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1631 Church Street
Phone: 757-622-1085
Fax: 757-624-1508
Joseph Branch

Joseph McCoy Branch Sr.

Friday, March 20th, 1942 - Saturday, September 5th, 2020
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Joseph was born March 20, 1942 to the to the late Bradford Branch, Sr. and Brydell Cowan Branch
in North Carolina. There were eight children born to this union. He was the second oldest child and
the oldest boy.

The Branch family relocated to Portsmouth, Virginia in 1949, but Joseph stayed in North Carolina
with his grandparents to help on the farm. He did not move to Virginia until his grandparents

He worked for the City of Norfolk for a short time as a heavy equipment operator. While working
there he met and married the love of his life Jean Stokes, they were married 38 years. Their
anniversary was two days before he transitioned. No children were born of this union.

Shortly and I mean shortly after meeting Jean he gave his life to the Lord and they were married.
They met in July, he got saved in August, and they married in September. They were members of
Tabernacle COGIC under the leadership of Pastor Mattie Ballard, where he was a Deacon and sang
in the choir. Then he became a member of Good Shepherd COGIC, at that time under the leadership
of Pastor Howard Gales, Sr. Later he moved his membership to The Way of the Cross COGIC, under
the great teaching ministry of then Pastor Lewis E. Hines, where he was a Deacon, sang in the choir
and was Bishop Hines driver on long road trips to Florida and his fishing buddy. He was with Bishop
Hines for 18 years. After Bishop Hines transitioned to be with Lord, he went with Elder Allen L.
Harris, Sr., when he started Life Line Ministries, where he served as Deacon.

His last and final move was with Dr. J.L. Simpson, Relevant Church where he was Deacon Emeritus.
Pastor Simpson told him he had paid his dues and to sit back and train the young deacons. He had
a hard time with that because he was used to working in the church and just sitting around was
not him. I had to keep encouraging him to just enjoy his time off and mentor the young bucks. He
quickly became “Uncle Joe” to everybody young and old alike, he loved the young people and would
encourage them to stay in school, getting their education, while having good character and conduct.
Sometimes I would have to go and rescue the people because he would hold them hostage, but I am
now finding out they enjoyed the conversations and were listening. For all that knew him he was
happy to share his wisdom so you could have a better life. He would help anyone who asked for his
help if he could because he loved helping people.

He worked for the Norfolk Naval Base Public Works Department for 20 years as a heavy equipment
operator and had early retirement after being injured on the job. His dump truck rolled over him.
“BUT GOD” He loved operating those machines, he would say “IT’S ALL IN THE FINGERS’. No
one could do what he did with those machines and he knew it, and so did the management. Joe was
in high demand. Whenever something important, like the President coming on the base, they would
call him to ensure everything was in place.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by two sisters, Joanna Thomas and Barbara
Wright and one brother, Bradford Branch, Jr.

Joseph was the Patriarch of the Branch/Maddry Family. He was a devoted husband, father,
grandfather, brother, uncle, and friend.

Joseph leaves to cherish his legacy and memories his loving and devoted wife of 38 years, Jean
Branch (Boot); his son, Joseph Branch, Jr. (Patrina); daughter, Lady Wenneth Grant (Albert) of St.
Clair Shores, Michigan; two grandsons, Joseph Steven and Jared Lamar all of Portsmouth, Virginia;
two sisters, Madeline Dawson and Sandra Tynes (Barry) of Portsmouth, Virginia; two brothers,
Timothy A Branch (Laverne) of Portsmouth, Virginia, and Dr. Curtis W. Branch of Hackensack,
New Jersey; a special brother from another mother, Elder Ronald L. Teague (Andre) of Elizabeth
City, North Carolina; five sister-in-laws; four brother-in-laws; a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and
many extended family members and friends.
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Service Details

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  • Service

    Saturday, September 19th, 2020 | 11:00am
    Saturday, September 19th, 2020 11:00am
    Graves Funeral Home Chapel
    1631 Church St
    Norfolk, VA 23504
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Interment

    Riverside Memorial Park
    1000 E Indian River Rd
    Norfok, VA 23523
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


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Private Condolence
Apostle Vicki and The Masters Touch Ministries sent flowers to the family of Joseph McCoy Branch Sr.
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Terry & Feleece Williams

Posted at 11:48am
Evangelist Jean, we are truly going to miss Deacon Joe! He poured so much wisdom into our lives from teaching Terry how to properly shine his shoes, encouraging our children T.J. and Shay to get good grades in school, and for always telling me to keep my smile. We are there for you if you need us and we will continue to check on you and pray for you. We love you!
Apostle Terry & First Lady Feleece Williams - Light of the World Ministries

Eula Hedgebeth

Posted at 07:48am
Jean's siblings, fondly called Deacon Branch, (brother-in-law). He was loved and respected by all of us. There are too many fond memories to share. We knew he loved the Lord and exhibited it. Deacon Branch was a lovable person and also loved his (Boot).
He will truly be missed.

Ann Williams

Posted at 05:22pm

Jean, you & your family are in my prayers.
I will miss Joe's jovial personality & demeanor that always made me smile.
He will definitely be missed.
Sincerely, Ann Williams


Victoria Austin

Posted at 12:36pm
I had no idea that when I saw you last year Joe, it would be my last time. Jean, he will never be forgotten. So many funny and fond memories of you both. Love you Victoria Austin

Apostle Vicki and The Masters Touch Ministries

Posted at 11:33am
Jean, may the peace and strength of God be with you in this season. Love you
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