CASPER—Margaret Branson died May 15, 2019, in Casper, Wyoming in her home surrounded by family, at the age of 96.
Margaret was born August 7, 1922, to George and Dora Schram Stimmann, in Modesto, California. Margaret grew up in Modesto with her older brother and three sisters. In high school, she participated in the debate club, an activity that she continued after graduation while attending College of the Pacific (COP). While attending COP, she met Rodney Branson who she later married.
Over her lifetime, Margaret earned a Bachelor’s Degree, two Master’s Degree and her Ed.D. Margaret spent her entire professional career as an educator. She was a high school teacher, college professor, assistant superintendent for a large school district in California and associate director for the Center for Civic Education. Margaret’s life-long passion was championing civic education in emerging and advanced democracies around the world, including Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, South Korea, Jordan, Israel and many more countries. Margaret authored numerous textbooks and professional articles. She was one of the editorial directors and principal researchers and writers of the National Standards for Civic and Government.
Margaret was a life-long member of P.E.O. since joining Chapter FY, Oakland, CA in 1951. She also belonged to many professional organizations, including American Historical Association, American Political Science Association, Delta Kappa Gamma, National Council for History Education and Phi Delta Kapp.
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Margaret was a voracious reader, loved to travel and was an immense lover and supporter of animals. Despite all of her professional interests and activities, Margaret’s first priority was her family. She was a devoted mother, grandmother and great-grandmother.
Margaret was preceded in death by her parents, Dora and Georg Stimmann; her husband, Rodney Branson; and son, Tom Branson.
She is survived by her son and daughter-in-law, David and Diane Branson, of Casper, Wyoming; by her granddaughter, Katie Caldwell-Burchett and her husband, Wayne Burchett; and Katie’s two sons, Wyatt and Landon Caldwell, of Casper, Wyoming; by her grandson and his wife, Mike and Alena Branson, of Denver, Colorado; by her daughter-in-law, Ruth Ratzlaff of Fresno, California; and her sister, Eleanor Tillotson, of Tracy, California; and by many nieces and nephews.
Two memorial services are planned for Margaret. The first service will be held on May 31, 2019 at 2:00 PM at Our Saviour’s Lutheran church in Casper, Wyoming officiated by Pastor Jo Ann Neal for local friends and family. The second service will be held on June 29, 2019 at 11:00 AM at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church in Reno, Nevada officiated by Pastor Mike Benke. Receptions will follow immediately at both locations.
In lieu of flowers, please donate to either the Olivia Caldwell Foundation (www.oliviacaldwellfoundation.org) or the National Humane Society (www.humanesociety.org).