Drum Funeral Home-Hickory

940 29th Avenue NE, Hickory, NC


Edgar Watterson Branyon Jr.

May 25, 1923September 5, 2020

Dr. Edgar Watterson Branyon, Jr., age 97, was a cosmopolitan country boy with an endless curiosity about life, machines, people and “the good Lord.” Ed loved traveling, fishing, sports, and Alabama football. In 2003, at age 80, he and his wife, Mary, moved to Richland Place Retirement Community in Nashville to be close to Mary’s twin sister, Betty Field. Mary, his beloved wife of 61years died in 2007; After her death, Ed continued his life adventure with dear friend, Irma Bolster. In 2019, Ed moved to Kingston Residence of Hickory, NC where his son, David, and daughter-in law, Martha, live.

Ed’s life was a full one. This included being raised in the small town of Hamilton, AL during the depression, attending college at the University of Alabama, transferring to medical school at Columbia University in New York, practicing primary care medicine in the coal mines of Alabama, being a patient in a TB sanitorium for 3 years, learning radiology (a specialty in its infancy at the time) at Vanderbilt, teaching at UAB, practicing in Mary’s hometown of Anniston, AL, serving on the Board of Education there during integration, serving on the State Medical Board of Censors, and serving as President of Calhoun County Medical Society and Alabama Academy of Radiology, among other activities. He was an active member of 1st Presbyterian Church of Anniston. He did not forget his role as a father and husband and spent much time in teaching life lessons and skills to his children. He loved traveling the US with his family. In his later years he traveled the world with Mary, and then with Irma. His grandchildren loved the down-home adventures he exposed them to.

As Abraham Maslow said: “The most fortunate are those who have a wonderful capacity to appreciate again and again, freshly and naively, the basic goods of life with awe, pleasure, wonder and even ecstasy.” Ed’s life embodied that philosophy.

Ed was proceeded in death by his wife, Mary Leyden Branyon; his parents, Edgar Watterson Branyon and Nell Walker Branyon; and his sister, Mary Nell Aplin.

Ed is survived by three children, Dr. David Watterson Branyon (wife, Martha); William Leyden Branyon of Asheville; Laura Griffin (husband, Palmer) of Dalton, GA. Grandchildren, Susanna Klingenberg (husband, Bryan) of Raleigh; Ben Watterson Branyon of South Lake Tahoe, CA; and Robert Palmer Griffin, III (wife, Dr. Mary Courtney) of Hoschton, GA. Also surviving him are great-grandchildren Sam and David Klingenberg of Raleigh; nieces, Carol Wiley of Matthews, NC and Emily Turner of Locust Grove, GA; Carole Warnes of Athens, GA; Patricia Oliphant of Fairfield Glade, TN; and nephew Brock Field of Basye, VA.

Ed was blessed by many devoted caregivers during the difficult time of Covid-19 restrictions while at Kingston Residence of Hickory. The staffs of Kingston Residence of Hickory, Home Instead, and Carolina Caring, along with Erin Quarzinski and Heidi Bolick all assisted in making Ed’s last days meaningful and secure.

Due to Covid restrictions, a family service will be held in Anniston at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to First Presbyterian Church of Anniston, 1701 Henry Rd, Anniston, AL 36207 or a charity of your choice.

Condolences may be sent to the Branyon family at www.drumfh-hickory.com.

The Branyon family has entrusted funeral arrangements to Drum Funeral Home in Hickory.


No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


Edgar Watterson Branyon Jr.

have a memory or condolence to add?

Ann Garner

September 10, 2020

Ed was one of the kindest men that I ever had the privilege of knowing. He and Mary took my children and myself under their wings in 1982 when we first moved to Anniston. They introduced us to First Presbyterian Church. They were pillars of the community and they taught us well.
Thank you for sharing Mary and Ed with us.
Ann Garner
(256) 283-5442


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