Jerry R. Branum
Jerry Randolph Branum passed away September 15, 2020, age 80, after a long struggle with COPD and its complications. Jerry was born November 1, 1939, on his grandfather’s farm near Niederwald, Texas, to Rudolph and Vera (Boesel) Branum. Jerry’s father was a fish culturist with the Department of Interior and in 1946 the family moved to Montana where they lived at fish hatcheries in Bozeman, Creston, and then Miles City starting in 1949. Jerry’s school years began at Cayuse Prairie Elementary in Creston, and then continued in Miles City where he graduated from Custer County High School in 1958. Jerry was an outstanding athlete playing centerfield in American Legion Baseball and halfback for the Custer County Cowboys high school football team. As a running back, Jerry was known as “Jerry the Jet” and he was particularly proud of consistent long yardage each game with 204 yards in a single game against Hardin his junior year.
Jerry was hired by the Montana Department of Highways in 1961 and with department training became a project manager for bridge construction in eastern Montana. In 1976 he was transferred to the Bozeman division and made his home in Livingston, MT. During his career, Jerry oversaw the construction of more than 80 bridges in southeastern and southwestern Montana. Impressive projects included bridges over the Yellowstone River near Rosebud and another near Springdale, MT. Jerry retired from the Department of Highways (now the Department of Transportation) in 1989 but continued to work in bridge construction accepting many assignments as project manager for a rewarding post-retirement career. His last two bridge projects were across the Gallatin River at Gallatin Gateway in the early 2000s.
In 1960, Jerry married Nancy Meidinger of Miles City and they had two wonderful sons, Greg and Scott. Over the years the family made their home in Miles City, Forsyth, Bozeman, and Livingston. Son Greg graduated from Custer County High School in Miles City, and son Scott graduated from Park High School in Livingston. Jerry and Nancy parted company in 1984 but remained friends thereafter. In 1997, Jerry married Pat Marman Tendeland and although the official marriage lasted only two years, they remained close and had a long relationship as partners-in-life for the rest of their days. For their last 20 years they spent winters in Yuma, AZ, and summers in Livingston, enjoying the best of the American West.
Throughout Jerry’s life he loved camping, hunting, and fishing, and enjoyed telling stories of his many adventures. A high point in his hunting career was the taking of a buffalo by special permit near Yellowstone Park in 1988. Jerry also much enjoyed bowling and bowled with considerable skill and tournament success. Jerry’s favorite movies were “Giant” and “Heaven Can Wait.” His favorite songs were Roy Clark’s “Yesterday When I Was Young,” Neil Diamond’s “Say Maybe,” and Andy William’s “Somewhere My Love.”
Jerry was preceded in death by his sister Joanne, his parents Rudolph and Vera, his brother Paul, and his partner and former wife Pat Marman Tendeland. Jerry is survived by his former wife Nancy, his son Greg with granddaughter Devin (Matt Cain), and his son Scott with grandsons Jason and Jared. He is also survived by his sister Elinor Vick (Gary Holm), and brothers Allen and Rodney.
By Jerry’s request, there will be no funeral. To honor Jerry’s memory, donations may be made to: Livingston HealthCare Foundation, 320 Alpenglow Lane, Livingston, MT 59047.
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