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Anne Marion Branson

January 18th, 1934 - June 10th, 2024
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Anne Marion Branson passed away peacefully surrounded by family and friends on June 10, 2024 at the age of 90. She is survived by her husband of 62 years, Don Branson, daughter Beth and grandchildren Mattene and Elise Mehrassa, son and daughter-in-law David and Sharon Branson, and her sister Elizabeth “Bee” Matthews.  

Anne was born January 18, 1934 in Chislehurst, England to Florence (Gwen) and Alfred (Peter) Pehrson. She met and fell in love with Don Branson of Maple Ridge, and they married on October 28, 1961, in Beckenham, England. In Maple Ridge, Anne and Don raised their family in the house that would be her cherished home for the rest of her life. 

Anne’s interest in travel and curiosity about the world led her to embark on an ocean liner voyage from England to Canada in 1958 to begin a new chapter in her life. Since then, she has traveled to vibrant destinations including Fiji, Australia, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Egypt, Greece, Italy, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands, Sweden, Mexico, Costa Rica, Colombia, Brazil, Chile, Argentina and the Falkland Islands. However, her greatest passion was her teaching career. 

Anne, a teacher for 42 years in both England and Maple Ridge, had graduated from the University of London in 1955, and from the University of British Columbia in 1963. Her teaching career focused on students with diverse learning needs, beginning in England with deaf students and continuing to students requiring special education in Maple Ridge. 

In 1975, Anne co-founded Arthur Peake School after hearing concerns about students with intellectual difficulties being relegated to portables and annex rooms. She became one of its first teachers and later served as the school's principal. In 1988, Anne became principal of Rainbow Ridge Provincial Resource Program and continued to lead her students with recreational activities, teaching essential life skills and gaining basic work experience. 

Anne co-authored two books, Access 94 and Access 95, written for educators and professionals working with the most challenged students. Anne wrote about integrating these students into the school and community, drawing from her life’s work and experiences.  

Anne’s innovative programs achieved province-wide approval and were sanctioned by UBC, Douglas College, and a variety of organizations that fostered the development of those with handicaps. In May of 1997, Anne was presented with the Helen Casher Award for Outstanding Service by the Dewdney Chapter #601 Council for Exceptional Children.  

Anne led a very fulfilling life, marked by many outstanding accomplishments for her profession and community, numerous travel opportunities, and, most importantly, being surrounded by a family who loved her dearly. She had been married to the love of her life for 62 years and lived just eight doors down from her daughter and grandchildren.  

Anne’s celebration of life will be held at Maple Ridge Funeral Chapel in the Tea Room (11969 216th St, Maple Ridge) on Sunday, August 11, 2024 at 2:00 pm.


Tributes

Janet Purser
July 15th, 2024

Anne was the principal at Rainbow Ridge Provincial Resource School. She always led by example and we all learned so much from her. We attended, (the staff) many conferences and were filled with information when we returned and Anne somehow made sure we were all able to attend.
What a great loss for you all. My Condolences, she will be missed.

Betty Vorlop
July 15th, 2024

Mr Branson, Beth and David - I'm so sorry to hear about Mrs Branson's passing. How wonderful that you have so many incredible memories. May you find comfort in those memories now.

Betty (Banks) Vorlop

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