Cover photo for William R. "Bill" Branson's Obituary
William R. "Bill" Branson Profile Photo

William R. "Bill" Branson

December 28, 1934 — September 2, 2023


William R. "Bill" Branson


William R. “Bill” Branson, 88, a lifelong Shelbyville resident, passed away Saturday, September 2, 2023, at Ashford Place Health Campus in Shelbyville.

He was born December 28, 1934, in Shelbyville, the son of William C. and Edna May (Stanley) Branson.  On March 16, 1957, he married Martha Joann Tucker, and she preceded him in death on July 18, 2022.

Bill is survived by his sister, Sharon Turner and husband, Lynn, of Arlington; brother, John Branson and partner, Peggy Leslie Humbles, of Shelbyville; sister-in-law, Sharon Branson of Shelbyville; three daughters; five grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; and his dog, Missy.

In addition to Martha, Bill was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Jerry Stanley Branson and James L. Branson; infant sister, Mary Charlene Branson and beloved dog, Mitzi.

Bill graduated from Shelbyville High School.

He was a member of Bengal Christian Church, where he served as an elder.

Bill was a U.S. Navy veteran, serving during the Korean Conflict.

In 1981, he retired as the Captain of the Shelbyville Fire Department, with 22 years of service.  He also served as the first fire and arson investigator, and was a charter member of the International Association of Firefighters.

After retirement, Bill became the first jail commander for the Shelby County Sheriff Department, and later a reserve detective and the director of Shelby County Community Corrections.

Bill was a life member of the National Rifle Association, Fraternal Order of Police, Law Enforcement Alliance and American Legion Post No. 70.

Visitation will be from 10 to 11:30 am, Thursday, September 7, 2023, at Freeman Family Funeral Homes and Crematory, Carmony-Ewing Chapel, 819 S. Harrison St. in Shelbyville.

Funeral services will follow at 11:30 am, Thursday, at the funeral home.

Interment will be at Forest Hill Cemetery in Shelbyville, with military graveside rites conducted by the local military committee.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Bengal Christian Church, 3518 South Shelby 750 West, Franklin, Indiana 46131 and Shelbyville-Shelby County Animal Shelter, 705 Hale Road, Shelbyville, Indiana 46176.

Online condolences may be shared with Bill’s family at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of William R. "Bill" Branson, please visit our flower store.

Past Services


Thursday, September 7, 2023

10:00 - 11:30 am (Eastern time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Thursday, September 7, 2023

Starts at 11:30 am (Eastern time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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