Celebrating the life of Norma J. Branch
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The vines of her life were rooted in Quioccasin, Henrico County, VA, where she grew up in a loving and nurturing home surrounded by caring relatives and friends. She was baptized at an early age and began as a child her membership with St. James Baptist Church.
Later, after marriage, she transitioned her membership to First Nottoway Baptist Church, Crewe, VA where she was a dedicated church member. She served in several ministries: Sunday School, Trustee, Women’s, Finance and Kitchen. She was the chairperson of many programs including Homecoming and Senior Citizen Banquet.
She received her elementary education from Catholic schools in Henrico County and graduated from Maggie Walker High School in Richmond, VA. With a joy for nursing, she entered Piedmont School of Nursing where she graduated with a Licensed Practical Nurse degree. She continued her education at John Tyler Community College and eventually received her Registered Nurse, Bachelor of Science Nursing degree from Virginia Commonwealth University where she graduated with honors.
She began her nursing career at Piedmont Sanatorium Hospital which later changed to Piedmont Geriatric Hospital in Burkeville, VA. Her career at Piedmont spanned thirty-four years. She was an exceptional nurse and was well known for her educational achievement, professional growth, clinical expertise, friendliness and potential for leadership. Norma was recognized as one of the top twenty nurses in the nation in a prominent national nursing magazine. She retired from Piedmont in the position of Assistant Director of Nursing. She worked in private industry as a nursing consultant for several years after retirement.
In 1958, she married Robert James Branch of Crewe, VA. This couple was blessed with four sons, Anthony Vanguard Branch, Norman Westley Branch, Robert James Branch, Jr., and Prosser Dobson Branch. A loving wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, sister-in-law, cousin, and friend, the legacy of her season is left to her four sons, two daughters-in-law, Vhondrena Branch and Teri Berrian, eight grandchildren and three great grandchildren. One granddaughter preceded her in death.
The joys of her life were her family, helping people, fishing, and cooking. She loved her children and they loved her back. To her grandchildren she was simply known as “Granny”. She provided support and encouragement to all of her children, including her first cousins’ children who referred to her as “Aunt Jenny”. She was strong and determined. She went to school at night to become a Registered Nurse while working. She helped many people with such things as going to school, finding jobs, keeping their jobs, monetary aid and care giving for the sick. She was a community activist. She was an original founder of the Civic League in Nottoway County. She acquired the funds to build the Civic League facilities in Nottoway County. She would go fishing with anybody, anywhere and at anytime. She even purchased a boat with her oldest son to enhance her fishing experience. She was an avid cook and family and friends loved her cooking. We are going to miss the homemade fruitcakes, cookies, candies, jellies, rolls, blackberry roll, ice cream, and a whole host of other goodies.
Norma, affectionately known as “Granny”, was called to eternal rest on Saturday, October 23, 2010, at the Medical College of Virginia Hospital in Richmond, VA. She passed away peacefully, and her spirit has returned to the Lord who gave it.
Funeral Services Wednesday, October 27, 2010 at 11:00 a.m. at First Nottoway Baptist Church, Crewe with interment in the church cemetery.
W.E. Hawkes & Son Funeral Home of Blackstone in charge of the arrangements.
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