In Memory

Thomas Russel Braniff - Class Of 1947

Thomas Russell Braniff Nov. 19, 1929 - July 2, 2016

Thomas Russell Braniff, 86, of Vale, Oregon passed away peacefully in his sleep Saturday, July 2nd, 2016 in his home.

Tom was born November 19, 1929 in Ontario, Oregon, son of Robert Joseph Braniff and Mattie Susan Craig. The first 3-years of his life he was raised in a tent on various construction sites owned by his Grandpa Craig, where they built roads with 4-horse teams and Fresno Scrapers which moved 1/4 yard of dirt at a time. The construction company owned 25-team of horses and employed about 40 men. Tom learned to walk, talk and cut his teeth in these construction camps.

In 1931 Tom's parents decided to settle down and farm. They rented the old VT place at Bully Creek from H. R. Dunlop and Leo Smith, where they raised hay and fed cattle. Tom, his sister Jean, and a neighbor rode three on a horse 2.5 miles to school each day. They attended a one room school house where he attended grades 1- 8. There was no plumbing in the school. Water had to be hauled from a nearby farm for drinking and they burned sagebrush in the winter to keep warm.

Tom graduated from Vale Union High School in 1947, after which he helped his father on the farm and leveled land for Arch Hawkins until he was drafted into the army in 1950.

He spent two years in the army, stationed in California, Maryland, Japan and Korea. When he got out of the army he went back to leveling land and started his own business. He later added concrete ditch construction to his business.

Tom married Rosemary Johnson in 1962 and together they raised eight children. It was the 2nd marriage for both of them. At one time in his life he had eight teenagers living in his house at the same time.

Tom is survived by his brother  Bill Braniff, seven of his eight children, Patick Braniff, Susan Hancock (Doug), Connie Crowe, D'Ann Blair (Mark), Robb Bair (Darla), Todd Braniff (Violeta), Tom Braniff Jr. (Kim), 3O grandchildren and 48 great grandchildren.  He was preceded in death by his wife Rosemary and his daughter Debbie Stretch.

Funeral services were held Saturday, July 9th at 10:00 am at the Lienkemper Chapel, Vale. He was laid to rest at Valley View Cemetery.