(Everett Maguire shared his thoughts about Bill Branch at his close friend’s funeral service on January 12 at Corpus Christi. He agreed to let us share them with readers.)
I first met Bill in the early 1990s, when he became a Mason in the Riviera Lodge, in which he soon became its Master, then secretary. Over time I learned that we both had much in common: 1.) we both married wonderful ladies named Nancy; 2.) we drove the same make of cars, as did our wives; 3.) we both had engineering degrees; 4.) we both were active members of the American Legion, Methodist Church, Shrine Club and Masonic lunch club; 5.) we both have cabins in the San Bernardino Mountains.
[In 2003], Bill came up with the idea of placing a Masonic Cornerstone and time capsule in the wall of the Palisades branch library that was being built, but was told he needed the City’s library board’s approval. I went with him to the hearing of the board. Bill was prepared with drafts of documents, and of course, he obtained the board’s approval.
Bill, as Lodge secretary, would go right home after a Lodge meeting. When I got home after locking up the building, etc., I would find in my fax machine, for my comments, a draft of the Lodge minutes for the meeting just held. When I returned the draft minutes to Bill with my comments, I started putting a grade at the top. Whenever I left off a grade on the minutes, Bill would ask me about his “grade.” He had a great sense of humor.