The picture of an American History Story; A Teacher, A Student, A Son, A Parent. An Administrator, Bus Driver and Bartender. So many things to so many people, and not to mention a provider for his wife and son.
Anthony Branch Jr was the second child born to the late Anthony Branch Sr and Aubrey Smith Branch on February 20, 1938, in Huntsville Texas. Anthony Jr and his sister Alice Marie Branch Kelly were brought up in a nurturing loving home by their caring parents. Anthony came to know the Lord at an early age. As a Godly man his desires were to keep his mind sharp and be wise so he would make good choices. He kept his heart pure and put emphasis on his own integrity.
Many of us remember “Mister” Branch as a teacher, encouraging his students to do their best, and simultaneously chiding them for being disruptive or talkative in class. He expected a lot from you but was fair in grading your efforts.
Fairness was his trademark but also was honest in how he dealt with the public. Always with a good word to impart, he gave others the benefit of the doubt, plus his honest opinion usually mixed with a healthy dose of optimism. Optimism even in the face of pain.
Anthony graduated from a segregated high school Sam Houston High, locally. He then attended what we now refer to as a historically black college or university, Texas Southern University in Houston. After his undergraduate degree, in 1958 he married his high school sweetheart, Bettie Jean Davis who later birthed their only son Ray Anthony while Anthony pursued his postgraduate-education. In August of 1965, Anthony obtained a Masters of Education and began his teaching career.
By 1974 Anthony was employed as a teacher by the Windham School District of the, then Texas Department of Corrections. He was a hostage in a prison siege that year which lasted 11 days at the Huntsville Walls Unit. This incident was one of the longest hostage-taking situations in U.S. history. This was devastating to him, and he never wanted to talk about it.
As an avid golfer he loved the art, the history, the physics of the game, and the pure feel of a well struck shot. He had an awesome swing and enjoyed collecting many trophies over the years. Retiring from golfing he dominated our television by watching golf tournaments and his favorite golfer Tiger Woods and many others.
On Monday, February 14, 2022, at his home in Huntsville, Texas, Jack Branch yielded his spirit unto God and entered a place of rest. He leaves to cherish his memories: His loving wife: Bettie Jean Branch; his son: Ray Anthony (Christina); his sister: Alice Branch Kelly, nieces, nephews, cousins, family, and dear friends.
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