(Ray) Gordon Branson, 68, of Simpsonville, SC, passed away at The Cedars in Leo, IN on September 23, 2017.
The son of Raymond and Ruth (Williams) Branson, he was born on September 18, 1949, in Lima, Ohio. In addition to his parents, Gordon is survived by his son, Geoff (Rachel) Branson; granddaughter, Emma Branson; sisters, Elaine (Ron) Cleven, and Earlene Grouse; and brother, Greg (Debbie) Branson.
Gordon earned a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from Indiana University, and built a successful career of more than 30 years in the transportation industry. His diverse background in logistics, supply chain and relocation services made him a recognized expert in national account development, customer service, sales management, and contract negotiations. He was active in the Greenville Chamber of Commerce and other business organizations. Testimonials to Gordon’s professional dedication include comments about his commitment to helping others succeed and his resourcefulness in problem-solving. One colleague remarked, “If you are coming to or moving from the Upstate, he is the first person to call.”
On the personal side, Gordon enjoyed music and cooking, and shared both enthusiastically with his friends. He loved entertaining in his home and always made people feel welcome. One of his favorite pastimes was attending concerts, both choral and symphony. But you could also find him dancing in the aisles at the Fellowship, where he regularly sang in the choir. While he was in high school, he started a three-person band and played the keyboard. Gordon was intrigued by Science and the Cosmos, and he took pride in his gardens of flowers and vegetables. Gordon was an active member of the Greenville UU Fellowship for 20 years.
He volunteered from his earliest days and hosted many delightful dinners in his home as fundraisers. Over the years, he assumed leadership roles as Chair of Buildings & Grounds, Denominational Affairs, Sunday Services (for several years), and as Coordinator of the Covenant Circles. Gordon also facilitated a Covenant Circle in his home for many years, leading thoughtful explorations on a variety of topics and skillfully keeping the discussion in balance. He served as President of the Board of Trustees in 2002.
Though Gordon lived long distance from his family, he remained close to them, especially his young granddaughter, Emma, who was the light of his life. They were fond of sending cards to each other. Friends remember Gordon as: “the kindest person I’ve known…a loyal friend…full of joy and laughter… always a calm presence and a ready smile…quietly dependable and supportive of others…he didn’t do anything halfway.”
Condolences may be sent to Geoff Branson & Family, 1034 Pebble Court, Anderson, IN 46013. Donations in memory of Gordon may be given to the Greenville Unitarian Universalist Fellowship.