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Florence M. O'Neil Brannon

October 9, 1920 December 9, 2018
Florence M.  O'Neil Brannon
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Obituary for Florence M. O'Neil Brannon

Florence Brannon, longtime federal government employee and beloved mother, sister and aunt died Dec 9, 2018 in Oak Park IL at age 98.

Born to James and Mary O’Neil on Oct 9, 1920 in Ludlow Massachusetts, she was the eldest of three girls (Florence, Marion and Alice). Florence was the salutatorian of the Ludlow High School class of 1937. She graduated in 1941 from UMass-Amherst with a BA in Home Economics (now Food Science) and was a member and officer of Chi Omega.

In 1942 with America now in WW II, Florence was recruited by the the U.S. Dept of Agriculture to the West Coast where, for six years she served as a food inspector of California canneries from San Diego to the Oregon border ensuring that the foods delivered to the U.S. Military were Grade A. “I had a car and a good deal of freedom,” said Florence. “I loved it!”

While living in San Francisco, Florence married Richard Brannon, a ship’s engineer in the U.S. Merchant Marine. After the war the couple moved to Milwaukee WI where their son, Richard, was born in 1949. Florence (now divorced) and Rick moved back to Ludlow MA a few years later.

Florence earned a Masters in Management at Ohio State University and resumed her career with the federal government, now as a dietitian for the Northampton V.A. Medical Center. She worked there for 35 years, rising to the level of Chief Dietician supervising the 65 staff members serving this 500 bed V.A. Hospital.

She was active for many years in the American Dietetic Association and Zonta International, a service group focused on empowering women around the world. Following her retirement from the V.A. in 1985, Florence became a great traveler visiting family, friends and historic places across the U.S. as well as in Europe, the Middle East and Asia, including the Great Wall of China.

In December 2002, Florence moved to Oak Park IL to live with her sister and brother-in-law, Jim and Alice Marshall. Despite her advanced rheumatoid arthritis, Florence was very observant and pleasant just as ever and always. In celebration of her 98th birthday two months ago, she ordered Chinese food with champagne and cream brûlée for us all—Thank You Aunt Florence!

Florence is survived by her brother-in-law, James Marshall as well as many nieces and nephews and other loved ones. She was predeceased by her son, Richard Brannon, and her sisters, Alice (James) Marshall and Marion (Paul) Scholten.

Mass & Visitation/Reception: Saturday December 15 at 3pm at Brookdale Senior Living 2nd floor Oak Park Room with Fr George Omwando presiding.

Illinois arrangements are with Drechsler, Brown & Williams Funeral Home. Florence will be interred in Ludlow MA, next to her son. Massachusetts arrangements are with Kapinos-Mazur Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers memoriam gifts can be made to the Oak Park River Forest Food Pantry or charities of the donors’ choice.

To plant a tree in memory of Florence M. O'Neil Brannon, visit the Tribute Store.

Previous Events

Memorial Mass




3:00 PM 12/15/2018 3:00:00 PM
Brookdale Oak Park

1111 Ontario Street
Oak Park, IL 60302

Brookdale Oak Park
1111 Ontario Street Oak Park 60302 IL
United States

Memorial Contribution

Oak Park River Forest Food Pantry

848 Lake St.
Oak Park, IL 60301

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