Lawrence E. Branche, 81, Watertown

WATERTOWN, NY —  Lawrence E. “Larry” Branche, 81, of 933 LeRay St., Watertown, NY, passed away peacefully on De. 24, 2020, at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester.

Calling hours will be held 4 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 30, at the Johnson Funeral Home in Dexter, NY.

A funeral Mass will be said 10 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 31, at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Church in Watertown. Burial will follow in Glenwood Cemetery with military honors.

Born March 17, 1939, in Hounsfield, NY, the son of Edward and Helen (Hayes) Branche, he attended Sackets Harbor High School.

Following school, he entered the U.S. Army on April 13, 1962 and served with the 793rd Engineers. Afterwards, he continued his service in the 479th U.S. Army Reserves.

He married Kathleen A. Lynch on May 28, 1966 at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Church. Larry began his career as a carpenter in that same year with the Local 278 Carpenters Union. He worked on many projects, like the St. Lawrence Seaway, Interstate 81, Nine Mile Point Nuclear Station, and the expansion of Fort Drum.

He was also a life time member and former trustee of the American Legion Post 588, former member of the Watertown Elks Lodge 496, and communicant of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Church where he served as an usher.

He and Kathy were lifelong dancers and were happiest on the dance floor listening to the Patti Stanford Band. They are grateful for the friendships formed throughout the years.

Larry is survived by his beloved wife of 54 years, Kathleen Branche; two daughters: Michelle (Thomas) Reff of Watertown, Lori (Michael) Panasci of Skaneateles, NY; five grandchildren: Jeremy, Olivia, Anthony, Jack, and Aidan; his brothers and sisters: Donald Branche of Sackets Harbor, NY, Carolyn (Frank) Cimino of Huntersville, NC, Charles (Sheila) Branche of Sackets Harbor, Phillip (Melanie) Branche of Rodman, NY, Phyllis (Michael) Halloran of Deltona, FL, Kathleen LaClair of Sackets Harbor; sister-in-laws Eleanor Grupico of Watertown and Donna Guyette of Carthage, NY; a sister-in-law, Pamela Alton, Syracuse; and many nieces and nephews.

In addition to his parents, Larry was predeceased by his brother William Branche, brother-in-laws Elmer Alton and Joseph Melara, and sister-in-laws KiKi Branche and Jeanette Melara.

He cherished time with his family and friends and his smile could brighten a room. His generosity and fun-loving spirit will be missed by all who had the pleasure of knowing him.

Donations may be made to Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Church in Watertown.

A celebration of life will be scheduled at a later date.

Online condolences may be made at