Charlie Louis Branson died in Muskogee, Okla., on March 5 at 87 years of age.
Charlie was born in Centerville, Ark., on Aug. 18, 1925, to Louis Jefferson and Gertrude (Carmond) Branson. He grew up in the McCoy area.
Charlie was a veteran of the United States Navy and served in the Pacific theater during World War II. He was on Iwo Jima when the American flag was famously raised. He loved being outdoors, fishing, hunting and horseback riding but gardening was his passion. He was known to crawl to his garden to work.
In the early 1980s he moved to Oklahoma. He was a rancher and owned the Hitchita Country Corner Store for many years. Charlie was a Mason and a member of the family of God.
Charlie was preceded in death by the mother of his children, Mary Louise (Shue) Branson; step-son Marty Meadows; step-daughter Mary Ann West; granddaughter Angela Dawn Branson; three sisters: Elsie Manns, Marion Branson and Ola Prater; and one brother, Clarence Branson.
He is survived by his wife, Merry D. (Clay) Branson; three daughters Elsie Marie Hopkins and husband Wilen of Salida; H. Charlene Kirby and husband LeRoy of McCoy; and Karen Branson of Checotah; two step-sons: James A. Meadows and wife Debbie of Tyron, Okla., and Joe Dean Meadows of Oklahoma City; 11 grandchildren; 17 great-grandchildren and one more on the way; two sisters in Eufaula, Okla. - Melbadean Winslow and husband Jack, and Eldora Ray and husband Jack; and numerous special nieces, nephews and other relatives.
A celebration of Charlie's life was held on March 8 at the McClendon-Winters Funeral Home Chapel in Okmulgee, Okla., with Tyler Carlson officiating. Interment will be at the McCoy Community Cemetery. Casket bearers are Jason Moore, Billy Skiles, Michael Wilhite, Tyler Carlson, Rick Kirby and Travis Kirby. Honorary casket bearers are Wilen Hopkins II, Josh Meadows, James Dean Meadows, Philip Meadows, Mira Lou Carlson, Maria Westphal, Martina Burcaicea-Burberry, Mikele Burcaicea-Ibrahim and Mandi Jo Meadows.
Visit Charlie's tribute page at www.Mcclendon-winters.com.