MYRA P. BRANCH, after a courageous, graceful and inspiring seven-year battle with Cerebellar Ataxia, Myra passed away on December 26, 2020. In spite of her challenges, Myra lived joyfully, motivating others to do the same. She was born on February 4, 1962 in Espanola, to Soraida and Henry Pacheco of El Guique.
Surviving Myra are her husband, Don Branch of Los Alamos; daughter, Amanda (Shedrick) and grandsons, Azariah, Asher, Royce of Garland, TX; son, Tim (Nadine) of Española; parents, Soraida and Henry; brothers, Leo (Celinia) of El Guique and Eddie (Diane) of Pueblo, CO; uncles, Miguel Chavez (Erma), Wilfred Chavez (Bernice); aunts, Melva Barros, Esther Lopez (Joseph), Angie Morales, Marcella Betts and Carol Gallegos; special sister and brother-in-law, Barbara and Jerry Cates; numerous cousins, nephews and nieces. Myra was preceded in death by her brother, Rodney Pacheco; grandparents, Rosarito and Miguel Chavez and Hipolita and Leopoldo Pacheco; uncles, Ben and Roquez Chavez: aunts, Molly Gallegos, Fabiola Ceniceros and Lucille Cortinez and in-laws, Richard and Lucy Branch.
Myra was raised in El Guique primarily by her grandmother Rosarito and learned the art of New Mexican cooking under her tutelage.
She attended college at New Mexico State University and was a proud Aggie. She held many positions at Los Alamos National Laboratory and made lifelong friends there. She could be seen jogging all around LANL property or attending fitness classes daily. Her running partners, Shirley Herrera, Doris Bryant, and Michelle Marquez were her fellow “road warriors”.
Although she loved her work, her passion was her kids. She was a caring mother who was quick to celebrate her kid’s successes and when the kids made mistakes, she considered everything before the spanking. She was involved in every activity the kids participated in and served on Little League and Golf Boards, was a classroom parent, and team parent to many of the kid’s sports teams. Her kids were her passion, but her grandsons were the loves of her life. Her smile seemed to glow a bit brighter when she held and hugged her little minions.
Myra enjoyed the outdoors, travel, golf, and skiing but was happiest visiting with family and friends. Although her illness affected all of her motor skills and left her wheelchair bound, her zest for life never diminished. She was quick with a smile and her witty comebacks were with her until the end. Although the disorder took away most of her physical capacities, Myra chose to focus on what she could do. She never complained and lived life to the fullest. Her family and friends were in awe of her ability to enjoy life and we were blessed to be a part of her journey.
A rosary will be recited on Saturday, January 2, 2021 at 12:00 p.m. at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church in Los Alamos with a Mass of Christian burial to immediately follow.
We would like to thank all of our family and friends for all of the support we received throughout Myra’s journey and continue to during the last two weeks. We’d especially like to mention Myra’s caregivers Michelle Roybal, Laida Valdez, Thea Medina of Los Alamos and her Arizona caregivers Phyllis, Cindy, and Cassandra, we were blessed by all of you. The poker ladies aka “Sisters” who did indeed love Myra like a sister, the golf gang (Kurt/Cindy, Darren/Maria, Cliff/Linda, Bongo, Brodie/Kathy, Paul/Jill, Donnie/Mary, Jon/Karen) with whom we shared countless laughs and wonderful dinners and the entire golfing communities in Los Alamos and Peoria, Oscar/Kirby/Jonesy, Amy and Todd, Randy and Nancy Vaughn, Don’s work team (best at LANL), Cindy and Andrew, Frank Naivar, Marcia and Jim Hutton, Paul Apodaca, Annette and Steve, Kim and Brian, Anna and Peter, and Barb and Jerry Cates. Lastly, as Myra was so selfless in life, she continues that in death as an organ donor and I know she would be thrilled if you would consider doing the same. The family of Myra P. Branch has entrusted their loved one to DeVargas Funeral Home & Crematory of the Española Valley.