Dr. Vernon L. Branson
Services for Vernon L. Branson, 88, Lawrence, will be at 11 a.m. Saturday at Trinity Episcopal Church in Lawrence.Dr. Branson died Monday, June 19, 2006, at Presbyterian Manor in Lawrence.He was born in 1917 in Webb City, Mo., the son of Burl and Orphia Branson. He attended public schools in Webb City and Osawatomie, Kan. He graduated from Osawatomie High School and attended Fullerton State College in California, where he was a guard on the Southern California champion basketball team of 1936-37. He graduated from Kansas University and received his M.D. from KU Medical School in 1942. He moved to Lawrence in 1955.Dr. Branson served in the U.S. Navy as a lieutenant for three years during World War II. He served in the Amphibious Corps, Standard Landing Craft Unit 5, and two years in the South Pacific Theater. He was an intern at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital in California. He completed residencies in pediatrics and pathology at KU Medical Center in 1949. He started a private practice in pediatrics in Beatrice, Neb. He later assumed the pediatric practice of Dr. Mary Boyden and worked as a pediatrician until 1997 with Dr. Helen Gilles and later Dr. Chuck Loveland, Dr. Terry Riordan and Dr. Beth Rundquist. He served as a physician to The Shelter Inc., Boys Achievement Place and The Villages. He worked regularly as a volunteer physician for Health Care Access, a Lawrence program for medically indigent people.He served as president of the Lawrence Memorial Hospital medical staff and Kansas Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics. He established the Birth Defects Center at KU Medical Center and taught in the Department of Pediatrics at KU Medical Center. He served on many organizations at the local and state level, including the Committee of 100 of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Governor's Commission on Children with Special Health Care Needs and Kansas Task Force on Prevention of Developmental Disabilities. He was president of the Douglas County Association for Retarded Citizens and a founding member of the board of directors of Cottonwood Inc.Dr. Branson married Jessie Marie Cassidy in 1942. They celebrated their 64th wedding anniversary in April 2006. She survives, of the home.Other survivors include a son, Samuel Branson, Lawrence; three daughters, Johanna Branson, Medford, Mass., Martha Berger, Wauwatosa, Wis., and Rosemary Jones, Lee's Summit, Mo.; and eight grandchildren, Amanda, Rosemary and Sophia Branson Gill, Roseanna and Henry Berger and Peter, Hannah and Daniel Jones.The family suggests memorials to Cottonwood Inc. or Trinity Episcopal Church, sent in care of Warren-McElwain Mortuary in Lawrence.