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Willie B. Branch, former Co-op checker, dies

Original post made on Nov 15, 2007

Willie B. Branch, a beloved former Co-op Market checker who was rescued from homelessness by the Palo Alto community that loved him, has died.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, November 14, 2007, 12:00 AM

Comments (4)

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Posted by Derek Salas
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 15, 2007 at 8:31 pm

Rest in Peace,brother.
You will be missed by many,
and I will always remeber what you told me
"If you dont mind ,it dont matter"
You were my mentor and friend.

Heres to you,8 Ball.

Derek Salas,
Las Vegas,NV

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Posted by Bill Shearer
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Feb 20, 2010 at 2:19 pm

It's a snowy day here today, a little west of Denver, Colorado. I was feeling nostalgic and was doing some google searches about my old stomping grounds in Palo Alto. I came across Matt Bowling's Palo Alto History Project website and saw a photo of my old neighbor and friend Willie Branch. We parted ways with Willie when we moved to Colorado in 1997. I was so shocked and saddened to read that he was homeless and having trouble after the Co-op closed, and then I as I searched for more info about Willie, I found the news that he had passed in 2007. My heart sunk. We shared many good times. We would have little friendly competitions to see who could make the best rack of ribs. He always won, but I didn't care, we enjoyed the ribs, the company and the laughs through it all. When my son was turning 6, Willie asked him what he wanted for his birthday, so Willie would know what to get for him. My son told Willie he wanted some of Willie's famous ribs for his birthday party. Willie brought 2 of the best racks of ribs we ever had. Willie always told me his dream for retirement was to have some kind of mobile BBQ rig, and he'd drive up and down the coast, picking a different place to park each day and sell his fantastic ribs to people. This would have given him the chance to spread his infectious smile and build his fan club even bigger. I hope he's in a better place, and I can see all of the people in heaven smiling, enjoying Willie's charms and the best ribs in heaven.

Miss you Willie, sorry I didn't search for you a few years earlier.
I was happy to read of all the people who pitched in to help.

Bill Shearer
Arvada, CO

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Posted by Alpha Wilson
a resident of Professorville
on May 20, 2013 at 4:03 pm

I moved out of Palo Alto in 1996, but I remember Willie very well. He was a highlight of my weekly shopping trips to the Co-Op. I think he knew every customer and he could remember my grandmother's member number better than I could. I'm so glad the community supported him after the Weekly article and I wish I had known in order to help, also.
Thank you for being there, Willie.

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Posted by Gilbert
a resident of another community
on Aug 21, 2013 at 9:40 am

willie was my good friend i use to bag groceries for him at the co-op
after he lost his job i told him about the newspaper it was easy tranning him
we had fun
he never gave up he was weak but allways did his job
when he lost his blue subaru he was angry so i got him a 2 door silver nissan sentra 4 speed
he was like a kid whit a new toy
i always remember you willie
can some one tell me where i can at least take him some flowers

my nuber (650)2900151

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