|Doris Alford Branton was one of five children born to the late Rev. Louis F. and Carrie Curtis Alford. Louis Alford was a pastor in the Mississippi Conference, and Doris was born in the Pachuta parsonage. After graduation from Millsaps College in Jackson, she served for several years as the Mississippi Conference’s staff person for children’s ministries. She married the late Rev. Razzie R. Branton in 1932. Four children blessed their union: Louis Ray, Mary Dale, Rachael Lee and William Hardy. She is survived by her son, Ray, by five grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. Two sisters, Ruth C. Alford of Shreveport and Ida Louise Noblin of Dallas, also survive her.
She loved people and endeared herself to others. Many felt they were her special friends – as indeed they were. She was a renowned cook and gave freely from her kitchen. She loved literature and poetry, and this love led her to obtain a master’s degree from University of Louisiana, Lafayette. She subsequently taught English in Lafayette high schools. She was among the few teachers who volunteered to cross racial lines when Lafayette schools were first desegregated, and she spent several happy years teaching at Paul Breaux High School.
The United Methodist Church was at the center of her life. She loved and served it faithfully. Doris was skilled in most aspects of local church work. When the Brantons moved to a new church, she would determine the greatest need then quietly go to work. Among her achievements was the founding of a preschool ministry at Trinity in Ruston. Whatever aspect of the local church she touched soon flourished. She was long active in United Methodist Women and in Church Women United. At Live Oak Retirement Community, where she lived for her last nineteen years, she led in the founding of regular ecumenical worship services and in efforts to secure a full time chaplain. As long as she was able, she regularly visited the most ill residents to read poetry and scripture and to pray with them.
At Doris’s request, her granddaughter Sarah Branton Wilkerson sang at her memorial service: “Come ye blessed of my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you.” She is, and she has.
Louis Ray Branton
|Source: 2005 Journal|