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Joyce Branning Doheny


1926 - 2016 Obituary Condolences Gallery
Joyce Branning Doheny Obituary
June 18, 1926 - February 17, 2016 Joyce Annette Branning Doheny, or "Josh" as she was known to all, passed away on February 17, 2016. Josh was a force of nature, with a natural beauty, a sense of adventure, and a fun streak that wouldn't quit. She will be missed by many, both on the mainland and on her adopted island of Oahu, where she held court as the matriarch of Punahele for decades. Josh was born June 18, 1926, to Enid and Ralph Branning in Salt Lake City, Utah. She was the youngest of three, after brother Ralph, Jr., and sister Barbara. Her parents ran Branning's Chili Parlor, a well-known restaurant in downtown Salt Lake City. In the early 1940s, Enid and her children moved to Los Angeles, where she had relatives. Josh graduated from LA High and then set out on her career. She was a model for Ohrbach's department store, and then moved up to producing her own fashion shows. She married George Vanderbilt in the late 1950s and--although the marriage was short lived--it brought her to Hawaii, where Josh developed a lifelong love of the islands. For the rest of her life, she split her time between Los Angeles and her home in Honolulu. For the 1961 Transpac yacht race, Josh volunteered to serve as the Hawaiian host for a yacht, and was assigned to the Kamalii and its skipper, E.L. (Larry) Doheny III. That connection turned into a marriage two years later, and lasted 35 years until Larry's passing in 1999. After they were married, Josh embraced her five stepchildren - Larry IV, Didi, Sherry, Kevin, and Lucy--as well as the entire family of Dohenys. Josh and Larry built their dream house in Honolulu, and named it Punahele (meaning favorite). Situated near Diamond Head, the home was featured in magazines and television shows, including Hawaii Five-0. The Dohenys enjoyed sailing, visiting the islands, entertaining guests, and playing with their animals. Josh and Larry always had a houseful of dogs, most from the local Humane Society; which they generously supported for many years. Their parrot, Paco, was a favorite of visitors and the crew of Hawaii Five-O. Josh was a mother hen to her adopted family. She also doted on her siblings' children, nephews Mark Branning and Mark Frisk, whose parents had passed away at an early age. After Larry's death, she reconnected with an old friend from her high school days, Bob Kroger. Bob was her partner in crime for the last 16 years of her life, and brought her much joy. Her smile was dazzling. Although she was a great storyteller, she was just as good a listener. After listening to a story she liked, she would respond with her signature line ("Oh, how cute!") which always brought a smile to friends and family. She is survived by Bob Kroger, her stepchildren, many nieces and nephews, 10 grandchildren, 17 great-grandchildren, and 1 great-great-grandchild. The family would like to thank Darren Uyeshiro for his 36 years of devotion to the household, and for helping to care for Josh until the very end. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Josh's name to the Humane Society of Honolulu, 2700 Waialae Ave., Honolulu, HI 96826. A private Celebration of Life is being planned.
Published in the Los Angeles Times from Mar. 3 to Mar. 4, 2016
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