Jacksonville – Funeral service for Mary Catherine “Kay” Ireland Branson Huddleston, 86, will be Wednesday, April 7, 2010 at 11 a.m. at the K.L. Brown Funeral Home and Cremation Center Chapel with Rev. Chuck Cummings officiating. The family will receive friends at the funeral home one hour prior to service. Mrs. Huddleston died unexpectedly Sunday, April 4, 2010 at Gadsden RMC. Kay was born January 11, 1924 in Lookout Mountain, TN to Allie Mae (Hilton) and William Byron Ireland. Kay grew up in Chattanooga and graduated from Central High School in 1942. She then attended McKenzie School of Business. She first met Roy Branson that same year and, after his return from serving in World War II, they were married in 1945. Kay was a devoted army wife until Roy’s retirement in 1971. His career took them to assignments in Maryland, Virginia, Germany, North Carolina, Hawaii, and then to Fort McClellan where they chose to retire in the area, buy a farm in the West Point community and build a home. Kay was a resident here for over 40 years. After Roy died in 1973, she was fortunate to meet Douglas Ray Huddleston, formerly of Abilene, TX. They were married in 1975 and would have celebrated their 35th wedding anniversary in July.
Together, Kay and Doug raised and bred registered quarter horses for more than 25 years on Lakeview Farms. Some of their horses are now in Germany, Switzerland and South America. Kay was a lifetime member of the American Quarter Horse Association and was one of the founding members of the West Point Saddle Club.
In addition to her devoted husband, of 35 years, Douglas Ray Huddleston, Kay will be lovingly remembered by her children, Roy Edward Branson and his wife Judy, of Chapel Hill, NC, and Deborah Kathryn Branson Blanchard, and her husband Hugh, of Yorktown, VA. Kay’s beloved grandchildren are Emily Branson of Charlottesville, VA; Christopher Branson and his wife Christelle, of New York, NY; Caroline Branson and her fiancé Travis Stewart, of Hillsborough, NC. Also left to mourn Kay’s passing, are Roy Branson’s sisters, Iva Kamp of Houston, MO, Wilma Hull of Lake Wales, FL and Faye Beasley of Raymondville, MO as well as many nieces and nephews. Pallbearers will be Ed Branson, Christopher Branson, Randy Reynolds, Tyler Reynolds, Caroline Branson and Emily Branson.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Allie Mae (Hilton) and William Byron Ireland; her brother, William B. Ireland, Jr.; and her first husband Roy Edward Branson. The family wishes to acknowledge with grateful appreciation Kay’s very special, loving friends Carla Reynolds and Shelia Rodgers. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial contributions be made to either the American Diabetes Association, 200 Office Park Drive, Suite 303, Birmingham, AL 35233 or to the Animal Welfare Organization of your choice.