William C. “Bill” Branom-aka-Winky and the Bluebird Manager…December 31, 1927 – April 7, 2013


A “Going Home Party” for Bill Branom was held on April 11, 2013 at the Hasty Friends Church in Hasty with Pastor Gary Pritchard officiating.

Bill was born on December 31, 1927 to Lee and Zelda (Longacre) Branom in a little, quiet town called Hasty in southeastern Colorado. Ironically, he lived within a ten- mile radius of his birth sight for his entire 85 years.  He barely missed being a New Year’s baby by a few hours (the first and last time he was early for anything). Since his birth he was a natural Po-Dunker, thus being dubbed the King of Po-Dunkers by Peg, his wife of 50 years. He always enjoyed life to the fullest and took time to smell the roses along the way. He had 4 siblings: Arleta Allen, Jake Branom, Don Branom, and Sam Branom. Bill, Arleta, and Jake were commonly known as the Three Musketeers. They enjoyed each other each and every day.  Bill was a dependable, faithful paper boy and mail carrier for many years for Arleta and Jake.

He is survived by his spouse Peggy (Ballard) Branom, and his children, Susan (Mark) Menz of Hasty, CO, Mary Ann (Jeff) Turner of McClave, CO, Amanda (James) Torrez of Denver, CO, and Troy Branom of Lamar, CO.  Also, a sister, Arleta Allen of McClave, CO, and two brothers, Lawrence (Jake) Branom of McClave, CO, and Sam (Susan) Branom of Ft. Morgan, CO survive him. He cherished and enjoyed his 9 grandchildren very much.  Brandon (Samantha) Menz, Kaila Menz, Chance Turner, Tayla Turner, Wacey Turner, Sara Turner, Tyler (Jennifer) Torrez, Jenna Torrez, and Jaidyn Branom.  Also, the great grandchildren were precious to Bill -little Tymprence and Cymberlee Menz and the twin girls, Olivia and Zoey Torrez.  He is also survived by loving nieces and nephews, many relatives, friends and community members.

He was preceded in death by his father, Lee Branom, his mother, Zelda Ailetha (Longacre) Branom, his brother Don Branom, his nephew, Kelly Allen and his sister-in-law, Donna Branom.

He graduated from McClave High School and at the age of 17 he began his life of working hard to help support his family with a full time job at the hay mill in McClave. He had fond memories of that first job and recalled working for John Sullivan and Cecil Hart. In the 1950’s he began his long employment for Bent County Road and Bridge. He learned the ropes of the road and bridge work from Floyd Cline. It was known if you showed up late for work that Floyd would quickly place you on duty with the rock pile in the heat of the day making sure you learned not to be late to work. Bill learned the lesson quickly, while Brother Jake spent a few more days on the rock pile. Bill became a skilled heavy equipment operator with the dragline being his specialty. Many men envied Bill of his expertise in his ability to drop a load of dirt on target. He was quick to train men, but many failed to be efficient at dropping the load where it needed to be.  Bill’s advice was, “Whatever you do, don’t hit the truck with the bucket” Bill worked for several foremen throughout the years before becoming the foreman. He maintained this position until his retirement in 1993 and mentioned many times how much he appreciated his workers. He fondly remembered Manuel Torrez, Arnold Sneller, Butch Kinder, and Junior Hernandez, as well as other county boys. Arnold and Manuel both attested to the fact that Bill was one heck of a boss and a great man.  During this time he also helped Lee Boettcher with his farming/ranching operation.

Bill enjoyed fishing, camping, and hunting. He especially enjoyed his many trips over to Black Mesa near Gunnison, Co to hunt deer. In recent years, he loved the camping trips over to Cuchara and LaVeta areas where he spent quality time with his family. Many hours were spent on the river fishing with Jake. One particular trip, the two old farts stayed later than anticipated, got lost in the tamaracks, dropped their flashlights, fell in a hole, and finally crawled out about 2:00 am with no fish to boot!

Winky also had a passion for tinkering. It was a great thing that he was mechanically inclined because Peg and the kids kept him busy fixing lawn equipment and bikes.  As soon as one was fixed, another one was in the shop.

One of his pet peeves was that the gas tank should be at least half full at all times, because you just never knew if someone would need to go to the hospital in the middle of the night. That was a life-long struggle to keep Peg’s gas tank full and keep her lined out.

Bill delighted in taking care of his and Jake’s small cattle operation. His last hope was to see one more calf born. He was not able to make the trip up to the farm to see the little white-faced calf born on April 3rd, however, Troy and Mandy got an excellent picture to show him. He said with a gleam in his eye, “Boy, that’s a little dandy.” So the calf’s name became Dandy!  Winky loved seeing the deer and the flock of turkeys up at the farm. Our dog, Paityn, was a huge enjoyment for Bill. Rarely, would you see him out and about without the company of his dog.

Bill was a very talented man. He could multi-task like no other! On a daily basis he was the head breakfast chef and dishwasher, trash man, mailman, paper boy, feeder of the birds, caretaker of the cattle, hay hauler, fence fixer, as well as many other small tasks. Peg didn’t realize how many tasks he accomplished until he couldn’t do them anymore because of his diminishing health. He was greatly appreciated by all!

Bill was a member of the Hasty Friends Church in Hasty for many years. He enjoyed his church family very much. He was also devoted to the McClave Cardinals and supported them over the years.  He rarely missed a game and traveled all over the country-side in Peg’s PT Cruiser as he fondly referred to it the “rough-riding Billy goat bucking son-of-a-gun”.

Bill was a good man, a great husband, a dear brother, a wonderful father and grandfather and a friend to many. He treasured the simple life and savored the simple pleasures. He had a heart of GOLD. One of the last pieces of advice Bill had to give was that in the end FAMILY is the most important thing a person can have.

Bill passed on the eve of April 7th to be with His Lord. As he rode off into the sunset on his red paint horse, perhaps many of you could imagine Bill saying, “You little hammerheads, be good and I’ll see you later!  Don’t forget I have my bluebirds watching you all.”  

Memorial contributions may be made to the Lamar Hospice or to the Hasty Friends Church either direct or in care of the Peacock funeral office.

Last, but not least, Bill would want to thank this wonderful community.  Everyone has been so generous and thoughtful – he would certainly want to thank each of you. The support from our small-town community is amazing and has had a positive impact on our family.  


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