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Bobby Joe Branch, age 71, of Centralia, Illinois, passed away at 8:55 P.M. on Tuesday, December 27, 2022, at SSM Health Good Samaritan Hospital in Mount Vernon, Illinois. He was born on October 21, 1951, in Centralia, Illinois, the son of Bobby Pearl and Patsy Ann (O’Brist) Branch. He married Ruth Ann Beckmeyer on June 6, 1981, at Friedens United Church of Christ in Irvington, Illinois, and she survives him in Centralia, Illinois.
In addition to his wife of 41 years, Mr. Branch is survived by his sisters and brother, Michele McMillan of Central City, Illinois, Deprecia Lee of Marion, Arkansas, Lyndon Heard and wife Patti of Centralia, Illinois, and Jada Wright and husband Clay of Cypress, Illinois; brothers-in-law, Russell Beckmeyer and wife Margy of Aiken, South Carolina, and John Johnson of Centralia, Illinois; and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Mr. Branch was preceded in death by his parents, Bobby Branch and Patsy Branch Heard; stepdad, Donald Heard; sister, Amber Johnson; father-in-law, Raymond Beckmeyer; mother-in-law, Mary Beckmeyer; and brothers-in-law, John McMillan and James Beckmeyer.
Mr. Branch is a member of the U.S. Marine Corps proudly serving his country from May 17, 1972 until May 16, 1975. He was a Corporal at the time of his discharge from the military services. During his time with the U.S. Marine Corps, he completed his Correctional Specialist Course through the U.S. Army Military Police School in Fort Gordon, Georgia, on October 13, 1972. Bobby enjoyed life as he would be out on the road riding a motorcycle, eating out at restaurants, especially Red Lobster, and traveling to Flamm Orchards every weekend for their fresh strawberries. He was a big fan of Rock and Roll music. Bobby attended the Illinois State Fair and Du Quoin State Fair with his wife, Ruth, for several years. He also enjoyed chasing hot air balloons with his family during the Centralia Balloon Fest. He cherished the time he spent with his family and friends.
Mr. Branch graduated with Centralia Township High School’s “Class of 1969” and attended Kaskaskia College for two years. He was employed as a guard with the Centralia Correctional Center after it opened in 1980. He went on to do carpentry work with Bob Tiemann for several years. After his father-in-law had a heart attack, he worked on the family farm. As a result of his ailing health, Bobby retired on March 31, 2014, as a highway maintainer from the Illinois Department of Transportation after twelve years and six months of service to the State of Illinois. He lived most of his life in the Centralia area, except for the time he served in the United States Marine Corps.
Celebration of Life Services for Mr. Bobby Joe Branch will be held at 11:00 A.M. on Tuesday, January 3, 2023, at Moran Queen-Boggs Funeral Home in Centralia, Illinois with Pastor Stacy Tate officiating. Friends are invited to join with Mr. Branch’s family via Live Stream at www.moranfuneralhome.net on his obituary page at 11:00 A.M. on Tuesday, January 3, 2023. Interment will follow in Hillcrest Memorial Park near Centralia, Illinois, with Military Honors accorded by Centralia American Legion Post 446 and Veteran of Foreign Wars Post 2055. Friends may visit with Mr. Branch’s family from 5:00 P.M. to 7:00 P.M. on Monday, January 2, 2023, at Moran Queen-Boggs Funeral Home and from 10:00 A.M. until the time of his services at 11:00 A.M. on Tuesday, January 3, 2023, at the funeral home. Memorial contributions may be made in Mr. Branch’s honor to the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation and will be received by the Moran Queen-Boggs Funeral Home at 134 South Elm Street in Centralia, Illinois 62801. Please view the online obituary, send condolences, or share memories with Mr. Branch’s family at www.moranfuneralhome.net
Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation
Post Office Box 414238, Boston MA 02241-4238