Roger Louis Branz passed away peacefully after a year-long battle with prostate cancer on Monday, September 16, 2019. Roger was born at Sacred Heart Hospital in Spokane, WA on October 17, 1944 to Louis and Santina Branz of Gem, ID. Although he spent the bulk of his childhood time playing and tromping around the hills of the mining town of Gem (outside of Wallace), he did manage to find a few hours to sleep in the family home above his parents’ saloon and grocery store. Many summer days were also spent with his brother John at their grand parents truck farm in Greenacres, WA. When he was 11, Roger, and his six year old sister Angela visited family in northern Italy with their mother for several months. Roger was an athlete and enjoyed basketball, baseball, boxing and hiking. He graduated from Our Lady of Lourdes Academy in 1962. He attended Gonzaga University. During his college summers, Roger put his extensive knowledge of the surrounding mountains to good use as he worked for the U.S. Forest Service. After graduating in 1967 with a B.S. in Biology and a minor in Philosophy and Physical Education, he began his teaching career at Gonzaga Preparatory School for three years. In 1968, he married Rebecca Tofte and they had one son. They were married for fifteen years. In 1970, he took a job at Freeman Elementary. For the next thirty plus years, he taught fifth and sixth grade there. In 1986, he married Carol McCorkle and they spent 27 years together before she preceded him in death in 2013. During that time, he furthered his education by obtaining his M.A. in teaching from Gonzaga University. In his retired years, Roger loved spending time reading, gardening, enjoying the outdoors watching the Gonzaga men’s basketball team play and every so often surprising people by talking just like Donald Duck. Shortly after moving to Rockwood Estates, he literally fell in love with the girl next door (and she with him). Roger and Patricia Schaub married in 2014. He is survived by his wife Patricia; his mother Santina of Helena, MT; his brother Dr. John (Marlene) Branz DDS of Wallace, ID; his sister Angela (Jim) Spall of Helena, MT and his son Clinton (Cheryl) Branz of Spokane, WA. The family would like to thank the staff at Hospice House South for the loving care they provided to Roger in his final weeks. Memorial donations may be made to Hospice House of Spokane, 121 South Arthur, Spokane, Washington 99202. Private services have been scheduled. To share your memories of Roger and express condolences to the family, please visit the Tribute Wall.
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