Loren Donald Branson, 89, Florence, Ore., passed away May 21, 2011 in Oregon.

Loren Donald Branson, 89, Florence, Ore., passed away May 21, 2011 in Oregon.

Loren Donald Branson was born April 22, 1922, a son of the late Frederick Austin Branson and Alta Wren Branson.  As an infant he moved from Hartsville, Mo., to the Jasper County area, in an ox drawn wagon with his parents.  He went to school in the Reeds / Avilla area.  After his marriage to Maxine Virginia Thorn, daughter of Ardro and Alice Thorn, of Avilla, Mo.; they resided in Carthage where they raised their six children.  They had celebrated their 60 year anniversary before Maxine’s death in 1999.  

Loren was known as the “Big Apple” and never met a stranger. Everyone knew to call Loren for help.  He would go out of his way to care for people, especially children and young people.  He rescued many when their cars would break down. He was a proud veteran of World War II, a machine gunner in the 15th Infantry, 3rd Division, “H” Company.  He served in Italy, France and Germany. He suffered from frozen trench feet and refused to have them amputated in Europe. He walked for years on unfeeling feet.  
Over the years, Loren worked as an iceman, auto mechanic and on highway construction.  He moved the family to California in 1962 to become a business owner.  
Loren attended the Church of the Nazarene and the Valley St. Church of God.  He was a Teamster member.  During his last years he resided near his family in Green Trees Village, Florence, Ore.

He is survived by his children; Twyla Brook, Steamboat Springs, Colo., Vicki Krieps, Florence, Ore., and Teresa White, Goodman, Mo.; Mike, Jack and Jerry Branson, Florence, Ore.; four sisters, Mabel Owens and Connie Porter, Wichita, Kan., Shirley Harper, Texas, and Azalea Watkins, Ariz., 18 grandchildren; Michael, Mark and Daniel Branson, Nanci Branson Pigeon, Rachel Branson Byington, Susan Brook Haynes, Kristi Brook Van Voorst, Kari Kent Shephard, Lisa Marie Branson, Christopher Branson and Malisa Branson Solano, Tiffani Krieps Coronado, Jayson Krieps, Amber Wade Comeaux, and Amanda Wade Ven, Amber Dubuque, Michael Lauderdale and Michelle Brock; 40 great grandchildren and six great great grandchildren; several nieces, nephews and cousins in the local area.  

He was preceded in death two brothers, Wayne and Francis Jr.; three sisters, Vera and Bonnie Branson, Mildred Ritchie, Carthage, Mo.; a daughter, Susan Joyce Shepard, Florence, Ore.; four grandchildren, Samuel and Kevin Brook, HI, Tony Branson and Kami Shepard, Calif., and one great grandchild, Khonnara Ven, Calif.

Graveside services will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept.1, 2012 in Oak Hill Cemetery, Carthage.  Rev. Kevin Haynes, Church of the Nazarene, will officiate. Full military rites will be presented at the gravesite.  Arrangements are under the direction and personal care of Knell Mortuary, Carthage, MO.  

Online condolences may be expressed through www.knellmortuary.com.