Richard Lee Branch, 62, of Connelly Springs, passed away on Thursday, September 7, 2023 at his residence following a period of declining health.

Richard was born June 16, 1961 in Burke County to the late George W. Branch Jr. and Gladys Allison. He served honorably in the United States Navy. He was a loving husband, father, and grandfather. Richard enjoyed golfing and playing football and softball.

In addition to his parents, he is preceded in death by his brother, Jimmy Allison.

He is survived by his wife, Julie Rice Branch; stepsons, Chief Petty Officer Dusty Lee Hines and wife Leah, and Cody Allen Rice; step-grandchildren, Maddox Amir Hartley, and Eden Serenity Romero; fur babies, McKenzie-Paige, and Butterbean; and sister, Nora Jean Smith and husband Wayne of Granite Falls. Also surviving are his sisters-in-law, Beverly Greene  Sarazin and husband Phil of Surfside, SC, and Theresa Wright and husband Brian of Hildebran; aunt, Elizabeth “Lib” Summey, and numerous cousins.

A private memorial service will be held by the family at a later date.

An online guestbook and obituary are available at

Heritage Funeral Service and Crematory in Valdese is assisting the family.