Clarence Robert Branson

clarence branson

June 26, 1924 ~ September 18, 2021

Born in: Macon County, IL
Resided in: Hendersonville, NC

Clarence Robert “Bob” Branson, 97, of Hendersonville, died Saturday, September 18, 2021.

Bob was born in Decatur, Illinois on June 26, 1924 to parents Clarence and Faye Branson and graduated from Decatur High School in 1942. He later went to Harvard University and Wabash College as part of the Navy’s V-12 officers training program and graduated from the University of Illinois with a BA Degree in Marketing in 1948 after his service as an Ensign in the Navy in WWII.

He was married 55 years to the love of his life Nancy Moffat of Aurora, Illinois.

During WWII, as a Supply Corp Officer, he was in the Pacific and at Pearl Harbor shortly after the war. During the summer of 1945, he was stationed in Oakland, CA awaiting orders for the possible invasion of Japan.

After graduating from the University of Illinois, he had a long and storied career as a Commercial Paper Salesman, Vice President and President of Commercial Paper Sales at Sears Roebuck Acceptance Company, Goldman-Sachs, Gamble-Skogmo and Dean Witter. He was one of the first Commercial Paper salesman for Sears Roebuck in the 1950’s, winning many business accolades from associates and large financial clients across the country.

One of the love’s in his life was music, taking up the trumpet at the late age of 15. He progressed rapidly and was in 2nd chair of 10 trumpets by the time he was 16 in one of the best High School bands in Illinois. He continued playing trumpet throughout his life in Jazz bands in College and during WWII and later with many bands in Hendersonville. He played and practiced regularly until he was 95.

He also became expert at woodworking, loved hiking in the trails around Henderson County and was active in several hiking groups.

Bob touched many lives in his 97 years as a businessman, friend, father and husband. His nearly constant state of optimism and positivity (HS Photo Description reads “A Magnificent Spectacle of Human Happiness”) resulted in him being loved by so many and he will be dearly missed.

He was predeceased by his parents Clarence and Faye, his wife Nancy, brother Glenn and daughter Sue. He is survived by his son Robert Branson, daughters Nancy Watson and Jill Watson, nephew Van and grandchildren Mallory and Tim.

A Memorial Service will be held at 11:00 AM on Saturday, October 9, 2021 at Groce Funeral Home at Lake Julian. A private Graveside Service will be held at Shepherd Memorial Park.

In lieu of flowers, charitable donations can be made to the Hendersonville Community Band directly or through their scholarship fund at:


Memorial Service: October 9, 2021 11:00 am

Groce Funeral Home at Lake Julian
72 Long Shoals Road
Arden, NC 28704


Private Burial:

Shepherd Memorial Park
US Highway 25
Naples, NC


Navy Veteran

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The family greatly appreciates donations made to these charities in Clarence Robert Branson 's name.

Hendersonville Community Band


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Memories Timeline


  1. We met Bob on the hiking trails in Pisgah Forest some time around 1995 and our conversations usually turned to music. Since that time Jerry and Bob played in so many different bands together that it’s hard to keep track of them. Bob was a stalwart member of the Hendersonville Swing Band. After a concert of the band, people would often tell Jerry that they usually watched Bob since he seemed to enjoy playing trumpet so much.
    Bob was a good friend, a great storyteller and someone we will always remember with fond thoughts.

  2. A fellow Kappa Sigma, a fellow US Navy Supply Corp Officer, a fellow financial customer, a fellow Illini, and a dear friend for over fifty years — you will be dearly missed. Your honesty, integrity, love of family, and laugh always made you specially

  3. Bob was my dads cousin.
    My grandmother was Ora Sloan
    I have memories of going to their house on Olive st. and playing with Glenn and Bobs sons.
    So sorry for your loss.
    I have a bunch of pictures and family info I would send you if interested.
    Grandma saved lots of info.
    You can reach me at 2172012107
    Mike Wortman

  4. Love and prayers to you all. It was my pleasure getting to know your dad and caring for him. My heart goes out to you all love Linda Zimmerman

  5. So many memories of The Wildman Prayers go out to the fam🙏 Miss you guys a Ton!!! Wish my kids had met Bob!! Sending our Love. Larry and family❤️

  6. I have a fond memory of me B . I would listen to him play the trumpet outside his window . I lived kiddy corner to the Branson and there daughter Nancy was my best friend . My most deep condolences to the family . Lisa KEEFE Hackett

  7. My deepest sympathy to all of you. MR. B was salt of the earth. He lit up the room and always made you feel special. Many great memories growing up at the Branson’s. Hugs

  8. My thoughts and prayers are with you Jill, Nancy and Rob. I always enjoyed spending time with him. He had a great personality and can-do attitude. Thank you for the honor of caring for him.

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