William F. Branch
June 25, 1946 – May 27, 2020
William F. Branch: His kind and generous heart beat for the last time on May 27, 2020. He was born June 25, 1946 to George F. and Eloise Compton Branch (both deceased) in Alexandria VA. Bill lived in Manassas, VA with his parents until he graduated from Osbourn High School, Class of 64’ where he was President of the National Honor Society, a member of the Student Council and was voted “Best All Around” and a member of the Key Club in both high school and college. After high school he enrolled in RPI (VCU) in the School of Business. While there he met the love of his life Joan Swanner. They were married before finishing college and started a family soon thereafter in their fan district home. Bill first worked for the VA Department of Highways and later performed the same job in the private sector. Bill then entered T.C. Williams School of Law, graduating in three years. After graduation he and his family moved to Ginter Park and Bill began working as an Estate and Gift Attorney for the I.R.S. for 36 years and from which he retired in 2007. He then began a second career at McGuire Woods LLC where he very was very happily employed until his second retirement at age 73. Before his first retirement, Bill and family moved to Hanover County where he enjoyed gardening, dogs, cats, horses, chickens, and goats. He enjoyed playing and coaching softball and also coached little league. Bill and Joan enjoyed restoring historic homes, collecting antiques, and visiting historic places and museums. Most of all they enjoyed family gatherings and their grandchildren’s sports, plays, concerts, and events. Left to mourn his passing are his devoted wife, Joan Swanner Branch, loving children; Eric and Christina, their children Ian (Angela Creery) and Lauren; Krista Branch Pope and Rudy, their children Maddy and Jackson; Phillip and Brenda, their children Corbin and Archer. Also his beloved sister Georgene Burton, his nieces and nephews, and countless friends and co-workers. Bill was preceded in death by his sister Mary Lou Polen. Bill never met a stranger and loved telling and hearing a good story. He was the quintessential gentleman. He supported environmental protection and animal rights. He was well-loved and will be missed by many. A celebration of his life will be announced as soon as conditions allow. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to Animals Asia.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Joan & family at this terrible time of loss.
Bill was a wonderful person and it is my privilege and honor to have known him.
May his memory be eternal.
My love and prayers go out to Joan and family in hope of some comfort for your enormous loss. Bill was truly one of a kind and he touched so many lives around him. I had the pleasure and honor of working with him over the years. There was always a great story to be told by Bill. I will honor his memory by sharing the ones that made us laugh the most when he reminisced about the days at the IRS.
Thanks for all that you did for me and the Famiky.
I will forever miss my Father, Friend, and Mentor.
Thank you to everyone who has wrapped our family in love and prayers. I am devastated to lose my father and my biggest fan. Hearing of your love for him, your memories, and your stories are bringing me and my family comfort at this time. I have always known that I was fortunate to be raised and loved by such a selfless, generous, humble man, but learning how he touched so many others is helping me to cope with this enormous loss. Many of you know that his joy and laughter were infectious, and he always left you with an encouraging word and a smile on your face. I hope you will please share your memories of him with us. It truly helps ease the pain. Thank you God for giving my dad to us. He was the best dad, Ompa, mentor, and friend. He left this world a better place .
Dear Joan and family I am so sorry to hear about this. What a wonderful man he was, May his memory be a blessing, and may he rest in peace. Sincerely, Elva A. Mapp
Our thoughts and prayers are with you, Joan, and the rest of your family. We are so sad to hear of Bill’s passing. He was a good friend and cherished co-worker, an excellent boss who had the biggest heart and always seemed mindful of the needs of others. He was so proud of his family, his children and grandchildren, and their activities and accomplishments. We will miss him.
Bill and I worked together for over thirty years; during that period, I always found him to be an exemplar in the workplace. We began working the same day in the Estate Tax Group (12 May 1975). Suzanne and I were shocked to learn of his demise; I know he will be sorely missed by anyone who has ever interacted with him.
It is just difficult for me to accept the fact that he is gone. One of the best …
Bill not only was my “boss” for five years (although he would shudder at that reference) but a wonderful friend. He injected humor and witty references, borrowed from various television shows, into work interactions that always made me laugh and kept routine tasks interesting. We had many conversations about his life filled with colorful and interesting friendships, and the large family he was so proud of, and it always ended with him saying what a fortunate life he had — and then he’d chuckle and shake his head. And he often commented that he didn’t know how he’d gotten so lucky to convince Joan to marry him so many years ago. I very much appreciate knowing Bill and feel fortunate that he touched my life with his generous and kind spirit and I’m sad knowing those days are gone – but they will never be forgotten. Joan and the entire Branch family – you have my deepest sympathy for your great loss. May you all find some comfort in knowing you were loved and cherrished deeply.
