Joan Chappell Branyon of Jacksonville Beach, Florida, passed away peacefully on November 12, 2022, surrounded by her loving daughters. She was born in Griffin, Georgia, on June 8, 1936, to Emmett and Lois Chappell. After graduating from Griffin High School, she went to the University of Georgia (go Dawgs) with a degree in elementary education where she met the love of her life, James (Jim) Branyon. She earned her master’s degree at Mercer University. They resided in Georgia until they relocated to Jacksonville Beach, Florida, in 1979. She worked as a 6th grade teacher for the Jacksonville Beach Sixth Grade Center and was a kindergarten teacher for the gifted program of Jax Beach Elementary until she retired in 1999. With her sweet ways and genuine love of teaching she touched many young lives in our community. She often ran into former students of all ages who remembered her fondly. She was a volunteer for Beaches Emergency Assistance Ministry. She loved her church and was an active member of One Church Jacksonville Beach. She volunteered in the children’s departments until the pandemic including but not limited to working in the nursery, VBS, sewing group, women’s mission prayer group, numerous committees and programs.
With her gentle, loving spirit she had many close friends and had a deep love for her family. She loved her girls, her sons-in-law and her grandchildren and they certainly loved her. She was a blessing to so many. She instilled a foundation of Christian values and a deep, respectful love of family to her daughters and 6 grandchildren who she adored. Family time was always so special to her.
In addition to her parents, sisters Carolyn and Wilma and brother Emmett, Joan was preceded in death by her husband and best friend, Jim Branyon, in 2001. She is survived by her daughters, Leigha (Trent Sr.) Wirtz, Joni (Steve) Penza, Lisa (Morgan) Skinner; and her grandchildren, Natalie Wirtz, Trent Wirtz, Jr., Jamie Penza, Branyon Skinner, Preston Skinner, Chance Skinner; sister-in-law, Sandra Chappell; nieces and nephews, and many, many close, wonderful friends.
We take comfort knowing she is in the arms of Jesus. Please join us in celebrating her life on Saturday November 19, 2022, at 2:30pm at One Church Jacksonville Beach, 324 N. 5th St., Jacksonville Beach, FL 32250. Reception in Fellowship Hall will follow.
In Joan’s words, “If by chance you choose to remember me, do it with a kind deed or word to someone who needs you.”