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1935 Mary 2021

Mary Ellen Braneff

October 31, 1935 — September 4, 2021

Mary Ellen Roebuck Braneff passed away at College Street Health Center on September 4, 2021, at the age of 85 surrounded by her loving family. Mary passed after a long, heartbreaking battle with Alzheimer’s. It robbed her of her intellect, her personality, and eventually her life. She faced her breast cancer diagnosis in 2018 and broken hip in 2019 with the same grit and determination she faced Alzheimer’s. Mary Ellen was born in Gilmer, Texas, on October 31,1935, the only child to Ed and Allie Roebuck. She attended elementary school in Beaumont and high school in Vidor. After moving to Vidor for high school, she met her future husband, Henderson Braneff. Coming from an only-child family and being the quiet, shy type, when she was introduced to Henderson’s family for the first time, she thought she had stepped into a zoo. They were high energy – teasing, whooping and hollering, even throwing firecrackers into the house. Little did she know she would give birth to the same kind of kids years later. After Mary Ellen and Henderson married a year later, they were soon blessed with five children. She was kept extremely busy with her five kids and cooking huge meals every day for everyone, including all the friends, boyfriends, girlfriends, and “strays” that happened by. She always cooked way too much because she never knew how many people would show up for dinner. Mary Ellen learned to rule her rambunctious children with the precision of a drill sergeant in overseeing household chores. Each child had detailed duties at home. Beds were made military style, furniture was dusted under inspection, and clothes had to be ironed properly. As the kids got older, Mary Ellen and Henderson worked side by side in their family business, which grew into a very successful trucking line and lumber company. All the kids, at one time or another, worked there. She was devoted to her faith and rounded up her children most Sundays for church. She and Henderson were always in the stands cheering their children on at all their various school functions. Tired of her daughters constantly calling her at the beauty shop, she told them one fateful day that will live in infamy to not call her at the beauty shop unless the house was on fire. That same day one of her daughters burned half the kitchen down when she left the stove unattended to talk on the phone. When the daughters called Mary Ellen at the beauty shop and told her the kitchen was on fire, she thought it was a joke and said, “Yeah, right. I told you not to call me at the beauty shop,” hung up the phone and proceeded to get her hair styled. This was only one of many such adventures in life with our mother.
Mary Ellen is survived by her children: Christine Wolfe and husband, David, of Vidor; Vicki Friedman and husband, Gary, of Houston; Rhonda Carpenter and husband, David, of Vidor; Billy Braneff and fiancé, Wanda Robichaux, of Vidor; and Larry Braneff of Vidor. Grandchildren: Stephen Wolfe, Hayley Friedman, Matthew Braneff, Ben Braneff, Stephanie Braneff, Allie Braneff, Nick Braneff, Jessica Braneff, Julie Braneff, Maeghan Braneff, Mallory Braneff, Aiden Braneff, and 14 great-grandchildren. She is also survived by her wonderful caregiver, Pam Braneff. She was preceded in death by her husband of almost 70 years, Henderson, and her parents Ed and Allie Roebuck. She was also preceded in death by her precious grandson, Aaron Wolfe. We will miss her smile and sense of humor. She and Henderson are now reunited and rejoicing in heaven with loved ones. We look forward to our homecoming in heaven with her. Mom, we miss you and love you. A private graveside service will be held with immediate family members due to Covid and family members with immune disorders.

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