William Branton

Obituary of William Crews Branton

William “B.B.” Crews Branton died peacefully after a lengthy illness on Sunday, July 12, 2020. B.B. was a Lookout Mountain native. He attended Lookout Mountain Elementary School, McCallie School, and Ole Miss. He began a career on the west coast in sports writing and information, serving in the media relations office for Athletes in Action, Seattle Pacific University, Chapman College, and Major League Volleyball. B.B. returned to Chattanooga where he served as Sports Information Director for The University of the South. While at Sewanee, he covered six conference championships and 15 NCAA Tournament appearances. He was a part of the creation of the Sewanee Athletics Hall of Fame in 2004. "B.B. Branton was an absolute workhorse managing our athletic communications office," said Director of Athletics Mark Webb. "He had such a strong sense of athletic history for any sport on any level. B.B. was instrumental in the creation of the Sewanee Athletics Hall of Fame, and without his detailed research, our Hall would not be what it is today." He also wrote articles for the Chattanoogan.com and the Lookout Mountain Mirror for many years covering a variety of sports and community events. Branton was inducted into the Chattanooga Sports Hall of Fame in 2018 as well as the Lookout Mountain Sports Hall of Fame. McCallie's Luther Killian said, "Serving as a sports reporter spanning five decades and as Sports Information Director for Athletes in Action and several World Cup events, no one in Tennessee has written so eloquently about high school, college, and international wrestling with such depth and breadth as Mr. Branton”. In 2019 Branton was inducted into the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame. Referred to as “our scribe” by a friend, B.B. valued old friendships and enjoyed organizing get-togethers during the holidays. His annual holiday lunch had been taking place since 1977 and included a group of old friends from McCallie School and others from grammar school on Lookout Mountain. Branton also organized a reunion in 2002 for Lookout Mountain School's Class of 1961-63, bringing together 125 fellow alums. Earlier this week, one of B.B.’s oldest friends wrote, “Yesterday, when B.B. stood before the Master and heard the words, “Well done, my good and faithful servant,” I am willing to bet that there was a crowd beyond the norm. And how magical it might have been when B.B. would ask his Jesus, “I bet you can’t name the batting order of the 1986 Mets,” and Jesus might giggle back, “B.B, you want to meet some of them? How about Babe Ruth, Satchel Paige, Dizzy Dean ... you are really going to like it up here.” B.B. is survived by his brother, Peter R. Branton, Knoxville, TN, his niece, Linden Blue (Branton) Dean, husband Robb and children Ava and Max, Hillsborough, NC, Jonathan Wade Branton, Knoxville, TN, David Alexander Branton, wife Courtney, Knoxville, TN. Cousins Dan Branton, wife Shelia, Leland, MS, Harry “Bub” Branton, wife Darla, Mountain View, Arkansas, Katherine “Kit” Clarke, husband David, Greenville, MS, Bo Hobson, Louisville, KY, Jane Hobson Marcus, Vernon Hills, IL, Liz Hobson, Lexington, KY, and Courtney Crews Miller, wife Lexy, Hutchinson Island, FL. B.B. was preceded in death by his parents Peter Royal Branton, III and Jane Crews Branton formerly of Lookout Mountain. The family extends their deepest gratitude to Gary Davis, a dear lifelong friend to B.B. In lieu of flowers, please make a gift in B.B.’s memory to Athletes in Action: https://athletesinaction.org/give/ To share memories, photos or condolences please visit www.wannfuneralhome.com
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