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Joan Glenn Branyon
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Obituary for Joan Glenn Branyon

Joan Glenn Branyon, 87, of Waco, passed away Tuesday, August 22, 2017, at Baylor Scott & White-Hillcrest Hospital. A graveside service will be held 11:00 a.m., September 1, at Oakwood Cemetery with Rev. Ron Durham presiding. Visitation will be held 6:00-8:00 p.m., Thursday, August 31, at Wilkirson-Hatch-Bailey Funeral Home.

Joan was born on August 22, 1930, in Cisco, Texas, to P.B. Glenn and Mintora Mayhew Glenn. Soon after, the family moved to Breckenridge, Texas, where she attended grade school. In 1942, they moved to Palestine, Texas, where she enjoyed her school friends and spent time with family. She graduated from Palestine High School in 1947. After graduation she moved to Waco, Texas, to continue her education at Baylor University. She enjoyed her years at Baylor, where she was a member of Pi Alpha Lambda sorority (later affiliated with Chi Omega national Panhellenic sorority). She formed many lifelong friendships, and met the love of her life and best friend, Thomas A. Branyon, Jr., of Fayette, Alabama. She graduated in 1951 with a Bachelor of Arts in English and Secondary Education. Because she had promised her father that she would wait until after her 21st birthday, she and Tommy were married on August 25, 1951, at the First Baptist Church of Palestine. Tommy was drafted soon after, so she followed him first to Kentucky and then to Europe, where they enjoyed an extended honeymoon, while he served in the U.S. Army as an accountant and auditor for the military installations in France and Germany.

They returned to Waco in 1955, where Tommy went to work for L.L. Sams, and Joan began her career as a school teacher, first at Lorena High School, and later at University Junior High in Waco, teaching English and Spanish. Their daughter, Mary Kathleen (Kathy) was born in 1956, followed by their son, Michael Keith, in 1958. They were active members of Columbus Avenue Baptist Church, where Joan taught Sunday School and Vacation Bible School and played the piano, while Tommy served on the budget and finance committees. Their daughter and son sang in the choirs at church and school, studied piano and participated in sports. The family enjoyed swimming, fishing and hunting together. Tommy moved to North American Rockwell, and he and Joan also played bridge and bowled with his new colleagues.

In 1968, Joan began teaching at North Junior High, where she remained until the school closed. When Tommy went to work for Baylor as Budget Director (later Vice President/Fiscal Planning) in 1970, Joan went back to school in the summers to earn her Masters. In 1972, she received her Masters in American History & Literature. Joan began teaching America History, and continued until she retired in 1984. She became a lead history teacher in the Waco Independent School District, and mentored many student teachers. She formed a Junior Historian chapter at North Junior High, taking them to the county History Fair each year. When North Junior closed, she moved to Waco High until her retirement. Many of her students were inspired to become teachers themselves, and several of them were student teachers with her. She loved teaching and she loved her many students through the years. She always enjoyed learning of their successes. She continued to substitute teach in Waco and in Midway until 2002.

In addition to teaching she was active in the Pi Alpha Lambda and Chi Omega alumni groups, the Baylor Round Table, the Baylor Retired Faculty and Administrators, Waco Retired Teachers and her Sunday School class. She enjoyed the Baylor School of Music choir concerts, organ concerts and orchestra concerts, as well as the plays of the drama department. She traveled Germany and Austria several times with her daughter and son-n-law, who were singing opera there at the time. She also traveled to Canada and Alaska with her son and daughter-in-law. When her daughter and son-in-law moved to northern California, she visited them several times there, most recently, for Christmas 2016.

Joan is preceded in death by her beloved husband, Thomas A. Branyon, Jr.; her dearest sister, Margaret Ann Douglas; her parents, P.B. and Mintora Glenn; and her nephew, Glenn Douglas.

She is survived by her daughter, Kathleen (Kathy) Branyon and husband, David Goodman, of Mountain View, California; her precious granddaughter, Margaret Branyon-Goodman, a senior at Baylor; and by her son, Keith Branyon and wife, Dana Womack of Ft. Worth. Other survivors are her brother-in-law, Eddie Douglas; her niece-in-law, Janet Douglas; and great-nephews, Robert and Davidson Douglas. She is also survived by niece, Sarah B. Kaarst and husband, Erik, and great-nephews, Andrs and Hunter; sister-in-law, Peggy Branyon; nieces, Tenza B. Flowers and Julie B. Kelton and their families; nephews, Mark and David Branyon and their families. Additionally, there are numerous cousins scattered across the United States. Kathy would like to thank Joan’s dear friend, Sharon Thurmond, who devoted herself to spending time with Joan every day since her stroke, and also to the many family friends who have visited Joan and been so helpful to Kathy since Joan became sick. Thank you, and God Bless!

In lieu of flowers, contributions, in Joan’s honor, can be made to: the “Tom and Joan Branyon” Baylor School of Music Endowed Scholarship (#440SDDL) through the Office of Development, or to: to build up her granddaughter Margaret’s college fund. The family invites you to leave a message or memory on our “Tribute Wall” at

To send flowers or a remembrance gift to the family of Joan Glenn Branyon, please visit our Tribute Store.

Previous Events





6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Wilkirson-Hatch-Bailey Funeral Home

6101 Bosque Blvd.
Waco, TX 76710





11:00 AM
Oakwood Cemetery

2124 S. 5th St.
Waco, TX 76706

Cemetery Details


Oakwood Cemetery

2124 S. 5th St.
Waco, TX 76706


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