Malcolm F. Branson Jo Ann Cook Robert P. Osmar Allen Tru McGrady

Posted: Friday, February 18, 2000

Malcolm F. Branson

Ketchikan resident Malcolm F. Branson died Jan. 31, 2000, on Alaska Airlines Flight 261. He was 39.

Memorials for Mr. Branson and his fiancee Janice Stokes, also a passenger on Flight 261, have been held in Seattle, Wash., and Ketchikan. A remembrance will be held at Cooper Landing Community Club on May 13, 2000, at 2 p.m.

Mr. Branson was born May 10, 1960, to Ralph B. and Margaret Aber Branson at Sitka. He lived at Cooper Landing, where he attended school through the eighth grade. He graduated from Susan B. English High School in Seldovia in 1978. After working as a page for the Alaska State Senate, he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force, serving at San Antonio, Texas. He returned to Alaska and worked at Kenai Lake Lodge. He also worked for four years on the Alaska Marine Highway's ferry Tustumena beginning July 1993. He started out as a steward and worked his way up to able bodied seaman. Mr. Branson was active in the Inland Boatmen's Union of the Pacific and served as a ship delegate. After attending the Maritime Academy in Seattle, he rejoined the Alaska Marine Highway at Ketchikan, working in the engine room as an oiler, with the aim of becoming a marine engineer.

His shipmates and long-time friends remember him "as easy going and hard working with a consistently positive and happy outlook on life, an excellent shipmate."

Mr. Branson's family said he was an avid fly fisherman, photographer and climber. Even as a student in the Cooper Landing one-room school, he was asked by the teacher to give the biology and botany lessons to the younger pupils. He spent many hours taking his nieces and nephews exploring around Seward and Cooper Landing, pointing out the wonders of nature. He was a caring, gentle man and an excellent cook. He liked to keep his surroundings in meticulous order.

Mr. Branson was preceded in death by his father Ralph B. Branson.

He is survived by his mother Margaret A. Branson of Seward; sister Melissa Aber Fouse of St. Andrews, Scotland; brothers and sisters-in-law Seth and Vanessa Branson of Fairbanks and Alec and Melissa Branson of Seward; nephews Derrick, Mikael and Josh Branson; and nieces Kendra and Scottie Branson.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Providence Alaska Foundation/Seward, P.O. Box 365 Seward, Alaska 99664.

Jo Ann CookP>

Longtime Soldotna resident Jo Ann Cook died Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2000, at Central Peninsula General Hospital in Soldotna. She was 53.

A visitation for Mrs. Cook will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. Saturday at Peninsula Memorial Chapels in Kenai. Further services will be held in Paris, Texas.

Mrs. Cook was born Feb. 23, 1946, in Paris, to Joe and Gladys Gaylor. She was raised and educated in Paris.

On June 4, 1965, she married Steve Cook at Paris. They moved to Soldotna in 1978, where Steve went to work for Homer Electric Association.

A family friend wrote, "During her years in Alaska, Jo Ann was a wonderful mother and dear wife. She showed concern, love, friendship and patience to all her many friends and will be greatly missed. The lights of her life were her two sons and her youngest grandson, Dallas. She also enjoyed her pets and collecting different items."

She was a member of the Church of God in Soldotna.

Mrs. Cook was preceded in death by her parents.

She is survived by her husband of 34 years, Joe; son Bradly of Florida; son and daughter-in-law Chris and Charity of Washington; three grandchildren, Dallas, Paris and Josh; and brothers Jim Gaylor of Paris and Bill Gaylor of Dallas, Texas.

Memorial donations may be sent to the Cook family at P.O. Box 2637 Soldotna, Alaska 99669.

Local arrangements were made by Peninsula Memorial Chapels.

Robert P. Osmar

Longtime Kasilof resident Robert P. Osmar died Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2000, at his residence in Kasilof. He was 55. Arrangements are pending with Peninsula Memorial Chapels.

Allen Tru McGrady

Kenai resident, Allen Tru McGrady died Saturday, Feb. 12, 2000, at Providence Hospital in Anchorage.

He was 66.

Funeral services will be held at 4 p.m. Feb. 21 at the First Baptist Church in Kenai. Deacon Bill Milewski will officiate. Burial will be at a later date in Spruce Grove Memorial Park, Kasilof.

Mr. McGrady was born on July 25, 1933, at Mountain Air, N. M., the son of Jesse and Vera (Bain) McGrady. He graduated from high school at Carlsbad, N. M.

In 1953, he married Vivian Stone at Carlsbad. The couple moved to Alaska in 1957, making their home in Kenai. He was a member of the Laborer's union and worked as a Teamster truck driver for Doyle's Fuel Service before retiring in 1988.

Mr. McGrady was a member of the Elks Lodge and a volunteer fireman for the Kenai Fire Department in the early years. He also was a Kenai City Council member.

He enjoyed hunting, woodworking, fishing and motor home travels. He also greatly enjoyed gardening.

His family wrote, "Thank you for being a loving husband, father and grandfather. Everything you shared with us was a valuable gift. We will miss your flowers in the spring. The memory of you will always be in our hearts."

Mr. McGrady is survived by his wife of 47 years, Vivian; sister Eloise of Arizona; brother and sister-in-law Harold and Beanie McGrady of Kenai; daughter Pam Burnett of Kenai; daughter and son-in-law Ginger and Rick Self of Sterling; son David McGrady of Sterling; grandchildren Travis and Pepper Burnett, Trent Burnett, Sarah and Dwayne Self, Ryan, Dawn, Kevin and Daren McGrady and Corey, Kelly, Kaeli and Kelsey Self; and great-granddaughter Paytience Burnett.

Memorial donations may be sent to the scholarship fund of the giver's choice.

Arrangements were made by Peninsula Memorial Chapels.

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