James Merle Branstetter


James Merle Branstetter, 79, of Barnsdall died May 24, 2019. He was born March 30, 1940 to William Actlus Branstetter and Lois Merl (Cummins) Branstetter.


He graduated from Barnsdall, Oklahoma, High School in 1958, where he enjoyed playing all sports. This class had one of the early teams that were coached by Coach Gilbert. He attended Oklahoma Military Academy in Claremore and graduated May of 1960. Shortly after graduation he was hired at Phillips Petroleum as a Computer Programmer and worked there for 27 years. After his retirement from there he continued in the field as a Computer Programmer with other companies including a stint in Saudi Arabia and St. Louis, Missouri. After he moved back to Barnsdall he went to work as a Security Guard for Dick Conner Detention Center in Hominy, Ok. He worked there five years before finally retiring for good.


On July 16, 1960, he married Nancy Kay Rhodes. Out of this union the family consisted of one daughter, Gina Kay Branstetter of Deer Park, Texas, and one son, Scott Merle Branstetter, wife Reagen, of LaPorte, Texas; one granddaughter, Taylor Renee Branstetter also of LaPorte.


On May 16, 1992, he married Nelda Turner and welcomed her children into his life: one step-daughter, Kelley Stienley of Sherman, Texas, and her son, Joey and daughter Samantha; also one step-son, Rick Turner from Houston Texas.


For many years he and Nelda delivered food from “Mary Martha Outreach” to so many people in-need in the Barnsdall area. He and Nelda loved their rescue-cats. He was especially attached to one he rescued called Blaze.


He loved being around his family and friends.


He is survived by his wife of the home; his children and step-children; his grand daughter and step-grandchildren; two sisters: Sandra and Jerry Pierce of Barnsdall and Trudy and Jack Bagg of Newkirk. He is also survived by numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. (To many to list)


He is preceded in death by his parents; baby sister, Delois Ann Branstetter; two sisters and their husbands, Willie May and JT Cox and Jennie Lee and Hannan Brown.


The family would like to send a heart-felt thank you to the staff at the Pawhuska Hospital and Jane Phillips Hospital for their wonderful extended care they gave to James. And also to the staff at “The Journey Home” and Carter Hospice during his short stay there.


In lieu of flowers the family has asked for any donations to be sent to “The Journey Home” in Bartlesville.


The family will be having a memorial to celebrate James’ life for family and friends at a later date.