Jerry W. Branson 

54, of Joplin

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Jerry W. Branson, 54, of Joplin, died at 6:35 p.m. Friday, April 2, 2004, as the result of a motor vehicle accident.

Jerry was born March 4, 1950, in Jefferson City, Mo. He has been a resident of Joplin for the last six years. He was retired from the American Family Insurance Company after nine years in sales and also was a sheet metal worker in the heating and air business. He was a member of the South Broadway Baptist Church in Pittsburg, Kan., the Scottish Rite and the Pittsburg Mirza Shrine, where he was active in many committees.

Jerry was a strong family man who never met a stranger. He had a lifelong love of old cars. He was a charter member of the Pittsburg auto club and a member of the Galena, Kan., auto club.

In the past year, Jerry had become very involved in helping recovery people. He also started “his life long dream,” working with Native American Indians. Last Nov. he was able to go with a group of people to Cherry Creek, S.D., to take clothes, food and toys. He was a star with the children in a big way. Cherry Creek community was looking forward to Jerry’s return this month. Jerry had many hobbies, including toy cars, old service station equipment and had the mind of a brilliant man and knew how to fix just about anything. His life was always filled with the spirit of caring for others. If you know Jerry, you knew how much he loved everyone and how many people loved him.

He married Cherie Watson on Nov. 4, 1977, in Wichita, Kan. She survives.

Also surviving are two daughters, DeeDra Branson, of Wichita and Amy Kathline Branson, of Saint Louis; a son, Jerry Wayne Branson Jr., of Alaska; his parents, Clarence and Shirley Branson, of Holt’s Summit, Mo.; a brother, Edward Branson, of Jefferson City, Mo.; two sisters, Joann Jinson, of Saint Elizabeth, Mo., and Kathy (Brandy) Platten, of Jefferson City; and two grandchildren.

Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Wednesday at Thornhill-Dillon Mortuary Chapel. Rev. Paul Sims will officiate. Burial will be in Big Sandy Cemetery in Toronto, Kan., at 3 p.m. Wednesday.

Contributions may be made to the Chief Crazy Horse Monument (Custer, S.D.) in care of the mortuary. The family will receive friends from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at the mortuary.