Bill not only was my “boss” for five years before he retired from McGuireWoods (although he would shudder at that reference) but a wonderful friend. He injected humor and witty references, borrowed from various television shows, into work interactions that always made me laugh and kept routine tasks interesting. We had many conversations about his life filled with colorful and interesting friendships, and the large family he was so proud of, and it always ended with him saying what a fortunate life he had — and then he’d chuckle and shake his head. And he often commented that he didn’t know how he’d gotten so lucky to convince Joan to marry him so many years ago. I very much appreciate knowing Bill and feel fortunate that he touched my life with his generous and kind spirit and I’m sad knowing those days are gone – but they will never be forgotten. Joan and the entire Branch family – you have my deepest sympathy for your great loss. May you all find some comfort in knowing you were loved and cherrished deeply.
My Ompa was the sweetest man I’ve ever known. Anyone who had the pleasure of meeting him knew of his kindness, generosity, and love. I’m so lucky to have had him has my grandfather. Ompa was my #1 fan. When I was little, he used to pick me up every day from school and take me to subway to get warm cookies. Those car rides home will be in my heart forever. I will miss hearing his voice, his laugh, and seeing him smile. I find comfort in knowing he is at peace. I love my Ompa with all of my heart and will miss him tremendously. If you have a story about him, please share. As my cousin Archer said, “ He has the most beautiful pair of wings.”
Tam one of Bill’s many friends whose life was touched by our great friendship.!We met in law school and I think mutually pushed ourselves to graduate. We played softball on teams he organized. My prayers go out to Joan and the kids. Losing a life presence like Bill will be impossible to fill. Thank you Bill for gracing my life.
I am so sorry to hear of Bill’s passing. He was such a kind and gentle man , also with a good sense of humor and so fun to be around. I will miss him.
Please accept my condolences on the loss of such a wonderful man. It was always such a pleasure when Bill would come to my office with one of his problem cases. I knew I be be in for a good story and even better laugh. Of all my years at IRS, he is one of the people never to be forgotten. My heart goes out to all of you during this time. You are in my thoughts and prayers. May all of the wonderful memories be of comfort, in the days and weeks ahead.
Bill was my “boss” for a number of years before I retired. He was always so gracious and effusive in his thanks and appreciation for anything I did for him. It’s just so hard to comprehend he’s no longer on this earth, but has gone on for bigger and better things. I know how much he loved his family and was effusive in his love for them. Joan was his love, his helpmate, his soul partner. I pray God will comfort her as only God can. He was one of a kind and though there’s nothing anyone can say to lessen the loss, please know I’m here if you need me Joan. See you later Bill!!
I had the honor of working with Bill for several years during his time at McGuireWoods. He was of course a neverending fount of knowledge about matters both technical and practical, but what struck me most was his curiosity. He was always interested in the nuances of whatever strange legal situation came across my desk, and asked the most probing questions to get to the heart of the matter. I will echo what many have said about his gentlemanly spirit and especially his kindness. In the years after I moved on from the firm and while he was still working there, we often saw each other at professional and educational events, and he never failed to seek me out and say hello, and to ask how I was doing. I knew this must be a consistent feature of all spheres of his life, but it is still good to read it here. My deepest condolences to Mrs. Branch and all the other family members. Bill will be dearly missed.
We will always remember the countless stories about Ompa and the kind heartedness and friendship of all the Branch family. We send our love and condolences to you. Ompa leaves behind an amazing legacy in not only his memory but in each of you. We love you.
I worked with Bill at the IRS for about 25 years and we became very good friends and became even closer after he retired from the IRS. I used to have a few beers and then dinner with Bill and George Bosher and another friend four or five times a year, usually at Caturra on Grove. When I found out Bill had a 2nd heart attack and died, I was devastated. Bill and I were the same age and we both had our first heart attacks in 2019. I still get sad every time I think about Bill now and how much I miss him, his sense of humor and he was just a lot of fun to be around. Joan I know you and your children will miss him for the rest of your lives.
Mike and I were shocked to receive your letter about Bill. Wish I lived closer and could give you a big hug. Joan it was great talking to you today. We spent a big part of our lives (great parts) with you all. Ginter Park, I am sure was never the same after we all moved on. Also , I will always remember Bill calling and trying to make me buy something over the phone. My hearts goes out to all of you. Come visit us in Frederick anytime.