Marvin Elmer Branch was born to Elmer & Margaret Branch on May 11, 1929 in Wilkeson, Washington at the home of his grandparents, Andrew & Lillian White.
His first year of school was in Coulee City, Washington while his dad worked on the construction of the Grand Coulee Dam. They then returned to Enumclaw, Washington where he graduated with the class of 1947-Go Tigers!
After high school Marve took geology courses at the University of Washington. There he was hired by Standard Oil Company to join an exploration team to survey the southeastern area around Homer, Alaska. He spent two summers slogging through the muskeg carrying a heavy pack and a rifle, dealing with mosquitos and grizzlies. His most vivid and terrifying memory was of an encounter with one of those grizzlies chasing and climbing into his boat after him! He survived the bear attack and later a bout with polio.
He worked with his dad all his young life, as a teenager first hauling much needed equipment supplies to Hanford during WWII. He told us of stopping on old highway 90 to wait for huge herds of wild horses to cross. After the war he worked in the woods for Branch & Qualls Logging Company where he ran machinery and drove log truck.
Marve met his future wife when he took a friend home on military leave, to visit a girl with whom he corresponded. It was love at first sight. They were married at the home of his parents in Enumclaw on February 23, 1952, followed by a large reception at the Silver Tree Hall in Veazie.
In the late 1950’s Marve entered the heavy construction field. He was a member of the IUOE, local #302 for over 60 years. He ran a lot of heavy equipment including several different types of cranes, but mostly tower cranes towards the end of his career. Some of his jobs included the Seattle jail, Harborview Hospital, and the King Dome.
Marve had a lifelong love affair with horses, beginning with Peanuts, bought with money he and his brother Jerry earned by picking cucumbers and cascara bark and selling eggs. He covered many miles riding with family and friends throughout the Cascade Range. He was a member of a group of retired back country horsemen who were named by his wife as the “The Over the Hill Gang”.
He leaves us with memories of holiday traditions, hunting camps, putting in the hay, fishing and horseback riding, family birthdays around the dining room table.
Family held top priority with him. Marve & Joyce were blessed with three children, Jill Miller Yonkers (Roland), Jim Branch (Glenda), and Colleen West (Scott); seven grandchildren, Kyle Yonkers, Travis Yonkers (Corrine), Chad West (Kristine), Shane West (Kate), Kelli Branch, and Charles Branch; six great grandchildren, Jordan Delile (Kale), Haley & Haden Yonkers, and Summer, Wyatt & Sadie West; and 2 great-great grandchildren, Boston and Gunnar (to be born soon). He is preceded in death by his parents; brother, Jerry; sister, Mavis; and grandson Nolan.
A private family service was held on Saturday, October 31, 2020 in his backyard, officiated by Pastor Eric Wooldridge of Trinity Lutheran Church.
We appreciate any thoughts or memories of Marve you would like to share on the tribute wall.
There will be a larger celebration of life to be determined during the spring. Should you like to be notified, please comment on the tribute wall.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Marvin Elmer Branch, please visit our floral store.