Charlie Louis Branson, 87, died in Muskogee, Okla., on March 5, 2013. Charlie was born in Centerville, Ark., on Aug. 18, 1925, to Louis Jefferson and Gertrude (Carmond) Branson. He grew up in McCoy. Charlie was a veteran of the United States Navy and served in the Pacific theater during World War II and was on Iwo Jima when the American flag was 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; sisters Elsie Manns, Marion Branson and Ola Prater; and brother Clarence Branson. He is survived by his wife, Merry D. (Clay) Branson; daughters Elsie Marie Hopkins and husband, Wilen, of Salida, H. Charlene Kirby and husband, LeRoy, of McCoy, and Karen Branson, of Checotah; step-sons James A. Meadows and wife, Debbie, of Tyron, Okla., and Joe Dean Meadows, of Oklahoma City; sisters Melbadean Winslow and husband, Jack, and Eldora Ray and husband, Jack, both of Eufaula, Okla.; 11 grandchildren; 17 great-grandchildren and one more on the way; and numerous nieces, nephews and other relatives.
A celebration of Charlie’s life was held at 1 p.m. March 8, 2013, at the McClendon-Winters Funeral Home Chapel in Okmulgee, Okla., with Tyler Carlson officiating. Interment will be in McCoy 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.