Luann Jones Branch,
Luann Jones Branch died of colon cancer at her home in Drumright on Saturday, Nov. 24, 2018. A memorial service was held Wednesday, Nov. 28, at the First United Methodist Church in Drumright. Funeral arrangements are entrusted to the care of Michael’s Funeral Home of Drumright.
Mrs. Branch was born Mary Luann Jones on Sept. 17, 1931, in Bristow, to Sherman Calaway (Cal) and Clara Paxton Jones. She grew up in Bristow and graduated from high school there in 1949. She attended William Woods College in Fulton, Missouri, where she received an Associate of Fine Arts degree in music, and the University of Oklahoma, where she earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in music education.
On June 7, 1952, she married her high school classmate Paul Richard Branch. They have made their home in Drumright since 1961.
Luann began teaching music in 1966 in the Olive Public Schools. In 1969, she became the vocal music teacher at Drumright High School, where she directed the Ten Tones show choir and an annual musical comedy. She retired in 1982, but returned to DHS in 1985 to teach English, creative writing, and vocal music. She retired again in 2001.
In addition to her work in the schools, Luann was a founder of the Drumright Community Players and a longtime board member of the Boomtown Theater. She directed a number of plays and musicals at the theater, including the long-running “Musical Salute to World War II.” In 2012, she wrote a musical to celebrate Drumright’s centennial. She directed the choir at Bristow Presbyterian Church from 1990 to 1992 and at First United Methodist Church in Drumright from 1992 to 2017. In 1999, she led the fund-raising efforts for a renovation of the Drumright High School auditorium, which led to her winning the Chamber of Commerce’s Citizen of the Year award that year. In 2006, she and her husband were inducted into the Drumright Hall of Fame. In 2018, she received the Governor’s Arts Award for her work in arts education and community theater.
Luann was privileged to have touched the lives of hundreds of students and singers, but she was most proud of the three children she and Paul raised together, and of their children and grandchildren. She and Paul have also had a group of wonderful friends who have helped fill their lives with fun and laughter, and who provided them with invaluable love and support as she struggled with her health in recent years.
Luann was preceded in death by her parents and by three brothers: Charles Paxton (Pat) Jones, S.C. (Bud) Jones Jr., and Phillip Edmund Jones, who died in infancy.
She is survived by her husband Paul, of Drumright; son Douglas and his wife, Lauren, of Oklahoma City; son Mark and his partner, Dawn-Lorentson, of New Haven, Connecticut; and daughter Paula Dennis and her husband, Gary, of Tulsa. Her grandchildren are Kyle Dennis, of Tulsa; Katie Monsour and husband, Chris, of Madison, Mississippi; Emily Dennis, of Oklahoma City; Logan Branch, of Norman; Austin Branch, of Houston, Texas; John Branch, of Brooklyn, New York; Isabel , of New Haven, Connecticut; Amber Liles and husband, Nathan, of Ann Arbor, Michigan; Danielle Hernandez, of Washington, DC; Gil White, of Weatherford; and Brayden White, of Norman. Her greatgrandchildren are Ari Branch, of Norman; Lee Monsour, of Madison, Mississippi; and Lilianne, Coralee, and Liam Liles, of Ann Arbor, Michigan. She is also survived by numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. Memorials in her name may be sent to the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation at omrf.org.
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