Our beloved MaryLee (Moore) Braniff passed away peacefully at Cottage Hospital in Santa Barbara, California on Tuesday, October 7, 2014, surrounded by her loving family.
Born in Phoenix, Arizona on February 16, 1937, to Bill and Annalee (Melby) Moore, MaryLee was the eldest of four children. Her mother’s Irish and Norwegian heritage is listed in the First Families of Arizona.
MaryLee served as Vice-President of West Phoenix High School her senior year and graduated from Arizona State University with a BA in Education. In college she was President of Gamma Phi Beta sorority.
MaryLee taught school and enriched young lives teaching kindergarten for over twenty- five years in Arizona and California.
She moved to Santa Barbara after marrying Dr. Blaine Braniff in 1983, where they shared a joyful life.
MaryLee was active with Hospice of Santa Barbara and served on the Board of the Museum of Natural History.
MaryLee, or “ML” as her closest friends knew her, devoted her life to making people feel special and loved. She had a generous heart, a beautiful smile, a wonderful sense of humor, and always exuded cheerfulness.
She made us all better people through her gift of friendship, and the selfless way she conducted her life. Her daily mission was to say something kind to a stranger.
Her treasured hobbies were reading, mastering crossword puzzles, writing notes of thanks and love, playing golf and tennis, and traveling.
MaryLee fought serious diseases, including cancer, and always conducted herself with courage and amazing grace.
She spent her life as a devoted wife and mother, and her grandchildren brought her great joy. She had a true gift of letting each know how special they were.
She was pre-deceased by her first husband, Bill Miller, at an early age.
She is survived by her husband Blaine, siblings; Nancy (Bennett), Jerry Moore and Mark Moore, children; Jillian (Ron Cain), Robert Braniff (Susan), Kent Braniff (Tina), and Allison (Cees Molenaar), ten grandchildren, and two great grandchildren.
Our hearts are broken for losing such a remarkable soul. Her compassion and love will forever live in countless hearts, and we are sure she is looking down upon us and “loving us to pieces”.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History or Hospice of Santa Barbara. Or simply, follow her lead and pass on a kind word to a stranger.
A private celebration of her life is planned.