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.