Patricia (Pat) Branch, of Saranac Lake, died on Jan. 19, 2022 at Elderwood of Lake Placid with family at her side.
Pat, daughter of Ethel and Lawrence LaVallee, was born on Jan. 16, 1934 in Potsdam. She married her high school sweetheart, Roland (Dud) Branch, on Oct. 10, 1953 at St. Bernard’s Church in Saranac Lake.
Pat attended St. Bernard’s School and graduated from Saranac Lake High School before attending Potsdam Teacher’s College. Pat was known and loved as “Mrs. Branch” during her 28-year tenure at Bloomingdale School. At the time of her retirement, she received the Saranac Lake Central School District Employee of the Year Award. Throughout her years as a teacher’s aide, she also spent decades as the village court clerk for Saranac Lake. She was honored to receive the Liberty Bell Award from the Franklin County Bar Association for her years of service to the court system. Over the course of her life, Pat volunteered as a CYO leader and for High Peaks Hospice. She was an avid St. Bernard’s Church parishioner whom, on weekdays, would attend and follow-up with her coffee group ladies at the Blue Moon Cafe.
Pat was the root of her family; she was their supporter and cheerleader. She attended as many sporting events, concerts and activities of the like, near or far, that she could. Her kitchen table was everyone’s home base. There you’d always find any of her children, grandchildren and even their friends. She would always have a listening ear and kind words for anyone in need. And snacks. Lots of snacks. She will be remembered as she prided herself – with honesty and integrity.
Pat was predeceased by her parents, her brother Monsignor William LaVallee, an infant son Thomas Edward, and husband of 58 years, Dud. She is survived by seven children and their spouses: Kathy (Ricky) Knapton, of Ashville, North Carolina, Theresa (Allen) Daunais of Saranac Lake, Larry (Linda) Branch of Saranac Lake, Dickie (Sharon) Branch of Saranac Lake, Sally (John) Muldowney of Saranac Lake, Billy (Nicole) Branch of Clifton Park, and Melanie (Tommy) Strack of Saranac Lake. She is also survived by her sister, MarySue (Robert) Arnold of Willsboro, was Nana to 18 grandchildren and Nana B. to 23 great-grandchildren.
Due to COVID-19, there will not be any calling hours. A mass of Christian burial will be held at St. Bernard’s Church on Wednesday, Jan. 26 at 3 p.m. with Fr. Patrick Ratigan officiating. The public is welcome to attend in person (masks required) or virtually via Fortune Keough Funeral Home’s live streaming of the funeral service on their Facebook page. A burial and graveside service will take place in St. Bernard’s Cemetery in the spring.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made in Pat’s memory to St. Bernard’s School in care of the funeral home. Family and friends can also share their condolences and memories at fortunekeoughfuneralhome.com.