Chesterton Tribune

Firefighter James Henry Branham dies at 61

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James Henry Branham, 61, of Chesterton, passed away Wednesday, February 18, 2009, surrounded by his wife and children at the Hospice Center in Valparaiso.  

He was born March 5, 1947 in Valparaiso, the son of James O. Branham and Catherine (Bockelmann) Branham of Chesterton. His father preceded him in death and his mother survives in Chesterton.

On July 27, 1968 in Liberty Township, he married Judy Konfirst, who survives in Chesterton. 

 He is also survived by three children, James R. Branham of North Fort Myers, Fla., Michelle (Bill) Garpow of Valparaiso, and Daniel (Jill) Branham of Porter; four grandchildren, Stephen Garpow, Cheyenne Garpow, Billy Garpow and DJ Branham; two brothers, Bob (Peggy) Branham of Merrillville and Bill (Mary) Branham of Chesterton and numerous nieces and nephews.  

 He was also preceded in death by a son, David Branham.

Jim was retired from the US Can Company after 34 years. Jim was the Director and founding father of the Porter County Fire Investigation Strike Team since 1997, and was a Safety Officer and Life Member for Porter Fire Department for the past five years. He was a retired Chief and Life Member of the South Haven Fire Department for 10 years, a retired Chief and Life Member of the Liberty Township Fire Department for 25 years, President of the Porter County Fire Association from 1998 to 2008 and member of the LEPC, EMA and Planning Commission Advisory Board. Jim was also a Master Firefighter in five categories in the state of Indiana and numerous federal agencies.  

Funeral services, Pastor John Allen officiating, will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 21, at Edmonds & Evans Funeral Home, 517 Broadway, Chesterton. Interment will follow at Angelcrest Cemetery, Valparaiso.  

Viewing will be Friday, Feb. 20, from 2 to 8 p.m. at Edmonds & Evans Funeral Home, Chesterton, with an IVFA Memorial Service at 7 p.m..  

Memorial gifts may be made to the Porter County Fire Investigation Strike Team or to the family.


Posted 2/19/2009