Joe Bill Brannon, age 82, passed away at his residence at Willow Pond Senior Care, Monday, June 22, 2020, under the care of Regency SouthernCare Hospice.
He was born December 1, 1937, in Birmingham, Alabama, to John and Josie Stevens Brannon, but lived in the Statesboro area most of his life.
He served in the United States Air Force in both the Korean and Vietnam wars as a radar maintenance technician.
After retiring from military service in 1978 as a master sergeant with more than 20 years' service, Joe Bill began his career with the United States Postal Service, where he was a city letter carrier and past president of The National Association of Letter Carriers, retiring after 20 years in 2001. During this time, he also owned and operated B & J Awards in Statesboro, Georgia.
However long and distinguished his career may have been, it was nothing compared to his volunteerism. Joe Bill's lifelong calling was to go to bed each night feeling competent that he helped somebody that day and made a difference in the life of someone less fortunate. He volunteered for more than 25 years at The Statesboro Food Bank, where he was a former CEO and president. When he received the Jefferson Award, an award that recognizes local heroes, he was quoted as saying, "This is my hobby, my life."
Joe Bill was also active in the Lions Club, where he was past district governor, past council district chair and Lion of the Year in 2003. He was also a past member of the Kiwanis Club, the Rotary Citizen of the Year in 2010, a lifelong member of the NAACP (receiving the 2005 NAACP Humanitarian Award), 2008 Red Cross Bulloch County Chapter Volunteer of the Year, a member of the Statesboro Chapter of the Democratic Party, receiving the 2015 Democratic Civic Engagement Award; recipient of the 2008 Deen Day Smith Service to Mankind Award and 2010 Lifetime Achievement Award and a Shriner.
He is survived by his loving wife of 36 years, Sue Whaley Brannon; his sons, Joe Bill Brannon Jr. (Lisa) and Andy Bailey; his daughters, Diane Beasley (Ray), Jodi Brannon (Murphy) and Laura Lower (Alan); a brother, Steve Brannon; his sisters, Frederica and Connie; eight grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
A graveside service and burial will be Friday afternoon at 2 p.m. in Bulloch Memorial Gardens with Elder Jake Futch officiating.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests all memorial donations be made to The Food Bank, Inc., 400 Donnie Simmons Way, Statesboro GA 30458; or through PayPal at statesborofoodbank.org.
Statesboro Herald, June 25, 2020
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