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Obituary (VA): Alvin Deon Branch '51

Posted on 09/06/2018

Captain Alvin Deon Branch, 90, passed away peacefully at his home on September 2, 2018. He was born on June 24, 1928 in Norfolk, VA to the late Linwood and Iris Branch. Deon grew up working at the family's Virginia Beach Lynn-Dee Motel. He graduated from Maury High School in 1946, where he excelled in many sports. He attended Bullis Preparatory School in Maryland. He then entered the United States Naval Academy, and was commissioned in 1951. He was also a graduate of the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School and received a Master of Science degree in Operations Research. During his distinguished Naval career of over 30 years he commanded five ships, achieved the rank of Commodore, served in Korea, worked at the Pentagon, and received numerous decorations and awards, including the Navy Commendation Medal, National Defense Medal with Bronze Star, Korean Presidential Unit Citation, United Nations Service Medal, and the Korean Service Medal with two Bronze Stars. He was very proficient in mathematics, which was helpful in his next career after his retirement from the Navy as a stock and commodity broker for E. F. Hutton on Wall Street and then North Miami Beach. His brilliance with algorithms and statistics in developing commodity trading strategies led to a successful career in that field as well.

Deon was a principled man devoted to country and family. He married the former Jacqueline Tubbs of Virginia Beach in 1958. His home in Virginia Beach was constantly visited by friends and family, Deon's summer crab picking parties were can't miss events. He also was a long-time member of the Princess Anne Country Club. He was a tutor to the granddaughters he adored, Jacqueline, Madison, and Aven Oliver, helping them advance in their education. Deon was the patriarch and rock of his family. Although he was confined to a wheelchair for the last 30 years, he never complained and he always encouraged all to reach for the stars and achieve one's full potential. He lived what he preached, and will be truly missed.

Deon was preceded in death by his wife, Jacqueline Tubbs Branch, his son A. Deon Branch, Jr. his brother Linwood O. B. Branch, and his sister Jacqueline Branch. Survivors include his daughter, Dee B. Oliver and her husband, R. Boyd Melchor, his granddaughters, Jacquie A. Oliver, Madison B. Oliver and Aven S. Oliver, all of Virginia Beach, and many nieces and nephews.

A Funeral service will be conducted Saturday, September 8, 2018 at 11:00AM in Galilee Episcopal Church. Burial will follow at Eastern Shore Chapel Cemetery. The family will receive friends Friday afternoon from 4:00PM to 6:00PM at H.D. Oliver Funeral Apts. Laskin Road Chapel.

The family is deeply grateful for caretaker and good friend Lamont Galloway, as well as Angie Lynch, Michelle Putman, Mary Lou Smith, Nori Walters, Mavel Jagow and Linda Beecher. Online condolences may be made to the family at Memorial donations may be made to the Virginia Beach Rescue Squad.

Published in The Virginian Pilot on Sept. 6, 2018