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September 30, 1958 – April 21, 2023

Mr. Ray Willis Branch, 64, of 135 W. Old Street, Petersburg, VA, departed this life on Friday, April 21, 2023, at Bon Secours Community Hospice House, Richmond, VA.  Ray Ray as he was affectionately called was born on September 30, 1958, to Anne Marie Claiborne and Willis E. Branch, Sr.

He was a member of Oak Grove Baptist Church and later moved his membership to Second Baptist Church in Chester, where he sang in the choir.  Ray was employed at PreCon in Chester and Virginia State College (University).  He was also a jack of all trades to include lawn care, a painter, housekeeper, power washer, and anything else you needed he could do it.  He also worked on the restoration of The Garden in Petersburg.

When Ray Ray was a child his first love was baseball, second love was football, and his third love was basketball.  The family including his grandmother “Ma” would go and we were his biggest cheerleaders.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Anne Marie Claiborne and Willis E. Branch, Sr.; brothers, James T. Branch and Willis Edward Branch, Jr.; and his maternal and paternal grandparents and great grandparents on both sides.

Ray Willis leaves to cherish his memory, two children, Michael Vincent Minton, Sr. and Ray Willis Minton; three grandchildren; three sisters, Evonne B. Walker, Arnette B. Cheatham and Judy A. Branch; two brothers, Willis E. Branch, Sr and James Thomas Branch; nieces, Pamela Y. Minter, Dr. Shantel S. Fleming and LaTrelle D. Branch-Goodwyn; nephews, Brian W. Fleming; devoted friends, Willie Parham (who was like a brother. All he had to do was ask and we really appreciated all Willie did), Frances Browder, and Rashenda Browder; and host of aunts, uncles, cousins, other relatives and friends too numerous to name.

A graveside service will be held 11:00 A.M., Wednesday, April 26, 2023, at the Lively Community Cemetery, 13121 Branders Bridge Road, Chester, VA, the Rev. Charles Sumpter, eulogist.

J.M. Wilkerson Funeral Establishment, Inc., 102 South Avenue, Petersburg, VA, (804) 732-8911, watch the funeral services live online at