Dorothy Ruth Brannon passed away peacefully on June 9, 2021 in her home in Texas City, Texas, at the age of 94.
Dorothy was born in Alabama to Samuel Whitley and Georgia Johnson. She came from humble beginnings and assumed the role of caregiver for her little sister when her mother died in childbirth. She picked cotton in the fields to help put food on the table. She had five brothers, but they would all tell you that she ruled the roost. It was from these roots that Dorothy emerged as the self-sufficient, determined, kind, and loving person who had a thirst for life and a drive to make a difference in the world.
Dorothy moved to Texas City with her brothers and sister when she was in her teens. She married Chester Brannon in 1946 … a love that lasted for almost fifty years until his death in 1995. They had two children together. She was a loving and devoted wife and mother. She was always there for her husband and children, but she needed more for herself and her family. Even though it was not popular for women to work out of the home, she continued to work as a secretary for the local Labor Union after she married. Later she went back to school to become a Physical Therapy Assistant and completed an Associate Degree from Texas City Community College. She worked at Danforth Memorial Hospital for over 35 years. She loved her profession and her colleagues and patients loved her.
Besides work and school, she had so many other interests and talents. She was deeply religious and spent time working in the church and teaching Sunday School. Next to God, Dorothy was most passionate about politics. No one escaped hearing about her point of view. She loved to debate the issues and she was a worthy adversary. Above all, though, she loved to fish and she would spend hours sitting on a dock with several lines in the water. When she caught one, she would scream with delight. There were so many fond and fun memories made with family and friends on camping and fishing trips to the Trinity River and Lake Buchanan. In 1976, Dorothy and Chester purchased a vacation home and land in the Wild Country Estates near Livingston. On weekends, she gardened, cooked wonderful meals, made friends with all the neighbors and kept her grandchildren when she could. She lived for her grandchildren and spent many hours with them teaching them about life and watching them play and grow. As everyone knows, family meant everything to her. She loved Christmas and always went to great effort to make Christmas special each and every year. She also took up painting and became a member of the Texas City Art League. She sold many of her paintings and donated other works to various organizations and businesses around town. Later in her life when her brother suffered a stroke, she became his primary caregiver and was with him until he passed away. After her retirement, she continued to be active in the church and enjoyed spending time with her friends and family.
Throughout her lifetime, Dorothy influenced so many lives whether they were colleagues, patients, family members, friends or just passersby who needed a helping hand. One person in particular was the young girl who lived next door. She saw her potential and took it upon herself to support and encourage her. That young woman went on to college and law school. She later became a judge. They have remained close to this day.
Dorothy was an amazing woman and stayed true to her roots and values. A part of her lives on in the hearts of her children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and all the many other lives she has touched over the years.
She is preceded in death by her husband, Chester Brannon; parents, Samuel and Georgia Whitley; brothers, Norman, Charles and Hilburn Whitley; sister, Virginia Whitley; and stepbrothers, Clyde and Ralph Holt.
Survivors include her children, Linda Brannon Gruner and Donald R. Brannon; grandchildren, Tiffany Samuelson and Donnie Brannon, Jr and Bryce and Stephanie Gruner; great grandchildren, Kyle, Ryan and Tyler Samuleson, Annie and Megen Brannon and Casey Northcutt, and Braxton and Aven Gruner.
The family would like to give special thanks to Mary Garcia and the caregivers from Home Instead who gave so much to make Miss Dorothy’s life easier and safe during her last months.
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