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 Dillard Nelson Branson

Dillard Nelson Branson

Denver, Worth County, Missouri, USA
Death 19 Jul 1982 (aged 71)
Saint Joseph, Buchanan County, Missouri, USA
Burial Saint Joseph, Buchanan County, Missouri, USA
Memorial ID 14413288 · View Source
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Dillard Nelson Branson was born in Denver, MO. to Myrtle "Mirtie" (Packer) Defield and George Irvin Branson.

I was always told that my Grandfather owes his dark skin and features to French Canadian ancestry, but genealogy research has revealed no link to the Mediterranean area, and suggests that he could have been part Native American.

I believe that George Irvin Branson's mother, Sarah Ellen Ward, was Cherokee but have not found solid evidence to prove it and probably never will.

Update: I recently met an elderly gentleman who works at Memorial Park Cemetery who told me that the Bransons lived with many Native Americans and that several Native Americans worked at the Branson Furnace company. One of these Native Americans is still alive, and I'm trying to contact him.

As an adult, Dillard moved to St. Joseph, which is where he spent most of his life.

He died from lung cancer.

He worked in the Branson family furnace business in St. Joseph, MO with his brothers. And he later worked in construction in Dallas, Texas, helping build some of the early skyscrappers. He had a bad fall in the early 1970s, that ended his construction career.

He'd wanted to join the army during WWII, but the government wouldn't let him, because he worked in a vital area of production that benefited war efforts.

He was an extremely handsome man, and the ladies were crazy about him. He gave his heart, however, to Thelma George--his lifelong love. They celebrated their 50th anniversary in 1980. They rest side by side at Memorial Park Cemetery in St. Joseph.

The two are survived by four children; Phyllis Blue, Bonnie O'Connell, Joy Crowley, and Mickey Branson, all of St. Joseph, and numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Dillard had several siblings, including: Ella Branson, Fenton Branson, Lorraine Branson, Alpha Phillippe, and Welby Vernon Branson, all born in Denver, Worth County, Missouri.

His parents, and brother Welby, and sister Alpha Phillippe, preceded him in death.

His daughter, Bonnie O'Connell died on February 22, 2007.

Dillard loved nature--loved the great outdoors, fishing, gardening, and animals. He once had a pet raccoon. And he liked nothing more than going on a vacation to Canada so that he could fish. He used to have a plaque with a large sword fish on it from Canada.

He had a very kind and beautiful heart, and he is greatly missed.

I would like to thank Bob Barker for sponsoring my grandfather's grave. God bless you, Bob. Please leave flowers for his family.

Family Members


  • Created by: Bobette
  • Added: 25 May 2006
  • Find A Grave Memorial 14413288
  • Bob Barker
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Dillard Nelson Branson (18 Jul 1911–19 Jul 1982), Find A Grave Memorial no. 14413288, citing Saint Joseph Memorial Park, Saint Joseph, Buchanan County, Missouri, USA ; Maintained by Bobette (contributor 46842310) .