Captain Daniel B. Branch, Jr, USN retired, died on October 21, 2013 of complications from mesothelioma cancer at the age of 75.
Memorial services will be held Thursday October 24, at 2:00 pm at St. Ambrose Episcopal Church, located at 7520 South Boulder Road, Boulder, CO. Burial services will be held at a future date at the US Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD.
Dan was born in Greenbelt, MD, in 1937, and graduated in 1959 from the US Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD. He was also a distinguished graduate of the Naval War College and received a Master's degree in International Affairs from George Washington University. He received many awards during his naval career including numerous Letters of Commendation, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, the Defense Superior Service Medal and several Battle Efficiency award ("Battle E"). He held the honor of being the youngest captain of a nuclear submarine at age 34.
Dan achieved the rank of Captain during his 30 years of service in the US Navy. In 1990, he entered the civilian world, moving to Boulder to work at the Rocky Flats Plant of EG&G, where he held multiple executive positions including Program Chief Engineer for Nuclear Operations and Division Manager for Compliance and Performance Assurance. Upon retirement from Rocky Flats Dan worked as an independent consultant in the nuclear field, lending his knowledge in support of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station accident for Bloomberg, Inc. in 2011. In his retirement years, Dan was very involved in the Naval Academy Alumni Association and the Navy League of the United States, where he served as the National President, from 2009-2011, presiding over 50,000 volunteers on a global basis.
Dan is predeceased by wife Sheila Branch and by sister Shirley Ingraham; survived by sisters Kay Chappell of Crofton, MD, Barbara Fuston of Paris, TX, and Jane Murphy of Owings, MD; wife Kathleen Branch of Boulder, CO; daughter Mary Branch and daughter-in-law Gwen Reilly, of Wilmington, NC; daughter Kate Gallucci and son-in-law Michael and three grandchildren Sarah, James, and Connor of Oradell, NJ; daughter Susan Branch of Oradell, NJ; son Dan Branch and daughter-in-law Caroline and three grandchildren Clara, Cullen and JR of Atlanta, GA; stepson Matthew Zarracina of Minneapolis, MI; and stepson Alan Zarracina and fiancé Lindsey Lassiter of Wilmington, NC.
In lieu of flowers, donations should be made to the United States Naval Academy Foundation (www.usna.com) or the Navy League of the United States, 2300 Wilson Blvd, Arlington VA 22201 (www.navyleague.org).