William Lee Brannan
February 4, 1927 – September 6, 2020
William (Bill) Lee Brannan was born on February 4, 1927 in the Five Points neighborhood of Denver, Colorado to Chester Brannan and Lura Mae (Lou) Shrum. During his 93 plus years here on earth he overcame many obstacles that began the day he was born as he arrived two months early and only weighed 3 1/2 pounds. He was raised in Denver ( Globeville) and attended school along with his three brothers and a sister.
Bill's parents, brothers and sister have all preceded him in death. Bill held down many jobs during his lifetime. He began working in a theater while he was in Junior High school. He also worked as a telegraph boy for Postal Telegraph, which later became Western Union. During his High School years he worked at a meat packing house (often alone there). When Bill was sixteen he asked his girlfriend at the time to help him enlist in the Navy, She consented and wrote a letter supposedly from his parents giving permission for him to join the Navy. He thought he would be going on a great adventure at the time. After basic training in Idaho and Virginia, Bill became a seaman first class and part of a crew on LST ship 139 headed for France via England. Bill was involved in the invasion of Normandy as he spent his time in France driving a Higgins boat transporting soldiers and equipment from the ship to the shore. He remained in France serving until the end of WWII. Upon his discharge from the Navy in Oklahoma, he made his way back to Denver stopping in several towns on the way and engaging in gambling adventures such as craps. He played in several craps games and was able to win quite a bit of money at the time. After arriving back in Denver and running out of his gambling money, he realized it was time to get back to work. His first jobs after the war were in a bakery and making cinder blocks which he soon discovered he did not care for. He then found a job at a plumbing supply store which suited him much better.
During the summer of 1946 Bill met the woman who would later become his wife of 73 plus years. He met Jeanne Williams at a bar in Morrison where he and friends would meet for drinks and square dancing. They fell in love and were married on January 14, 1947 in Denver. Bill became an apprentice plumber and continued working as a plumber until 1955 when he decided plumbing was not the career path he wanted to follow. At the time Bill and his family were living in Grand Junction and returned to Denver so he could join the Denver Police department where he worked his way up through the ranks and retired in 1983 as Captain of the Special Services Unit(Later known as Metro Swat). While he was working with the Denver Police Department, as part of his duties, he helped train police dogs for the SSU. He owned a wonderful German Shepherd dog named Jeopardy. Bill and Jeopardy worked side by side for many years until Jeopardy's retirement. During his retirement years Bill and Jeanne spent their time in Denver and part of each year in Yuma, Arizona. During this time he was able to own and use several boats to fish in the Gulf of Mexico. They continued that practice until a few years before his passing when traveling became difficult.
Bill was a patriot who loved his country and was able to participate in an Honors trip to Washington D.C. as well as two trips back to Normandy, France sponsored by The College of the Ozarks near Branson, Missouri.
Bill is survived by his wife Jeanne Brannan of Lakewood, Colorado. He is also survived by his oldest son, Richard Lee Brannan along with his wife Gail from Rangely, Colorado. His son Mark Allen Brannan and his wife Diane who live in Lakewood, Colorado. His son William Lee Brannan Jr. and wife Brenda who live in Medford, Oregon.
His only daughter Jeanne lives near Jefferson, Colorado with her husband Jerry Meyers. Bill was grandfather to seven grandchildren, two who preceded him in death, Linda Jeanne and Nicole Carolyn. Bill was also survived by 18 great grandchildren and one great great grandson Gary Alan. Bill loved spending time with all his family members.
Bill was a family man as well as a patriot and felt it was his responsibility to take care of his family. He tried to live his life by the Golden Rule and not to hurt others. He said at times he felt he had an angel on his shoulder watching over him especially in Normandy. Perhaps that angel was present to help escort him to Heaven in the wee hours of the morning of September the 6th. He will be greatly missed.
The family requests in lieu of flowers they are requesting donations be made to Wounded Warriors Project.
Monday, September 21, 2020
Tuesday, September 22, 2020
Tuesday, September 22, 2020
William Lee Brannan
September 21, 2020
It was such a privilege to get to know Biil and Jeanne as Bill worked on his life story and I helped get it on paper. Sometimes people come into your life who teach you a great deal even just by the way they lived their lives. Bill influenced and far more people than he will ever know. Mark Twain once said "The best sermon is a good example." Bill set a wonderful example and he and Jeanne created a beautiful family. He made the world a better place by being in it for 93 years. We will miss him.
September 16, 2020
What can you say about a legend. That is definitely what Capt. Bill Brannan is to many of us on DPD. Capt. Bill was there to blaze a trail for many who respected him for his skills and love of the DPD. Kathi and I are happy to say we had the pleasure of continuing to see Bill and Jeanne at the various retiree functions and trips to Laughlin Nevada. Bill was always interested in keeping up with the DPD families and showing his love and concern. Bill will be missed but never forgotten. God Bless his family.
JC and Kathi
September 14, 2020
We were very close. Everytime we headed to Denver from rangely I looked forward on seeing my him. He will truly be missed but all I have to say to him is " I love you always and forever." 😭😘😘 This saying "always and forever" is from a movie The Originals. I realise how short life is. I cry myself to sleep because I miss him so much so great grandpa I love you always and forever 💕