On Wednesday, August 24, Protodeacon Thomas Branch, cleric of St. Vladimir Church in Miami, FL, reposed in the Lord. He was 66 years old.
Born in Ft. Worth, TX, Fr. Thomas adopted Orthodoxy as an adult. In 1972, he married Catherine Kaschak. In 1990, he was ordained a subdeacon by Metropolitan Philip (Saliba), head of the Antiochian Archdiocese of North America. He completed seminary courses in that jurisdiction in 1993.
In 1995, Fr. Thomas was accepted into the Russian Church Abroad, ordained a deacon by Bishop Hilarion of Manhattan, and assigned to St. Nicholas Mission in Sunrise FL. Since 2003, he was assigned to St. Vladimir Church. His humility and sincere prayer at the divine services inspired many among the clergy and faithful. For his zealous labors, he was awarded the right to wear the double orarion, and in 2013 was elevated to the rank of protodeacon.
He is survived by his Matushka Catherine and their three children: Jennifer (Euthalia), George, and Luke.
Memorial services will be held at St. Vladimir Church. Burial services will take place at Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, NY.
Memory eternal to the newly reposed Protodeacon Thomas!