Roberta Edna Bryan

Roberta Edna Bryan was born on January 22, 1922 to Robert Edward Bryan and Ruth Rozella Sullins in Hobart, Kiowa County, Oklahoma USA.(1)(3) She was the youngest of four girls (Twins- Alma and Wilma, and Ozelma) .(#2)

Her father died in a train accident when her mother was pregnant with her, which led to her being named after him.(#2)

During the early years of her life, her mother (Ruth) was in desperate financial straits and had to send her older children away to relatives, but kept Roberta with her.(#2)

Roberta married James Burton “JB” Branum, Jr. (the son of James Burton Branum, Sr. and Sarah Loucille Lain) on Febuary 26, 1946. She and JB had five children: Roberta Sue (Graham), Sandra Lou (Quaid), Sherri Kay (Hill), James Richard Branum, and Alma Kathryn (Paine).(1)(3)

Roberta was the co-founder of Branum’s Variety Stores (which at various points in her life had locations in Minco, Tuttle, Norman, Newcastle and Oklahoma City). At the time of her death, she was a partner in the Clothes Horse Formal Gown Shop at Crossroads Mall in OKC.

She also assisted J.B. Branum Jr. in operation of the Minco Tag Agency and the Minco Gas Authority (the first municipal gas company in Oklahoma). And she was also the co-operator of Alma’s Wigs in Norman.(#2)(3)

Roberta was a member of the Minco Church of Christ, as was her mother (Ruth), but it is not known if she was a member of the Churches of Christ prior to her time in Minco.(#2)(3)

Interestingly enough, later in life, J.B.’s widowed father (James Burton Branum, Sr.) married Robert’s widowed mother (Ruth) in 1957, making J.B. and Roberta not only husband and wife, but also step-brother and step-sister to each other.(4)

Roberta’s later years were marked by a fight with leukemia. She made the decision to fight agressively against the cancer, and ended up receiving a full range of experimental treatments (including blood marrow transplants) at the M.D. Anderson hospital in Houston, Texas. After at least five years of treatment (need to confirm this), she died, likely due to damage caused to her body by the aggressive cancer treatment.(#2)