We lost the best husband, Dad and Grandpa ever on July 21, 2013. Ralph Thomas Brannan, 87, was devoted to his wife of 66 years, Shirley, and their family. He was a wise and loving father to their three children Kathy Brannan Arle , Debbie Brannan Wood, and Gary Thomas Brannan; and to their spouses Steve, Sam, and Rene. Ralph was a fun and adoring Grandpa to Melissa Wood, Nathan Wood, Matt Wood, Jamie Brannan and Ben Brannan. He was well loved by his surviving sister Lila Mapps of Marshall, Texas and multiple nieces and nephews.
Ralph was in the Navy from 1944 to 1946. Joining with a group of high school friends, he was part of the V5 program, serving in the South Pacific. Upon discharge, he returned home to Central City, to marry his high school sweetheart Shirley.
He graduated with Honors from Iowa State College in 1949. Ralph worked at Owens Corning Fiberglas, Milliken & Co., M. Lowenstein & Sons, and Springs Industries.
Ralph and Shirley loved to travel the world. His love of golf took them to Scotland, where he had the opportunity to play at St. Andrews. However, his biggest thrill was playing golf with his son and grandsons. He and Shirley donated Brannan Field at Manchester Soccer Complex in honor of their soccer-playing son and four grandsons. Everyone who knew Ralph knew of his love of cars – especially if they were Mercedes!
Ralph loved tending his flower gardens and yard, as well as his children’s. He and Shirley turned their yard into a showcase every year. They even worked on the courtyard at Westminster Towers.
Ralph was an active member of Oakland Avenue Presbyterian Church, being an Elder multiple times and teaching Sunday School at Oakland and every church where he and Shirley belonged.
A service to celebrate Ralph’s life was held at Oakland Avenue Presbyterian Church July 25th at 2:00 p.m. The family received friends following the service at the church’s Activity Center. On July 24th, the family received friends from 2 to 4 p.m. on the second floor activities room at Westminster Healthcare Center. Visitation at other times was at the home of Gary Brannan, 946 Mallard Drive in Rock Hill.
Memorials to Oakland Avenue Presbyterian Church Building Fund at 421 Oakland Ave., Rock Hill, SC 29730; to H.O.P.E. at 411 Park Ave., Rock Hill, SC 29730; or to Hospice & Community Care at P.O. Box 2742, Rock Hill, SC 29731. Online condolences may be registered at basscares.com