Gara Ann Newman Branin passed in her sleep on March 3, 2019 at her home in Cedar City, Utah.
Gara was born April 18, 1938 in Tyrone, Pennsylvania to Esther and Paul Newman. She loved her hometown of Tyrone and in spite of moving away after graduating from Tyrone High School, she continued to regularly visit family and friends there her entire life. She also did her best to contribute to the Tyrone economy by mail-ordering large amounts of chocolate from Gardners Candies for her family every Easter and Christmas.
She graduated from high school in 1956 where she was head cheerleader, sang in the choir, and excelled academically. She graduated from Indiana State Teachers College in Indiana, Pennsylvania and pursued graduate work at Penn State. She again excelled in academics and was very active in her sorority. She became a school teacher, teaching several grades until eventually specializing in reading education. She retired from Greenwood Elementary in American Fork, Utah. One of Gara’s legacies is that thousands of children learned to read under her compassionate eye.
Gara joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1962 and married John “Jack” Branin in 1964. The couple moved from Pennsylvania to Utah in 1969. They have one child, John “Jeb” Branin (Pamela) and four grandchildren; J. Kyle Branin, John J. Branin (Ashley), Katy Jensen (Jack), and Cole Branin (Elyssa). They have one great-grandson, John Michael Grant Jensen.
Gara loved her family, reading, travel, creme-filled donuts, the colors blue and yellow, her dogs, scarves, and Elvis’ hips. In her later years she developed a love for the music of Queen and Deep Purple. Go figure. She loved to collect and display knick-knacks, especially items that reflected her Swedish heritage. She treasured her circle of friends, near and far, and was always generous in assisting anywhere she saw need.
Gara’s funeral will be held on Friday, March 22, 2019 at 11:00 A.M. in the Cross Hollows Stake Center of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 2830 Cody Drive, Cedar City, Utah. Her ashes will be interred at Blair Memorial Park in her beloved Tyrone near her parents and grandparents. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that books or monetary gifts in Gara’s name be donated for children in her community through the Iron County Holiday Assistance Program at https://www.suu.edu/siel/cec/holiday-assistance.html.