Longtime Alaskan and Homer resident Mr. Jim H. Branson, 85, died Sunday, April 3, 2011, due to natural causes at South Peninsula Hospital in Homer, Alaska, with his wife Betty at his side.
At Jim’s request, there will be no services; however plans are being made for a Celebration of Life on June 18, 2011, in Halibut Cove and June 19, 2011, in Kodiak.
Jim was born March 26, 1926, to Harlan and Mable Branson in Astoria, Ore. A proud Army veteran, he served his country in the Philippines during World War II. Jim arrived in Wrangell in 1949 and began his fisheries career with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. From 1949 to 1988 he advanced from part-time enforcement agent to supervisory management in the National Fisheries Service and became the first executive director of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council, a position he held until retirement. He traveled extensively, working with foreign governments, represented the council in scientific forums, authored and co-authored a number of papers both published and unpublished. Jim was an accomplished pilot, seaman and outdoorsman; an avid reader, music lover and great story teller. Jim was married to Priscilla Pinkham and together they had four children. He later married Betty Irvine and was stepfather to three children. After his retirement in 1988 he and Betty moved to Halibut Cove, where they lived 20 years and continued his involvement as fisheries consultant, working in West Africa, Alaska and Canada. His key involvement with the following organizations was very important to him:
National Steller Sea Lion Recovery Team; Vice chairman, Advisory Panel to the School of Fisheries & Oceans, University of Alaska Fairbanks; National Review Panel for Saltonstall-Kennedy Program funding; Editorial Advisory Board, National Sea Grant Abstracts; Trade Dispute Settlement Panel under US/Canada Free Trade Act; American Fisheries Society; Rasmuson UA Fisheries Scholarship Committee; Aleutian Pribilof Island Community Development Association.
The family wrote, “Jim will be greatly missed by family and friends.”
Mr. Branson was preceded in death by his sister, Jeanette (Branson) Dumas; daughter Karen Branson; and stepson Greg Fader.
He is survived by his wife of 25 years, Betty; son Peter Branson of Wrangell; daughter Tamara Branson and her sons Varian Sanguinetti, Micah Sanguinetti and Zak Krom of Homer; son and daughter-in-law Steven and Martha Branson and their children, Alana, Candace, Marlon and Ryan of Kodiak; stepdaughter Sharon Pippin and her children Amy, Lily and Michael of Missouri; Greg’s children Tanya and Marcie Fader; stepdaughter and husband Leanne and Curtis Trahan of Nikiski. He had eight great-grandchildren.
Memorial contributions may be made in his name to the Homer Public Library; 500 Hazel Ave., Homer, AK. 99603.
Arrangements were by Peninsula Memorial Chapel.
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