On Thursday, January 14, 2021 Branson Reynolds passed away at the age of 74 from complications following surgery. Branson was born on December 16, 1946 in Hobart, Oklahoma to Joseph DeKalb and Pauline Rose (Bills) Reynolds. Branson variously worked as a biologist, archaeologist, nature photographer, and author. Branson is survived by his boys Larry and Justin Myers, granddaughter Lily, several nieces and nephews, and a host of friends (human and canine) he loved as family.
Branson was never afraid to follow his passions, largely because they invariably led him outdoors. Like a Tevas-clad Sir David Attenborough, Branson's gentle demeanor brought him into astonishingly intimate contact with the wildlife he loved to photograph and allowed him to share a bit of the magic with the rest of us. Branson also held a deep respect for America's native peoples and loved photographing the ruins of the Southwest and living cultural traditions alike. As it became more difficult to lose himself in the wilderness later in life, Branson found solace in the love and care of his many over-fed and exceptionally well-loved rescue dogs. The unifying feature of these disparate passions, and the trait for which he will be best remembered, is that Branson was a truly kind and gentle soul. Out of place in the often ugly world, most of us inhabit, Branson preferred to live in-and tried his best to share his visions of-the beauty all around us.
An Indian legend says, "When a human dies, there is a bridge they must cross to enter into Heaven. At the head of that bridge awaits every animal that humans encountered during their lifetime. The animals, based on what they know of the person, decide which humans may cross the bridge and which are turned away." All of us who knew Branson and loved him dearly know that awaiting Branson at this bridge are some of his most beloved friends and family...
In accordance with Branson's wishes, a ceremony celebrating his life will be held on the banks of the Animas River when conditions permit, likely in August 2021. To receive event information as it becomes available, please email contact information to firstname.lastname@example.org. In lieu of cards or flowers, please consider a donation to Annie's Orphans, an organization near and dear to Branson's heart.
"I used to watch you. I used to watch you when you were just a boy, so young and so in-tune with nature. I remember one day long ago when I watched you laying with your stomach flat on the brown Oklahoma dirt. You were talking to a skunk. I have waited a long time for you, my friend."
Horace Daukei speaking to Branson
Published in The Durango Herald on Jan. 25, 2021.