James “JJ” Warren Branch, 65, passed away peacefully at home in Truckee, Ca., surrounded by his immediate family on Monday August 12th , 2013.
James, “JJ” as we knew him, was born in Los Angeles, Ca, on September 30, 1947 to James and Vivian Branch. They moved to Redding, Ca., where he grew up on a mining claim. In 1967 he went to Vietnam, receiving 6 medals and citations for his service. Returning home, JJ then turned his attention to music and his first love “Red,” his Gibson guitar. Back in LA he played with the rock band Eli and Friends thru the 70s.
Returning home to Redding he joined up with His and the Others; they performed in Truckee in 1982. Most of the band returned to Redding, JJ stayed. Here, he found a pool of musicians to work with and the Barkleys came to be. Thru the 90s he played with Deja-vu, as always, lead and back-up vocals, lead guitar with a little bass thrown in. JJ`s last creation was the Skinny White Samoans flying thru town. JJ was above all a grand showman, as well as one classy act. He could entertain you from laughter to tears, and was always a consummate friend to several generations of Truckeeites.
JJ met his second love and wife, Robin Sassarini in 1985. They happily lived in her childhood home in Truckee, with their cats: Natty, Ruby, Calli and Dooley.
James was preceded in passing by his parents and his brother Kevin Branch. He leaves behind his wife Robin of Truckee, brother Ron Branch and his daughter Jordan and her family all of Redding, Ca, and very many friends.
We’ve lost a great musician and brother. Happy Trails JJ.
A Celebration in life gathering and potluck will be held on Sunday, September 22, at 3:00pm at the Pastime Club in Truckee. Bring your instrument and join us in Remembering “JJ.”