Mr. William T. "Bill" Brannen of Milledgeville, passed away on Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2019. A private funeral service will be held on Friday, Oct. 4, 2019, with the Rev. Stephanie Caldwell officiating. Burial will be in Heritage Memorial Park.
Mr. Brannen graduated from Anniston High School, Anniston, Ala., and attended Emory University. He married his high school sweetheart, Nelle Whelchel, the day he received his Navy wings in Corpus Christi, Texas and the Brannens celebrated their 73rd anniversary on Aug. 21, 2016.
Lt. Brannen served three active duty tours as a Navy Combat Carrier Pilot, flying TBM torpedo bombers from the jeep carrier, U.S.S. Bismarck Sea; the last carrier sunk during WWII (at Iwo Jima). He also flew F4U (Corsairs) from the U.S.S. Coral Sea, and was a Test Pilot at the Naval Test Facility, Patuxent River, Md.
The Brannens moved many times in the early years of their marriage, settling in Marietta, Ga., where their children were reared. In Marietta, Mr. Brannen was a member of the First Baptist Church. He held memberships in the Kiwanis Club and Marietta Country Club; he was a champion golfer and held club championship titles in several area clubs.
He retired from the base engineers at Ft. Benning, Ga. in 1992, moving to Milledgeville for their retirement years; the Brannens became members of the Milledgeville First United Methodist Church and the George O. King Sunday school class. Mr. and Mrs. Brannen took much pleasure in helping with the Meals on Wheels program, operating out of the Oconee Regional Medical Center.
Bill was a devoted husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather and friend.
Beloved survivors include two daughters, Becky Wood (Henry), Durham, N.C.; Kay Collins (John) Milledgeville; two sons, Bill Brannen Jr. (Maribeth), Alpharetta, Ga.; David Brannen (Claire), Versailles, Ky.; grandchildren, Keith Wood (Susan), Atlanta, Ga.; Christopher Wood (Zoe), Durham, N.C.; Courtney Collins Cawley (Chris) Macon, Ga.; Kyle Collins Hitchcock (Andrew) Milledgeville, Ga., Jennifer Wood; Jack Brannen, Kate Brannen Smith (Andrew), Jane Brannen Driver (Daniel); great-grandchildren, Elliott and Emily Wood; Brannen, Turner and Isabel Wood; Chandler, Kip, Emily and Sterling Elizabeth Cawley; Abbie Kate, Canon and Caroline Hitchcock; and several nieces, nephews and cousins.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Milledgeville Christian Counseling Center at First United Methodist Church or to the St. Andrews Anglican Church located at 115 Paddock Drive, Versailles, Ky., 40383.
Express online condolences at www.williamsfuneral.net.
Williams Funeral Home of Milledgeville is in charge of arrangements.
Published on October 2, 2019


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Isaac Queen
Oct 03, 2019
My dearest condolences to the family of Mr. Brannen. I attended church with Mr. Brannen and he left a lasting impression on my family and I. He gave me a bible when I was confirmed and I still have it with me where I’m stationed overseas. Rest In Peace Mr. B.