brannon, wendell

Wendell Don “Donald” Brannon

Wendell Don “Donald” Brannon, 70, of Galesburg went home to his Lord, June 17, 2022.

Donald was born June 7, 1952, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. He later came to Galesburg as a child with his mother, where he was raised by his loving mother, Bobby Jean Brannon, grandfather, Loraine Brannon, and his caring and loving aunt and uncle, Elizabeth and Henry Brannon.

Donald attended and graduated from Galesburg High School, where his interest in basketball began. He excelled as a member of the GHS basketball team, holding a record as the most assists in a game by a Silver Streak basketball player. He continued on to play basketball at Carl Sandburg College. His love of the sport followed him throughout his life. He was immensely honored to be able to be an assistant basketball coach to the head coach, Barry Swanson, of the GHS Silver Streaks. The opportunity of coaching basketball at GHS and the Galesburg Carver Center, where he also became President of the Carver Center, cultivated so many attachments to his players. Those deep attachments continued throughout his life.

As a young man, Donald began his lifelong career as a conductor for the Burlington Northern/Santa Fe Railroad, that lasted for 43 years. He had a multitude of varying interests, that ranged from his voracious reading of the thousands of books he had accumulated in his own personal library to enjoying reading the books the Galesburg Public Library gave him the opportunity to have access to. He was a Friend of the Galesburg Public Library and supported the growth of the library, as it was able to give the gift of reading and knowledge to all in our community. He loved all forms of African American music, but especially Jazz. His close friend Wendel Hunigan mentored and fueled his love of Jazz. He enjoyed attending local Jazz concerts but listening to the Jazz musicians in the Jazz Clubs of New Yok City was by the far his most favorite venue. Of course, he had to go to his favorite bookstore, The Strand in Union Square, while in New York City.

He appreciated traveling and was blessed to get the opportunity to go to Europe. He loved all sports, especially the Chicago Cubs. When the Cubs won the World Series, he was elated with joy. He loved and respected nature. He loved all animals, especially cats and dogs, but they adored and loved him more.

Donald had the most kind-hearted, warm, giving, caring and loving soul. He loved his wife, family, pets, community, and GOD. He had the most infectious and beautiful smile, that would leave you with a big smile on your face. He loved to have deep conversations, but fancied a light-hearted conversation filled with humor too. He articulated so many times that life and GOD were so good to him. Elizabeth and Henry Brannon and Second Baptist Church nourished Donald’s spiritual growth by instilling their love of GOD.

Donald leaves behind his loving wife, Cathy, a brother Leroy Brannon, his adored and loving pets, and many relatives and friends. He was preceded in death by his mother, Bobby Jean Brannon, his grandfather, Loraine Brannon. his caring aunt and uncle, Elizabeth and Henry Brannon, and a brother Michael Brannon.

Visitation will be 12 p.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, June 25, 2022 at Watson Thomas Funeral Home and Crematory, Galesburg. Funeral Services will follow at 2 p.m. at the funeral home. Burial will be at the East Linwood Cemetery, Galesburg. Memorials may be made to the Friends of the Galesburg Public Library and the Knox County Humane Society. Online expressions may be sent to the family at

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