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OBIT: Peter & Mona Branagh July 14, 2012

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Peter and Mona Branagh

Peter and Mona (York) Branagh Resident of Lafayette, CA Peter and Mona (York) Branagh, proud parents, loving grandparents, faithful brother and sister, devoted children, amazing friends and community-minded developers and designers died Saturday, July 14, 2012. Raised in Piedmont and Oakland, Peter (59) and Mona (57) had been residents of the Lamorinda area since 1983. They were an inseparable and irrepressible couple whose laughter, infectious smiles, youthful joy, and zany humor and unbounded energy flowed through each moment of their lives,  beginning when they first met while in high school at an Oakland church youth group ski trip. Peter was handsome and athletic. Mona was a vivacious beauty. Their unselfconscious warmth and humility attracted those they met throughout their lives. Everyone was included in their circle of friendship and generosity. Whether as college students on campus at Chico State, sharing their faith while on staff with Campus Crusade for Christ, raising remarkable children, building on the legacy of a family construction business or escaping with family and friends to  their beloved Aspen they seemed to head in all directions, full speed, all at once. With their unique energy and enthusiasm, Peter and Mona's businesses, Branagh Development and Pacific Bay Interiors, enriched families and beautified communities. They were a true team whose creative, aesthetic vision and personal values made them trusted business partners and colleagues. Work was an extension of their faith and joy in helping others. Mona loved her children, treasured spending time with them and often said she felt blessed to have them. She also cherished her relationships with the high-school girls whom she mentored over the years, providing support and encouragement in the context of a caring faith that she knew could make a profound difference when life's challenges came along. She felt that God was "carrying her" at a time when she battled a brain tumor. Her style, panache and hospitality were a vital part of Branagh family traditions and celebrations. A whirlwind who could turn any event into a party, Mona loved to be where the action was, not wanting to miss out. She was a come-one, come-all person who was caring, selfless, generous and believed that anything was possible. Peter thought constantly about what it meant to be Christian in a changing world and loved to stir the pot with provocative questions about religion or politics. His sense of humor and love of people enabled him to make friends with everybody at Starbucks, on a shuttle to a ski lift, in a shop, anywhere. He had a gift for connecting asking rapid-fire questions about other's lives and interests. His boundless energy propelled him down the basketball court or the Big Burn at Snowmass, to take on new projects and investments or to become a pilot. Peter's glass was overflowing. There was no escaping his waggling hands, humorous story or in-your-face grin. The youngest of the Branagh boys, he made everything fun, but was often the one who, no matter what the situation, gave his older brothers confidence that any challenge could be overcome. He was a natural born cheerleader, had a plan for everyone and was always encouraging. Peter and Mona would be the first to say, however, that investing their love and time in their children, grandchildren, family and friends is what truly mattered. Their legacy is three children in whose lives their bright eyes, intensity, warmth, faith and fun-loving hearts carry on: Matt with his wife Katie and Beatrice, 2, and another on the way; Michael with his wife Jen and Brody, 3, Sophia, 2, and Bradley, 1 month; and Kathleen with her husband Alex. They also leave behind Peter's mother, Nat, and Mona's mother, Cecilia; Mona's brothers, David with his wife Ellen, and Michael; Peter's brothers, Tom, with his wife Diane and their children, Nicole, John, and Denise; and Bill with his wife Nancy and their children, Geoff and Tommy. Peter and Mona were an amazing team whose practical, generous faith and sincere trust in God was a constant touch point that guided their love of family, passionate work and enabled them to embrace friends, colleagues and casual acquaintances alike. Memorial gifts in Peter and Mona Branagh's honor can be sent to CRU (Campus Crusade for Christ) www.cru.org/give or ICM (International Cooperating Ministries) www.icm.org/give.
Published in Contra Costa Times on August 11, 2012

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