Murkel Eldric Branham

September 13, 1921March 26, 2021

Murkel Eldric Branham, 99, of Muncie, passed away on Friday, March 26, 2021, at his home. He was born at home in Albany, Kentucky, on Tuesday, September 13, 1921, to Barney and Sarah (Thrasher) Branham.

Murkel worked as an electrician all his life. He started his career in Muncie with Smith Thompson Electric in 1965. Over his lifetime, he also worked for Astrop Electric (twenty years), Petro Technology, and Control Electric.

One of his most satisfying annual projects was running all the electrical services for the Lions Delaware County Fair. Annually, he and the Astrop crew were responsible for providing electrical services for all the grandstand events, show barns, rides, and entertainment events during the fair.

Murkel enjoyed always having a nice car. He traded cars on a regular basis and found joy in making “the deal” and taking his family for a ride in every new car. In addition, gardening was one of his favorite past times. He planted a garden every year until 2017. He found joy in planning, planting, hoeing, weeding, and harvesting his gardens. He not only enjoyed eating the fruits of his labors but loved sharing the garden’s bounty with his loved ones and friends.

Murkel is survived by his son, Jeff Branham (companion, Leslie Hughes);); daughters, Frankie Davis, Debbie Orr (husband, Elvis), and Kathy Vitatoe; daughter-in-law Debbie (Cowan)Grimes; and his companion, Mary Duncan; grandchildren, Joshua & Caleb Wilkins, Amber Stanley(husband Bob), Amanda King(husband Mark), Dustin Kelly, and Jeffery Branham(wife, Bailee); great-grandchildren, Roman Wilkins, Payton & Kane Stanley, Gabriel Lane, Arianna & Ava King, Jaython Kelly; special “Little Dude, Zayne Vaught”, and family of Mary Duncan.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Barney and Sarah; his wife, Mary Branham; stepson, David L. Grimes; brothers, Willie, John, Lee, Raymond, Earl and Dee; sisters, Dora, Vinnie, and Catherine.

Family and friends may call on Wednesday, March 31, 2021, from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at Elm Ridge Funeral Home, 4600 West Kilgore Avenue, Muncie, Indiana 47304.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, attendance is limited. Private family services will be Wednesday, March 31, 2021, at 6:00 p.m. at Elm Ridge Funeral Home. Pastor Brent Hickman will officiate.

Memorial contributions may be given to: Animal Rescue Fund (ARF), 1209 West Riggin Road, Muncie, Indiana 47303.

Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at for the family.


  • Visitation

    Wednesday, March 31, 2021

  • Private Family Services

    Wednesday, March 31, 2021


Murkel Eldric Branham

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Carol Reece

March 31, 2021

Murkel worked for my dad, Robert (Bob) Astrop for 20 years or so. I remember him always being around, quiet, smiling and so kind. Sometimes, when dad wasn't around, one of my younger siblings would start to do something they shouldn't and I can still hear Murkel say "I wouldn't do that if I was you." Then he'd smile or laugh...
Murkel was a good man with a beautiful heart. He shall be missed greatly.
Carol J. Astrop Reece

Toni (Astrop) Wratten

March 31, 2021

Murkel was so friendly, reliable, and such a trustworthy man of the Astrop Electric team. He devoted many years working with my dad Robert (Bob) Astrop. Murkel was a kind man and a pleasure to know with a delightful sense of humor. He will be greatly missed.
With heartfelt sympathy,
Toni (Astrop) Wratten