Tifton Gazette

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July 9, 2014

Susan Elizabeth Branch

NEW YORK CITY — Susan Elizabeth Branch of New York, N.Y. died Saturday, July 5, 2014, at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in Manhattan after a valiant battle with cancer. She was 63.

A funeral service will be held at 10 a.m. Friday in the chapel of Bowen-Donaldson Home for Funerals. The Rev. Chad Hall will officiate with a graveside service to follow at Hickory Springs Primitive Baptist Church Cemetery.

Jim Matthews, Jeff Bean, Mickey Watson, William "Ches" Smith V, Ernie Bishop, Opus Nathaniel "Nate" Branch III, Jonathan Branch and Dr. Larry Branch will serve as pallbearers. Honorary pallbearers will be Charlie Sumner, Butch Coarsey, Roger Womack, Van Graves, Nathan McCalvin, Joanie Nelkin, Jeffrey Roth, Marica Bernstein, Catherine Collins, Blanca Escabas, Sherry Greer, Sally Laskey, Mary Jane Theden and Janet Panetta. The family will receive friends from 5 to 7 tonight in the chapel of Bowen-Donaldson Home for Funerals.

Susan was born Nov. 21, 1950 in Tifton and was the daughter of O.N. "Nathaniel" Sr. and Ruth Woodall Branch, who preceded her in death. She graduated from Tift County High School in 1968 and was crowned the Georgia Peanut Princess the same year. She then attended Valdosta State University for one year before transferring to the University of Georgia, where she earned a master's degree in journalism in 1973. During her time at the University of Georgia, Susan was a member of the Beta Nu chapter of Alpha Delta Pi Sorority and was selected to the 1973 Miss Pandora Court (Miss University of Georgia).

After college, she taught at Tift County High School for two years before becoming a flight attendant with Delta Airlines in 1975. In 1985, she moved to New York City, where she studied interior design at New York University and gemology at the Gemological Institute of America while continuing to work for Delta. She was one of the first women to get her auctioneers license in New York City, N.Y.

An avid jewelry collector, designer and vendor, Susan was president and owner of Branch Antiques and Decorations and was well-known in the diamond district of New York City for her expertise of estate jewelry and fine diamonds.

She is survived by her siblings and their spouses, Delia and Dr. Harry Hamm of Valdosta, Judith Anne Branch of Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., Rose Mary Branch of Chula and Opus Nathaniel "Nathan" Jr. and Karen Branch of Thomasville; her beloved nieces and nephews and their spouses, Ernie Bishop of Ty Ty, Natalie Bishop of Valdosta, William "Ches" V and Kim Smith of Bogart, Elizabeth and Ed Hoover of Mexico, Mo., Opus Nathaniel "Nate" III and Jessica Branch of Moultrie, Blair and Matt Huckeba of Atlanta and Jonathan Branch of Denver, Colo.; as well as five of her dear friends of New York, Joanie Nelkin, Catherine Collins, Marica Bernstein, Jeffrey Roth and Janet Panetta.

Susan's great nieces and nephews are Peyton Hoover of Mexico, Mo., Lucy Clair Smith and William Ches Smith VI of Bogart, Lainey Jaye Branch of Moultrie and Ellis Ruth Huckeba of Atlanta.

Flowers will be accepted or memorial gifts may be made in Susan's honor to the First Baptist Church of Chula, 30 Academy Drive, Chula, GA 31733.

Condolences may be sent to the family at the online guest registry at www.bowen-donaldson.com.

Services for the Branch family are under the care and direction of Bowen-Donaldson Home for Funerals.

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