. Brannon was graduated with a B. A. degree. At graduation time, he received the coveted Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award for leadership. Mr. and Mrs. Brannons' two sons, Warren, Jr. and James, are also Hampden-Sydney graduates.
Following his discharge from the active duty in the Naval Reserve, he earned a Master of Divinity degree from Union Theological Seminary in Richmond and was ordained in 1957 as a Presbyterian clergyman at his first field of ministry (W. Va).
Mr. Brannon began his forty-five years of ministry in the Greenbrier Valley of West Virginia, where he was for seven years the pastor of a small church and an assistant administrator in the Presbyterian home for children there, Davis-Stuart School. While there he was elected moderator of Greenbrier Presbytery. His other two pastorates were in Hermitage Church in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia and in Shiloh Church in Burlington, N.C., where he served as a pastor for 25 years until his retirement in 1995.
A specialty of his ministry through the years was pastoral counseling, in preparation for which he did extensive course work in both undergraduate and graduate schools. In addition to serving for a summer on the staff of Topeka State Hospital, he studied theology in Scotland at both the University of St. Andrews and the University of Edinburgh. He did additional study in the area of Worship and Preaching at Union Theological Seminary extension courses. Mr. Brannon was appointed to and served for several years on a committee of Salem Presbytery that designed the worship services for that body and that conducted workshops on worship for pastors and church officers. He served for several years as a member of the staff of Family Counseling Service of Waynesboro, Va. During his 25 years serving in the Presbytery of Salem, Mr. Brannon gave time to the Presbytery by working on a number of important projects and committees.
His favorite pastimes were reading, writing, and outdoor activities. Through the years he wrote various articles on the subject of worship for the periodicals circulated to Presbyterian churches-Presbyterian Survey & Presbyterians Today. In 2004 he published a book, Tears of Joy and Tears of Sorrow, an effort to detail to younger members of the clergy the meanings and content of both weddings and funeral services.
Besides serving on numerous other Presbytery committees, Mr. Brannon served as chairman of various boards, including the Waynesboro (Va.) Area Game and Fish Association, Waynesboro Area Vocational Workshops, Barium Springs Home for Children, Alamance County (N.C.) Mental Health Association, Alamance County (N.C.) Presbyterian Council, Habitat for Humanity, Allied Churches, The Welfare Reform Commission, Boy Scout and Webelos Leader and YMCA Indian Guides Leader. For many years he has been a faithful member of the Burlington Kiwanis Club.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by two sons, Warren C. Brannon Jr. of Durham and James Brannon and wife, Monica of Alexandria, Va. and two grandsons, Tavener Brannon and Hampton Brannon of Alexandria. He is also survived by a brother, Dr. Loyd Brannon and wife, Ruth of Birmingham, Alabama, a mother-in-law, Josephine Ellis, of Advance, N.C. and a brother-in-law, Mondell Ellis and wife, Marilyn, of Advance and several nieces, nephews and cousins.
A funeral service will be held at the First Presbyterian Church of Burlington, 508 West Davis St., Burlington, N.C. on Saturday, Jan. 14, 2012 at 1 p.m. Officiating will be The Reverend Norman Whitney and The Reverend Carl Parsons.
The family will receive friends at the Rich & Thompson Funeral and Cremation Service, 306 Glenwood Ave., Burlington, N.C. on Friday from 5 to 7 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the New Building Fund at Shiloh Presbyterian Church, 2638 Grand Oaks Boulevard, Burlington, NC 27215 or to the Capital Fund at the First Presbyterian Church, 508 West Davis St., Burlington, NC 27215 or to The Scholarship Fund at Hampden-Sydney College, P.O. Box 637, Hampden-Sydney, VA 23943.
Condolences may be offered at www.richandthompson.com.
Published in TheTimesNews.com from Jan. 12 to Jan. 13, 2012