A longtime resident of Orange reached the century mark Thursday, February 4. Violet Branch turned 100 with family and friends celebrating the special day with her.
A parade of police cars, a fire engine, and plenty of Violet’s friends passed by to wave, honk horns, and share birthday cards with her. Larry Spears Jr. the Mayor of Orange read a proclamation naming February 4, 2021 as “Violet LeBlanc Branch Day” in the City of Orange.
Violet met her husband of 70 years in Port Arthur just before World War II. She was married in New Orleans, LA where he was stationed and they lived in the French Quarter.
Violet worked in a munitions factory during the war. While living in New Orleans, she perfected her gumbo and shrimp creole.
After the war ended, they came back to Texas, moved to Orange, and started a family of three children. Violet now has five grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren. Her husband of 70 years died in 2013.
She was in the Woman’s Club in Orange till it was disbanded where she served as president and several other offices. Violet was an avid bridge player and has been in several clubs over the years and only stopped because of the current pandemic.
When her children were grown, she would volunteer to help other children to read. She also loved to travel and made several trips to Europe and other destinations.
Violet loves to draw and paint which she started when a teenager and started taking lessons again around 1970. There are many of her pictures hanging on the walls of her home.
Violet is a faithful member of Faith United Methodist Church of Orange and also attends Wesley United Methodist Church in Orange. Her son Randy Branch is the pastor of Wesley United Methodist.
-Dan Perrine, KOGT-