Homer Alaska - Obituaries

Story last updated at 7:19 PM on Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Jim H. Branson

March 26, 1926- April 3, 2011

Longtime Alaskan and Homer resident, Mr. Jim H. Branson, 85, died April 3, 2011, of natural causes at South Peninsula Hospital, with his wife Betty at his side.


Jim H. Branson

At Jim's request, there will be no services; however plans are being made for celebrations 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 Fisheries 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represented the council in scientific forums, authored and co-authored a number of papers both published and unpublished.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 involvement with the following organizations was very important to him: National Stellar 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 U of A 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.