Bonnie June Branch Scanlan


Bonnie June Branch Scanlan, 84, a longtime resident of rural Epping, N.D., formerly of Rosebud, died Thursday morning, Dec. 5, 2013, at the Bethel Lutheran Home in Williston, N.D.

Her memorial service will be Saturday afternoon, May 17, 2014, at 2 p.m. in the Bethel Lutheran Home Chapel in Williston. The Rev. Garvon Golden will officiate. Cremation has taken place.

Friends may visit: to share remembrances of Mrs. Scanlan or leave condolences with the family. Friends also may call at the Bethel Lutheran Home on Saturday for the hour preceding the funeral.

Mrs. Scanlan was born on March 3, 1929, in Forsyth. She was the daughter of Wayne and Wanetta Lovett Branch. She grew up and attended school in Rosebud and graduated as a junior.

She and her family grew up around horses and loved them. Her father, Wayne, was a thoroughbred race horse trainer, who won races on the dirt tracks of Montana.

Mrs. Scanlan was a kind, loving, spiritual and talented person. She could play the piano by ear and would play for her classmates at the school dances. She was a hard worker and earned money to purchase piano books and further her talent. She was a good cook, seamstress, artist, singer and writer. She appreciated all types of music, especially country western music.

During high school she worked in a drug store, and later as a telephone operator. She would make sandwiches for the sailors to help the war effort at Bremerton, Wash.

After the war she met her future husband, Joe Scanlan, and it was love at first sight. She and Mrs. Scanlan were married in a quiet ceremony, on March 8, 1947, in a Baptist Church in Miles City.

Mr. and Mrs. Scanlan lived in a log cabin with a dirt floor, while he worked as a ranch hand at the Hunt Ranch in Montana. Later, they moved to Miles City, Poplar, Glendive, then Laurel. During this time, she had two boys, Jim and Wayne, and their girl, Joli. Later they moved to Tioga, N.D., and lived there while Mr. Scanlan continued to manage the shop for Northern Tank Line.

They both longed for the country life, and in 1962, bought a ranch/farm in rural Epping where they resided to present day. In the early years their ranch consisted of horses, cattle, pigs and later they added sheep. During these years, Mrs. Scanlan helped her husband field phone calls for his job, as well as make meals for him while he was working in the field. Not only a homemaker, she would help haul hay bales for the farm and take the cream from the milk cows to sell at the creamery.

Later, in 1966, she welcomed her last son, Shay Scanlan.

Over the years Mrs. Scanlan made professional-looking pearl snapped shirts for her husband, Joe. Every child and grandchild was gifted a denim-pieced quilt and handmade crocheted rag rug. Her daughter will cherish a corduroy pieced quilt made out of all the tops she made in her grade school years. A wool jacket and plaid skirt were made, as well as a satin wedding dress and two flower girl dresses.

In the fall of 1975, Mrs. Scanlan had a hospital stay, where Pastor Arnold of the First Baptist Church prayed with her and she accepted Jesus as her Savior. Mrs. Scanlan shared her faith with everyone in her family as well as all the neighbors. She was never ashamed of her Lord and her faith was unmoving.

In the autumn after Mr. and Mrs. Scanlan’s 50th wedding anniversary, she fell and fractured her hip. Mrs. Scanlan later had an allergic reaction and ended up on dialysis in Bismarck, N.D., fighting for her life. She lived 16 more years to celebrate a 60th and 65th wedding anniversary with Mr. Scanlan.

Mrs. Scanlan had another fall in her home in April 2013. She never felt strong enough to walk again. Mrs. Scanlan was hospitalized Nov. 1, 2013, where an infection in her heart was discovered. Her health continued to decline. She was eventually transferred to Bethel Lutheran Home to be closer to her family and primary physician in Williston. Her family was by her side as her health continued to deteriorate.

She died peacefully on Thursday morning, Dec. 5, 2013, in the presence of her daughter, Joli, who read and sang the 23rd Psalm to her, until she died.

Always placing others first and keeping family in the forefront, Mrs. Scanlan was truly a woman of Proverbs, “Her children arise up and call her blessed, her husband also, and he praised her.”

Mrs. Scanlan is survived by her husband, Joe Scanlan of rural Epping; her children, Jim Scanlan of Bethel Lutheran Home in Williston, Wayne Scanlan of Hugo, Minn., Joli (Scanlan) Johnson of rural Epping; and Shay Scanlan of rural Epping; her grandchildren, Jeremiah Johnson of Williston, Jacob Johnson, Kim (Scanlan) Lee and Joseph Scanlan, all of rural Epping, and Tyler Scanlan of Hugo, Minn.; one brother, Billy Branch of Phoenix, Ariz.; and many nieces and nephews.

Preceding Mrs. Scanlan in death were her parents, Wayne and Wanetta Branch; her brother, Dewayne Branch; and her sisters, Loma (Branch) Theade and Betty Branch. 

The Everson Funeral Home of Williston is caring for the family.