Irene June Branson, 90, passed away peacefully on Saturday, November 24, 2018, at BeeHive Homes in Missoula, Montana. She had lived in Missoula for the past four years. She was born June 27, 1928 in Los Angeles, to Willis Glen and Emma (Sternhagen) Smith, and was younger sister to siblings Laura and Gene Smith.
She married Delmer Branson on September 1, 1951, and they began their life together near Newport, Oregon. In early 1957, the family moved to Alaska before it became a state, first living in Girdwood, then Day Harbor, finally settling in Seward, where Irene resided for over 53 years. She and Del raised six children: Christine, Steven, Timothy, Carol, Jacqueline, and Cheryl.
Irene’s life in Seward was full and rewarding. She kept busy caring for her family, providing home day care to other families, and as the bookkeeper for Del Branson Logging. In later years she worked in retail and as an attendant at Seward Museum. She enjoyed attending activities at Seward Senior Center and participating in Marathon Homemakers.
Irene had opportunities to travel in the U.S., including a cruise in New England and a visit to Branson, Missouri. She also went on a tour to China with Del in 1984.
Irene was preceded in death by her husband Delmer in 1994, and children Carol and Steven. She is survived by her children Christine (Carl) Cain and Jackie Corcoran of Missoula, Tim Branson, La Habra, California, and Cheryl Von Sprecken, Parker, Colorado, as well as seven grandchildren and one great-granddaughter.
Irene will be remembered for her kindness and generosity. Her advice to a granddaughter included these words: “Live a good life, be happy, and trust in God for all things.”
Condolences can be left for the family at www.CremationBurialSocietyoftheRockies.com. Cremation has taken place, and a celebration of life is planned for the summer of 2019 in Seward.