Catherine Lemonnier Branch passed away on Sept. 15, 2017, at her daughter’s home in Twain Harte, having lived through 86 birthdays. Catherine was born in St. Dominique, a small village near Montreal, Canada. Catherine and Maurice met at the bakery owned by her future father-in-law, Louis-Pierre Lemonnier. They were married in 1949, at St. Joseph de Chambly.
One of the momentous events of Catherine’s life was immigrating to Venice, California, in 1961. She and her husband took their four daughters across the United States in a 1952 Cadillac carrying all of their belongings and camping gear. They eventually settled in La Crescenta, California, where they built their first home, raised their girls, learned to speak English, and ultimately became proud U.S. citizens.
After Maurice’s untimely passing in 1982, she married Graydon Branch, a wonderful friend to Catherine and her girls. After a wedding ceremony at St Joseph’s in Tuolumne, she and Graydon traveled extensively. They enjoyed fishing, gardening, and family. When he passed away, Catherine moved to Sonora in the mid-1990s.
Catherine’s friends remember her as lively, lovely, and enthusiastic. Always a great hostess with an abundance of food and music, she happily welcomed family and friends into her home. She looked forward to every holiday and event, making the most insignificant worthy of a celebration. She especially appreciated hearing about her daughter's’ and grandchildren’s travels throughout the world, and was always immensely proud of their accomplishments. Her extensive family in Canada, Oregon, Illinois, Virginia, Alaska, Texas, Los Angeles, North Carolina, and even Switzerland will miss her smile and joie de vivre. We mourn our loss even as we find solace in so many sweet memories.
She is survived by her daughters and their husbands, Diane and Tim, Lise, Carolle and Dave, and Josee and Phil; stepchildren, Mary and Jack Musgrove, and Dan and Susan Branch; grandchildren, Robbie, Rose, Rachel, Ted, Kellan, Rebecca, Sydney, Ruby, and Maya, Anne, Anna, and John; and seven great-grandchildren; close family members, Denis and Marcel Bousquet, Andre, Charlotte, Jacques, Marie, Simonne, Bernard, and Albert Lemonnier, Ron Magee Jr., Shawn Magee, Steven Negus, Sumita Pahwa, Ralph Geissler; and her dear neighbors and friends.
Funeral services are at All Saints Church in Twain Harte. Rosary at 9 a.m., followed by Mass at 9:30 a.m., on Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017. Father Fitzgerald will officiate.