We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Norris Funeral Home
Norma Boro Branum, age 93, of Bay Minette, Ala., died Tuesday, June 7, 2022 at Oakwood, North Baldwin’s Center for Living. She had resided in Bay Minette for nearly 60 years.
Celebration of Life events will include visitation with family and friends from 9 to 11 a.m. Friday, June 10, at Norris Funeral Home. The homegoing service will begin at 11 a.m., followed by interment at Bay Minette Cemetery. Officiating will be the Rev. Chester Clark and the Rev. Steve Pettis. Pallbearers will be grandsons Jake Branum II, Ramey Byrd, Steven Riera, John Carlos Byrd, Jonathan Yazzie and Michael Dorough. Burial following the service will be at Bay Minette Cemetery.
Norma was born May 15, 1929, to Pedro and Virginia de Castro Boro in Cavite, Philippine Islands. She and her family survived the Japanese Occupation of the Philippines from 1942 to 1945. She was one of nine children and was the last surviving sibling of the Boro family.
After World War II, Norma met U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer J.B. Branum, who she married in 1949. She and their young son, Pierce Xavier “Jake” Branum sailed from the U.S. Naval Base in Subic Bay, Olongapo City, PI, in 1951 aboard a Liberty Ship to the United States, while J.B. completed his military duties there, and then met them in San Diego, California, to direct them to their new home in Mobile, Ala. She was decreed an American citizen and resident in June 1956.
Norma will be remembered for her loving and generous spirit. She never met a stranger and always parted company with “I love you” to her children, family and friends. She shared her flowers, vegetables and gardening wisdom with everyone, mentoring and spreading plants across the county and beyond. One of her nicknames was “Daktari” (Swahili for doctor, from an old TV series) because she was known for raising and caring for farm animals, and even taming and raising deer from the wild.
She served God and her church as a Sunday School teacher, floral arranger-provider, counselor and any other role needed. She not only made sure her own children were in church each time the doors opened, but gathered other children and taught them about God’s love as well. She was a member of First Assembly/Bay Assembly of God, and former member of Northside Assembly, both in Bay Minette. She was baptized at Orchard Assembly of God in Mobile in the 1950s, along with her mother-in-law, Daisy Wimberly Branum, and young daughter, Sharron.
She made her first and only return trip to her homeland in 2004, when she reunited with three brothers, all of whom have since passed away.
Norma was the mother of Pierce Xavier “Jake” Branum (Wanda), Sharron Rider Branum, Jackie Branum Byrd (John), Emily Branum Ryan (Joe), Kay Branum Riera, all of Bay Minette, and Daisy Branum Sims (Tom) of Fairhope. She was grandmother to 17 grandchildren: Nichole Rider Yazzie (Jonathan), Chip Stewart (Christine), the late Jason Branum Stewart, Kimberly Branum, Amy Steiner and Jake Branum II, Cristen Mangold, Amanda Sims, Andrea Moyer, Clair Byrd Dorough, John Carlos Byrd, Caleb Ryan, Ramey Byrd, Steven Riera, Staci Sanders, Andrea Roberson and Lionel Rider. She was “Grandma Branum” to 32 great-grandchildren.
She is also survived by one brother-in-law, Herbert Burroughs of Theodore, one sister-in-law Linda Boro of Olongapo City; and many nieces, nephews and great-nieces and nephews in the United States and the Philippines.
She was preceded in death by her husband; one grandson, Jason Branum Stewart of Bay Minette; two sons-in-law, Nicky Rider of White House Fork, and Steven Frank Riera, of Bay Minette and Blairsville, Ga. She was also preceded by her parents, and brothers and sisters, Purissimo, Melita, Peping, Manuel, Pedro Jr., Sylvia and Flora Boro, and an infant brother, all of the Philippines.
The Branum Family wishes to thank the staff of Oakwood and Community Hospice for the loving care they provided to our mother during her nursing home stay. The medical team, physical therapy staff, cafeteria, housekeeping and all others showed compassion, professionalism and loving support to Mother and all her family.
Our appreciation is extended also to North Baldwin Infirmary’s emergency and critical care staff members who provided expert medical care to Mother on multiple occasions. Bay Minette is blessed to have these valuable and dedicated medical professionals and facilities within our community.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to the Bay Assembly Blessing Box Food Pantry. Mail donations to Bay Assembly, 1706 U.S. 31 South, Bay Minette, Ala. 36507, designated to the Blessing Box, which provides food and personal items to local families in need.