Class Of 1964 USAF Academy

George's History

Gone But Not Forgotten

BranchSm.jpg Lieutenant Colonel George H. Branch III, born in Lansing, MI, died January 25, 2001, after a battle with cancer. He passed away peacefully at his daughter's home with his family by his side. He joins his wife of 35 years, who passed in January 2000, also from cancer. He spent his life serving his family and his country and will forever be missed in our hearts. It has been nearly eight months since the death of my father. Add a year to that for my mother and still it is hard to keep the tears at bay. To sit down and once again open up the flood doors to those emotions of sadness and loss is very difficult at best.

I guess what I would like to do is first is thank all of the personnel who sent love and support during our time of need and grief. There were so many letters, cards and phone calls, I was at first overwhelmed. The second would be to share the poem my father wrote to my mother for her 55th birthday.

You are the bridge to my world.

You provide a strong, secure link to the things I value and need:

My children -- My emotions -- My spirituality.

You talk to me with words and touch.

You tell me things I need to hear.

You express your needs so I can help you.

You paint reality and call up my emotions.

You tell me you love me and I believe it with all my heart.

You teach me that it's all right to be vulnerable.

You have fear, but you are not afraid.

You have weakness, but you are not weak.

You show me that life is not defined by destinations,

But by the journey made up of the day-to-day events.

You never give up.

By having children, you have given life to the world.

By having my children, you have given my life meaning,

That will last beyond my worldly experiences.

And I promise to take this relationship that I cherish to eternity with you.

We miss them both.

(Terrri L. Newton, Gone But Not Forgotten, Checkpoints, Fall 2001)
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