Private services for Robert James Branges, 84, of Santa Cruz were held with his family. He died on Nov. 14.

He was born on Nov. 20, 1919 in New York City where he was raised. He graduated from Newtown High School. While in college, he worked as a seasonal ranger for the National Park Service (NPS) in Yellowstone national Park. Following graduation from Utah State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Forest Management, he was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the US Army. Serving with the 1255th Engineer Battalion of the Army Corps of Engineers in the European Theater of Operations during the World War II, He attained the rank of captain. He was later recalled for service in Korea and assigned to the IX Corps Army Headquarters.

In 1946, he began a career with the NPS with assignments in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. In 1949, he found time to court and marry the former Barbara Mehrten of Exeter, daughter of Henry and Pearl Mehrten, also of Exeter.

Following assignments at Mount McKinley and Yosemite National Parks, he completed tours as Chief Ranger at Everglades National Park and Fire Island National Seashore. After a tour assigned to National Park Service Headquarters in Washington, DC, his NPS career culminated with a five-year assignment as the South Rim Unit Manager in Grand Canyon National Park. He retired with Barbara to Santa Cruz in 1976.

He is survived by his wife, Barbara of Santa Cruz; three sons, Warren (Greg) Branges of Kaneohe, Hawaii, Hal Branges of Watsonville, Gary Branges of Flagstaff, Ariz.; two daughters, Denise Brokamp of Felton, Calif., Patricia Branges of Watsonville; six grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

Start typing and press Enter to search