On October 29, 2021, John “Pat” Branch, relocated to heaven, his eternal home, to be with Jesus, his
Lord and Savior.
Pat Branch was born on March 18, 1948 to John and Mary Hance Branch in New Orleans, LA. Soon after, the family moved to Baton Rouge where Pat grew up. As a young boy, Pat learned to love animals; they
would always play a part in his life. When Pat was a teenager, he developed a love and passion for rodeo
and all things 'cowboy'. He liked riding bulls and broncs, but his specialty was bulldogging. As you will
see, rodeo, and those involved in it, would become an important part of Pat's life. After high school, Pat
attended Louisiana State University (LSU). He later attended Criswell Bible College in Dallas, TX where he earned his degree in Theology.
In 1969 the Vietnam War called to Pat. Always the patriot, Pat volunteered and joined the U.S. Army.
After completing his basic training, he became a helicopter crew chief and door gunner. During the war
Pat was often involved in active fighting. His helicopter was shot down three times. He earned three
purple hearts for various injuries, a bronze star for bravery and the Distinguished Flying Cross. Pat was
honorably discharged in 1971 with the rank of E 5.
Following his war experience Pat started his ministry work. It was at a Campus Crusade for Christ
summer camp that he met the love of his life, Margaret Lawless, who was working at the camp. They
were married in May 1981. In 1988 their daughter, Meghan, was born. She was the joy of Pat's life, a gift
Pat's life was anything but dull. Pat worked horseback on several ranches throughout the Western
United States. He was a National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association and Professional Rodeo Cowboy
Association competitor and announced rodeo events for the College of Southern Idaho. Pat also worked
for stock contractor Harry Vold during the College National Finals Rodeo and other events from 1975 to
1996. He was also a long-time volunteer and coordinator for the Fellowship of Christian Cowboys and
helped initiate the chuck wagon breakfast and church service at the National Cowboy Symposium and
Celebration in Lubbock, TX. Pat also worked with the Pro Athletes Outreach program where he served
with numerous Christian, professional athletes. He was also active in helping with local youth rodeo
camps in Idaho. Pat often preached at numerous Cowboy Church services throughout the Western
and Southwestern United States. Additionally, Pat volunteered his services to the local "Meals on
Wheels" program as well as the Kimberly Food Bank taking food door-to-door to those who were in
need. In 2006 Pat received the American Institute for Public Service Jefferson Award, a prestigious
national award that was founded by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, along with others.
Pat loved to cook. He often made his "famous" soups, beans and breads that were quite good, which he
generously shared with friends and neighbors. He also continued his life-long love of animals, especially
horses. Pat enjoyed going on horseback rides with his friends as often as he could. And who can forget
Pat's "corny" jokes that made us all laugh.
Pat lived his life in the service of Jesus Christ by living his life for others. He was a humble, unselfish and
generous man. His life was about sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ, but Pat's ministry was unique. Yes,
he preached. Yes, he performed marriages and funerals. But most of all he shared Jesus by the life he
lived……Pat was ALWAYS helping others. If you needed help, he was there. If you needed food, he was
there. If you needed encouragement, he was there. If you needed to borrow something, he would loan
it to you or give it away - tools, books, clothing, cars or trucks, and even money; he expected nothing in
return. Pat was always helping or serving others. That is who he was. That was his life…and his legacy.
Pat is survived by his wife Margaret "Margo" and daughter Meghan, his brother Paul and his wife Cheryl,
his sister Peggy, and three nephews.
Bless you, Pat. You were "One-of-a-Kind" and very special to many people. You are greatly loved and
A celebration of Pat's life will be held on April 16, 2022 at 11:00 a.m. at the CSI Expo Center.
In lieu of flowers donations can be made to:
Rodeo Camps of Idaho
c/o Dennis Holmes
2184 Hwy 95 Midvale, ID 836450
Big Oak Boys Ranch
6000 Shelley Drive
Springvale, AL 31546
c/o John Croyle