Donald “Don” Joe Branch, 87, of Cataula, GA died Tuesday, September 14, 2021 at his residence.
Funeral Services will be held 2:00 PM Saturday, September 18, 2021 at the Chapel of McMullen Funeral Home and Crematory with Rev. Tommy Henschel officiating. The family will receive friends at the funeral home from 5:00 to 7:00 PM Friday, September 17, 2021 at the funeral home, 3874 Gentian Blvd. Columbus, GA 31907. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we encourage everyone to make the best decisions to remain safe. If anyone wishes to attend the service, please remember to remain 6 feet apart from those not in your household and wear personal protective equipment.
Don was born July 17, 1934near Tifton, GA, son of the late James Dykes Branch and Hazel Monette Maxwell Drawdy (Clyde). He attended Abraham Baldwin Agriculture College with a degree in agronomy. He married the love of his life, Joyce Alexander and the military sent them to Ft. Benning, GA. This began a wonderful life in Columbus, GA where they would raise two daughters, Stacey Chambliss and Mendi Maule.
He began his lifelong career in golf course management at the golf course at Ft. Benning, later moving to Columbus Country Club. He joined the late Gumby Jordan in the building of Green Island Golf Course where he served as Greens Superintendent, Properties Manager and Head Superintendent over a 40 plus year time span. After retiring, he worked as a consultant for PCA managing, budgeting and consulting for all things golf course maintenance related. Don was a member of the Golf Course Superintendents Hall of Fame. He felt it was the supreme honor in his chosen field of work.
He was an active member at Edgewood Baptist Church. At Edgewood, he was an elder, leading the churches Lay Renewal Team, a Sunday School teacher, and College and Career Bible study leader. He impacted the lives of his own family and many young people throughout his years as a devoted, passionate Christian. Upon his wife’s passing, he began to worship at Cornerstone Baptist Church with his local family. He truly loved both church families and felt blessed to be a part of both church fellowships.
After the passing of his wife, Joyce, he moved from Columbus to Cataula, GA where he loved sitting in a rocking chair, on the front porch, with his hummingbirds, watching the cows graze in the evenings. He was especially proud of each of his 5 grandchildren and felt blessed to be able to watch his 6 great-grandchildren grow up and be a part of their lives. Other favorite pastimes included travel, gardening, watching Secrets of the Zoo, and Alabama football.
Other than his parents, he is preceded in death by his beloved wife, Joyce A. Branch.
Survivors include his daughters, Stacey Branch Chambliss (Billy) of Cataula, GA, Mendi Maule (Sam) of Ponte Vedra, FL; grandchildren, Elizabeth Bridges (Daniel), Will Chambliss (Brittany), Mary-Catherine Chambliss, Alexandra Maule, Eli Maule, Danielle Hall (Colby), Laurn Maule; great grandchildren, Bryan Bridges, Brett Bridges, Brock Bridges, Liam Chambliss, Isla Chambliss, Ruby Chambliss, Gracelyn Hall; very special friends, Jim and Patsy Brannock and family, and William and Debbie Smith and family.
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