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History

History

Branon Funeral Home has been serving Lamesa area families for years. We are honored to be a part of the rich history of this community and plan to be a part of it for many years to come.

For nearly one hundred years, Branon Funeral Home has offered the families of Lamesa and surrounding communities excellent care and compassionate service during a time of loss.
The Branon tradition of service began in the early 1920’s with Clyde Branon, who managed a small funeral parlor in Lamesa, TX. In 1939, the firm was relocated to a new building at 403 N. Austin Street, where the funeral home still stands today. From 1939 to 1964, the firm was owned by the Higginbotham family. However, Clyde Branon and his son, Tom Branon, became owners in 1964, which began a legacy of service that would span four generations. The Branons also provided emergency ambulance services until 1975.

When Clyde passed away in 1977, Tom and his sons Mike and Tommy continued in the long-standing tradition of service to families by going above and beyond to support families in their time of need.

In the late 70s, Tom realized that more and more families were requesting to set aside funds to spare their loved ones from having to pay for funeral services at the time of death. However, Tom was concerned about the quality of third-party prepaid insurance services available at the time. In 1981, he became part of an innovative solution to the question of prepaid funeral funds. Together with three other West Texas funeral directors, Tom helped to establish an insurance company that focused solely on prepaid funeral policies and annuities and stood for financial integrity and long-term, conservative growth. That company, called Funeral Directors Life Insurance Company, has grown far beyond the founders' original vision. It is now a well-respected nation-wide insurance company that was recently recognized by Ward's 50 as one of the top 50 life and health insurance companies domiciled in the United States.

Sadly, Tom never got to see the tremendous success of the company he helped to establish. In 1988, he passed away, and his sons Mike and Tommy took over the family funeral home. Tommy resigned in 2002 to start a new career teaching at Midland College. In 1996, Branon Funeral Home was sold to Loewen; however, Mike had the opportunity to return to the family business in 2007 and once again became owner of Branon Funeral Home.
Following in his father's and grandfather's footsteps, Mike was a third-generation member of the Branon family to become a licensed funeral director and embalmer. After the death of his father in 1988, Mike took the helm as the family leader for the funeral home. He was on the Funeral Directors Life Insurance Company Board of Directors and served on the Executive Committee for over 25 years. For many years Mike guided the day to day operations of Branon Funeral home. He never wavered in his leadership, and he shared the dedication that his father and grandfather had for the people of Lamesa and surrounding area. Mike was a member of the Texas Funeral Directors Association, the National Funeral Directors Association and the National Eagle Scout's Association.

In 2007, Mike was joined by the fourth-generation family member Leslie Branon Montz and her husband, Richard.
Leslie and Richard met at Dallas Institute of Funeral Service where they both earned an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Funeral Service in 2007. They then moved to Lamesa to carry on the family business. Mike led, mentored, and guided them to continue the family legacy of serving our community and surrounding area during their hardest days while suffering a great loss. They are both members of Texas Funeral Directors Association and National Funeral Directors Association.

Richard was raised in Erath, Louisiana and is a veteran of the United States Air Force having served for six years.

Leslie earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Arts and Technology in Interior Design in 2004 from Texas State University-San Marcos. She is also a member of the Epsilon Chapter of Pi Sigma Eta, an honorary funeral service fraternity.

In January of 2015, the Branon family was forced to endure another death in the Branon family when Mike Branon passed away. Leslie and Richard continued forward as fourth-generation owners of Branon Funeral Home with great pride guiding those that grieve and placed their trust in them to care for their families.

In 2015, Leslie was nominated to hold a third-generation seat on the board of directors for Funeral Directors Life Insurance Company. She currently serves on the board of directors for FDLIC and the board of directors for Parkway Advisors.

In 2019, Leslie and Richard retired and passed the Branon Funeral Home torch to their personally trained local management team and staff. They are confident that their legacy will march forward after almost 100 years of service from the Branon family. Leslie and Richard continue to be of service in the funeral industry focusing on assisting funeral homes across the nation to grow their businesses and provide the highest level of service to families in their communities.

Branon Funeral Home
Phone: (806) 872-8335
403 North Austin Avenue, Lamesa, TX 79331


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