Merle Richard Branham, 78, of Springfield, went to be with the Lord at 1:35 pm. Friday, December 10, 2010 at Memorial Medical Center. He was born December 13, 1931 in Loami, Illinois to Jeff and Mabel Branham and they preceded him in death. Also preceding him in death are his daughter, Lisa Page; son-in-law, Dennis Frueh and three grandsons, Randy and Richard Branham and Teddy Luka, three brothers, Ray, Kenny and Jerry Branham; sister, Elnor Smith.
He married Helen Nika on March 18, 1951at Bethany Lutheran Church, and she survives. Also surviving are his children, Michael (Sandy) Branham, Jeff (Terri) Branham, Patricia Frueh, Carol (Tim) Luka and Nancy (Jim) Finn; grandchildren, Jennifer (Matt) Rhoades, Candi (Josh) Laurent, Andrea Frueh, Jacki Summers, Tim (Diane) Finn, Tim Luka (Fiance Amanda Tynan), Amanda Finn (Fiance’ Jason Heiss) Katie Page and her father, Jim; great grandchildren, Taylor Summers, Kamile Rhoades, Olivia Rhoades, Vincent Laurent and Victor Laurent; two sisters, Evelynn Jane and Lorraine Coet, and numerous nieces and nephews.
Merle worked at the International Shoe Factory, Allis Chalmers, the State Journal Register and he was the owner of Branham Plumbing. Merle was a Christian man who helped anyone in need. He was a member of First Church of God. He volunteered for years with Meals on Wheels. He enjoyed camping, woodworking, crafts and was a fixer of all things mechanical. He was often known as Mr. Fix It. He loved vacationing with his plumbing friends. He enjoyed playing pool with his grandkids and playing golf with his friends. His family was his world and he adored his grandchildren.
Burial will be at Oak Ridge Cemetery.
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