Edward Branning

Edward A. Branning Jr., a retired Chesapeake and Potomac Telephone Co. switchman and World War II veteran, died Aug. 28 of heart failure at St. Agnes Hospital. He was 88.

The son of a funeral director and a homemaker, Mr. Branning was born in Baltimore and raised on Edmondson Avenue in West Baltimore.

He left Polytechnic Institute to enlist in the Navy in 1942 and served as a torpedoman's mate aboard the aircraft carrier USS Yorktown from 1943 to 1945.

He was discharged in 1946 and returned to Baltimore, where he earned his high school diploma.

Mr. Branning began working for C&P as a lineman in the late 1940s, and later was promoted to switchman. He worked in the Pikesville and Woodlawn offices until retiring in 1981.

Mr. Branning regularly attended reunions aboard the Yorktown and was an avid reader of naval books. He was an invited guest two years ago at the Honor Flight Network tribute to veterans who served in the Pacific and the premiere of the HBO miniseries "The Pacific."

Mr. Branning regularly participated in Operation Welcome Home Maryland events at BWI-Thurgood Marshall Airport that welcome home active-duty service personnel.

The former Woodlawn resident, who moved to the Charlestown retirement community in Catonsville in 2006, was a world traveler.

A memorial Mass will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at Our Lady of the Angels Chapel at Charlestown, 711 Maiden Choice Lane.

Surviving are his wife of 65 years, the former Theresa "Tee" Bechler, a retired registered nurse; a son, Timothy C. Branning of Kent Island; three daughters, Barbara A. Flanagan of Sykesville, Mary A. "Lucy" Branning of Catonsville and Beth Branning of Towson; and two grandchildren.