Mrs. Oneida Branch, best known as Mother Branch, died on Tuesday, March 22, 2011 of natural causes. Mother Branch, who was 92, became a legend in the East Palo Alto community for her spirit of giving.
Born in New Orleans, LA, Mother Branch moved to East Palo Alto in the 1950's.
She and her late husband, Rev. James Branch, co-founded the St. John Missionary Baptist Church, which is located in East Palo Alto on Bay Road.
She became passionately involved in the issues affecting those around her who were in need. She collected clothes, food, toys and anything else that she could to serve those who had basic survival needs - even offering housing.
She enlisted the assistance of local businesses, schools and agencies to acquire additional donations and supplies to contribute to those who were less fortunate. In pursuing her passion to help the needy, she founded the East Palo Alto Community Service Center, which was located in her home.
Cheryl Branch Crum, the granddaughter whom Mrs. Branch raised from the age of two, said, "We will continue the East Palo Alto Community Service Center. That's how we were raised to give back to others."
Mrs. Branch is survived by three sons and a number of grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Services are pending and are entrusted to Jones Mortuary in East Palo Alto. More details will be supplied as they become available.
To contact the author of this article, email Henrietta J. Burroughs at firstname.lastname@example.org.