Remembering former Saginaw Mayor Greg Branch

SAGINAW (WJRT) - (02/11/19) - The Saginaw community is mourning the loss of former Mayor Greg Branch.

Branch, 62, passed away unexpectedly at his home over the weekend.

Branch served on Saginaw City Council from 2005 to 2013, becoming mayor in 2009.

Current city councilor and friend Bill Ostash said Branch's resume includes so much more.

He was a husband to Ann, and father to three children, Grace, Samuel and Benjamin.

Ostash said Branch poured his passion for Saginaw into many outlets.

"Preservation was a passion, his tentacles are everywhere. He was the mayor, but there's much more that he was involved in," Ostash said.

Ostash describes Branch as a history nerd. He had a collection of vintage typewriters, always had his signature pocket watch, and dearly loved his family and city.

"No matter when you needed to talk to him, he always made time available," Ostash said.

Ostash said Branch was his mentor. They met through the Historic District Commission 15 years ago.

Branch's work didn't stop when he left City Council.

"Some of the things that we're working on right now that I know he'll see us do, he won't be down here, he'll be with us in spirit," Ostash said.

Branch lead Saginaw during a tough time.

The recession had just hit, but decisions then are making an impact today. "I think it was a turning point. I think, things started turning around and we still are. Things just keep improving, if you watch," Ostash said.

Ostash said he'll miss Branch's wit and way with words. "His knowledge, the way he could present his speech and say things, and his writings. Writing, he just had a way with words and putting it on paper."

When he wasn't with his family or serving the city, Branch worked at ad agencies including many years along the Saginaw Riverfront at Princing and Ewend.

Branch loved his city. He was born and raised in Saginaw.

"Greg gave that passion to other people, like myself, and we're all carrying the torch. And I'll carry it for him in the future," Ostash said.

Branch's funeral arrangements are being handled by the Fischer Family Funeral Home.

Visitation will be held Friday, Feb. 15 from 3-8 p.m. at Fischer Family Funeral Home, 504 N. Michigan Avenue, Saginaw. It will continue Saturday, Feb. 16 at St. John's Episcopal Church from 9:30 a.m. until time of funeral service at 11 a.m. The church is located at 123 N. Michigan Avenue, Saginaw.

Click on the 'Related Link' with this story to go to Branch's obituary.

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