Funeral services for Parey P. Branton, 92, will be held at 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 18, 2011 at Mt. Paren Baptist Church with Dr. Johnie Adkins and the Rev. Charles Garner officiating. Burial will be in Union Springs Cemetery under the direction of Bailey Funeral Home, Springhill.
Visitation will be held Saturday from 5 until 8 p.m., Bailey Funeral Home, Springhill.
Mr. Branton, a native and lifelong resident of this area died Thursday, Sept. 15, 2011 in Shreveport. He was born on Nov. 17, 1918, the first child of Marion M. and Addie Mae Martin Branton of Shongaloo. He grew up on the family farm just one mile southwest of the community center.
He is survived by his devoted wife of 68 years, Georgia Lusby Branton; two sons, Daniel Miles Branton and wife, Renee' of Ruston, Parey Pershing Branton, Jr. of Shongaloo; brother, Harold M. Branton and wife, Elsie B. Branton of New Caney, Texas; sister, Mutelle B. Thompson of Springhill; grandchildren, Carson and Scarlett Branton; nephew, Jack Crace and wife, Emily of Shreveport; nieces, Ann Branton, Karen B. Freeman, Gail B. Holder, Barbara Jo Murray and Patricia C. Turner; and numerous great-nieces and great-nephews.
He is preceded in death by his parents and a sister, Dorothy B. Patton.
Mr. Branton received his early education at Shongaloo High School, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge and University of Texas, in Austin, Texas. He volunteered for service at the commencement of World War II with the United States Signal Corps.
His first duty assignment was a special school in advanced radar, enemy air planes and ships at sea. While in the Signal Corps school in Avon, Kentucky, he met and married the love of his life, Georgia P. Lusby. Upon completion of his studies, the two traveled to the west coast to join the Signal Corps Pacific Coast Watch Team.
After World War II, Mr. Branton obtained employment with the American Airlines Company in El Paso, Texas. In 1948, he was promoted to Sales Operations for the company in San Francisco and Los Angeles as well as his home office in El Paso.
In 1951, he was obliged to return to the family farm in Shongaloo. Later in the year, Mr. Branton, deciding to remain at the farm, took the position as Assistant Personnel Manager and Employee Payroll Accounting with International Paper Company in Springhill.
Being forever public minded, he served on the Webster Parish School Board during 1952 to 1958, as a member, vice president and, finally President of the Board. In all of these positions, he pressed consistently for excellence in the classroom and efficiency in budget management and in public property maintenance.
Mr. Branton will long be remembered for his diligent services as Louisiana State Representative, representing Webster Parish from 1960 to 1972.
During his tenure, he served on several legislative committees: Appropriations Committee; Judiciary "D" Obligations and Services Committee; Wild Life and Fisheries; Transportation and Highways; Chairman of the State Retirement Committee and, Public Education Committee.
In addition, he sponsored legislation addressing Federal Aid Programs for the State of Louisiana and all Police Jury legislation. His emphasis in these challenging work assignments was honesty and fairness for all parties.
Serving as mayor of Shongaloo, his hometown, Mr. Branton always said, was his most enjoyable endeavor. During the period of 1960 to 1972, he was successful in building a town civic center, which is today the meeting place of choice for practically all Shongaloo civic functions. Mr. Branton retired from public service in 1990.
Throughout his life Mr. Branton was an active member and served as deacon of Mt. Paren Baptist Church. While he continued to work on the farm, he also became active as an oil and gas lease broker. He was a wonderful husband, father and grandfather. During his lifetime, he consistently viewed the future with highest hopes and optimism.
Serving as pallbearers will be Jack Crace, Ronny Martin, Dan Festervan, Randy Frye, John Ward Woodson and Steve Freeman. Honorary pallbearers will be Ural Cox, Rodney Martin, C.C. "Cat" Cox, Doug Black and Grover Washington.
The family would like to thank Dr. Alan J. Borne and Dr. Stuart Blum for the many years of care of our loved one.
For the way you always cared, for the good times we've shared. For the lessons you have taught, for the happiness you brought, we, your family, will never stop loving you.
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