Edward Smith Brannum | Obituary

September 4, 1941 – September 16, 2023

Col. Edward Smith Brannum USAF (Ret.), “Smith” passed surrounded by his family on Saturday, September 16, 2023. He was preceded in death by his parents, Ed O. Brannum and Eileen Smith Brannum Davis. He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Jimmie Taylor Brannum of Auburn Washington, his three daughters Paige Brannum (Albuquerque, NM), Beth Mann, (Albuquerque, NM), and Alison Kihara (Peter) (of Seattle, WA), and his adored grandchildren Will, Jordan, and Rachel Mann (of Albuquerque, NM), Luke and Noah Jun Kihara ( of Seattle, WA). Smith was born in Scottsboro, Alabama on Sept 4, 1941. He spent his childhood in Scottsboro and graduated from Scottsboro High School in 1959. He attended the University of Alabama and graduated with a degree in Biology and Chemistry. It was at the

University where he met and married his wife, Jimmie Taylor. He remained an University of Alabama football fan his entire life enjoying watching and attending games. In 1966, he joined the Air Force and then spent the next 30 years serving as a pilot and a commander. He earned many distinctions and awards among these were the Legion of Merit with two oak clusters, the Distinguished Flying Cross, and the Bronze Star. During his military career, he flew the C-5 Galaxy and C-141, while in Vietnam he flew the O2. Smith loved being in the military and he especially loved flying to slip “the surly bonds of Earth”. He was a member of the Order of Daedalians, the National Fraternity of Military Pilots. During his career he served in several command positions as a squadron commander of the 56th Squadron at Altus Air Force Base (Altus, OK), Vice Wing Commander at Norton Air Force Base (San Bernardino CA), Wing Commander at both Altus Air Force base (Altus, OK) and then at Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque, NM. His last assignment was as an instructor at Air War College at Maxwell AFB (Montgomery, AL). Following his military retirement, he worked for L3 Communications, then at 75 he decided to retire and settle down. Settling down was not easy for him, he much preferred to “join the tumbling mirth”, “soar.. in the sunlit silence”, and to chase “the shouting wind along”. He and Jimmie settled in Auburn, Wa., an interesting choice for a Bama fan. Following his last retirement he looked for something that could fill the void from flying…he ended up settling on reading and Alabama Football. In Iieu of flowers, please consider adopting a pet from your local animal shelter/ humane society if adoption isn’t possible make a contribution. Graveside service will be in Alabama at a later date.