Grover Cleveland Branton Jr.

Published 9:57 pm Monday, July 28, 2014

SUFFOLK — Grover Cleveland Branton Jr., 91, passed away Sunday, July 27. The oldest of seven children, he was devoted to his family and was a hard-working, kind, loving, patriotic man. His memory will live on in the many stories he loved to tell about the “old days.” He often relived the history of Whaleyville and Suffolk in great detail.

Grover was born in Drum Hill, N.C., Feb. 9, 1923. He was a lifelong member of Whaleyville United Methodist Church, having joined when he was a small boy. Recounting stories of churchyard picnics, youth groups and revivals of the church brought him great joy. He served in many capacities of the church over the years. Upon graduation of Whaleyville High School, he worked at the ammunition depot at Pig Point, joining the U.S. Navy in 1942 and serving in World War II. Grover returned from the war and married his sweetheart, Margie, in 1947. He worked as a farmer and millwright and at the Norfolk Ford Assembly Plant for almost 40 years, retiring in 2003 at the age of 80. He was a loyal UAW Local No. 919 member and attended retiree meetings until his death. He enjoyed the Ruritans, Young Farmers’ Club and Volunteer Fire Department. Grover liked the old-fashioned ways, was very polite and proper, and was very particular in the way things were done. He was a lover of big band-era music, bluegrass, and Lawrence Welk. He loved growing fruits and vegetables, hand-churning homemade ice cream, fishing, boating and roasting oysters with his family.

Grover was born to the late Grover C. Branton Sr. and Dollie Taylor Branton. He is predeceased by brothers, Robert Ralph, Henry Holmes, and Charles Lindbergh Branton, and sister, Ruth Branton Outland.

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Left to cherish his memory is his wife of 67 years, Margie and his children; G.C. Branton III and wife, Linda, of Whaleyville; Gail Spivey and husband, Shelton, of Windsor, and Penny Warren, of Yorktown; six grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren; sisters, Evelyn Clements, of Suffolk, and Sue Holding, of Townsend, Del.; and numerous nieces and nephews.

The family will receive friends at Whaleyville United Methodist Church, 6312 Whaleyville Blvd., on Wednesday, July 30, at 1 p.m. with a funeral service immediately following at 2 p.m., officiated by the Rev. Jack Meservey. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to any of Grover’s passions: Whaleyville United Methodist Church, Whaleyville Volunteer Fire Department, or Disabled American Veterans. R.W. Baker & Company Funeral Home and Crematory, 509 W. Washington St., Suffolk, is serving the family. Condolences may be expressed to the family at