Kathleen A. Branche

May 3, 1942 ~ January 20, 2024 (age 81) 81 Years Old

Kathleen Branche Obituary

Kathleen “Kathy” A. Branche, 81, passed away peacefully on January 20, 2024, at Samaritan Keep  Home.

Calling hours will be held Friday, January 26 from 4-6 PM at Hart and Bruce Funeral Home in Watertown, NY.

A funeral mass will be held on Saturday, January 27 at 11 AM at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Church in Watertown, New York.  Burial will follow at Glenwood Cemetery.

Kathy was born May 3, 1942, in Watertown, NY to Teresa (Shannon) and Edward Lynch. Later in life, she came to regard Clifford Alton, Teresa’s second husband, as her father. Kathy wasvery close to her grandmother, Mabel Shannon, and felt incredibly blessed by her love and support.

Kathy graduated from Watertown High School in 1960. She and her sister Jeanette started working at Samaritan Medical Center in dietary while they were in high school. She later became a ward secretary at Samaritan Medical Center and continued in that role at Samaritan Keep Home after having her children. She retired in 2000 after 34 years of service. Throughout her career, she forged many friendships with both residents and staff. Returning to Samaritan Keep Home as a resident in 2022, she continued to boss staff and patients around as if she was a staff member herself.

She married Lawrence E. Branche on May 28, 1966, at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Church. They celebrated 54 years of marriage prior to Larry’s passing in 2020.

Kathy was a lifetime member of the American Legion and the VFW, where she cherished fun times with family and friends. She was involved with the Association for the Blind, AARP, and contributed to various church activities throughout her life. Before Larry’s passing, they were regulars at various senior lunch gatherings and Samaritan retiree gatherings and were devoted groupies of the Patti Stanford band. Their happiest moments were spent dancing together and enjoying the companionship of friends and family. They found joy in organizing various cruise trips around the world, creating lasting memories along the way.

Kathy is survived by her two daughters: Michelle (Thomas) Reff of Watertown, NY, Lori (Michael) Panasci of Skaneateles, NY; five grandchildren: Jeremy (Megan) Reff, Olivia Reff, Anthony Panasci, Jack Panasci, and Aidan Reff; her great-grandchild Callum Reff; her sisters Donna Guyette of Carthage, NY and Eleanor Grupico of Watertown, NY; sister-in-law Pamela Alton of Syracuse, NY; brother and sister-in-law’s; Donald Branche (Karen) of Sackets Harbor, NY, Carolyn (Frank) Cimino of Huntersville, NC, Charles (Sheila) Branche of Sackets Harbor, NY, Phillip Branche of Rodman, NY, Phyllis (Michael) Halloran of Liverpool, NY, Kathleen LaClair of Sackets Harbor, NY, and many nieces and nephews.

In addition to her parents, Kathleen was predeceased by her loving husband Larry Branche, her brother Elmer Alton, her sister Jeanette and brother-in-law Joseph Melara, her brother-in-law William Branche, and sister-in-laws KiKi Branche and Melanie Branche.

Kathy cherished her time with family and friends and loved being with her grandchildren and great grandchild. She wasn’t happy unless she was busy—doing things around the house, entertaining people, planning, and attending family reunions, researching the family tree, baking, gardening. She was known to be the first to a party and the last to leave. Kathy and Larry were always there to lend a hand and to brighten someone’s day with their generosity.

The family is grateful for the compassionate care she received at The Lodge at Ives Hill and Samaritan Keep Home. We would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to Lynne Philley, NP, as well as the nurses and aides and the entire staff on the sixth floor.

In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Central Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired at 507 Kent St. Utica, NY 13206, or Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Church at 320 W. Lynde St. Watertown, NY 13601.

The family will be hosting a luncheon immediately following the burial and all are welcome to attend at the Ives Hill Country Club.

Online condolences may be left at www.hartandbrucefh.com

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