Lorraine Branch was a remarkable woman who deeply enjoyed her journey through life.
That journey began in May of 1930 in Queens, New York as the daughter of Thomas and Cecilia LeMaitre. She never lost her New York accent nor that famous New York attitude–it was still there in the final hours of her life.
When the nurse removed her from life support, they confided in us that she only had 10 to 15 minutes. I think she over heard him and said, “Really? Watch this!” She remained with us for another two hours passing away at 3:55 PM.
After raising three children and travelling around the states and the world as a military spouse, she moved to Ocala, Florida in 1984 and worked for Marion County as a licensing clerk until she retired. Even after retiring, she volunteered in the community working in the hospitals and performing as part of the Golden Troupers.
She was infused with life and freely shared that spirit with the people around her. She had a way about her, always helping people to see things more clearly. I will personally miss her wisdom.
Most people slow down in retirement but my mother would have nothing to do with slowing down. I would often call her and hear stories that sounded like they should have been on “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” with some 40-something rather than a great-grandmother globe-trotting around the world.
As always, she journeyed the world with Parker, her husband of 56 years, at her side. Germany, France, Spain, Italy Australia, New Zealand, Alaska, the Caribbean, Greece, Turkey…the list goes on and on. She walked on the Great Wall of China, visited the Great Barrier Reef, and lived life to its fullest.
The journey continued up until a couple of weeks ago when she flew out to Kansas City, Missouri to attend her grand-daughter’s high school graduation.
While the public records will show that her journey ended on June 16th, she believed that death was the beginning of another journey.
Lorraine Branch was a remarkable woman. Let us not mourn her death. Let’s celebrate her life and wish her Godspeed on her new journey. Rest in peace, I love you and will miss you.
Photo Copyright 2012 Patrick Branch