Cover photo for Jo-Anne Kerst Branch's Obituary
Jo-Anne Kerst Branch Profile Photo

Jo-Anne Kerst Branch

d. April 11, 2017

Jo Anne “Joey” Kerst Branch, age 83, of Saranac Lake, died Tuesday, April 11, 2017 at C.V.P.H Medical Center in Plattsburgh, NY.

Born in Ticonderoga, New York on July 04, 1933, she was the daughter of Dwinal and Margaret (Koen) Kerst.

Joey grew up in Schroon Lake where she attended high school and graduated as Valedictorian of her class.

She later attended the State University of New York at Cortland earning her Bachelor’s degree in Recreation Education. She went on to Plattsburgh State University where she earned her Master’s Degree in Education. In 1969 Joey became a plank owner as one of the original faculty at North County Community College (NCCC) where she was a physical education teacher. Upon retirement from NCCC in 1995 she received the Chancellors Award for Excellence in Professional Service. She worked at North Country Community College for 26 years until her retirement on June 4th 1995.

While growing up Joey loved spending summers on Schroon Lake, she especially enjoyed hiking and canoeing trips with her family in the Adirondacks. In Saranac Lake Joey was very active with the American Red Cross and helped coordinated and run the Willard Hammer Canoe Races for many years. She was also involved with the local ski club and ran the Candy Bar races at Mt Pisgah for many years in the late 60’s and early 70’s.

She loved camping, canoeing, skiing and sailing, anything to do with the outdoors. Later in her retirement she was president of the Lake Placid gardening club.

Survived by three sons Michael Branch of Plattsburgh, Gary Branch of North Kingstown, RI and Jeffery (Jemell) Branch of Saranac Lake, five grandchildren; Nate, Stephanie, Emily, Adam and Logan, one brother Tony (Dottie) Kerst of California, two sisters Margaret Stewart of Lake George, NY, Patricia Macrobbie of Washington State and nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her father, mother and former husband Gerald Branch who died June 2, 2003.

Calling hours will take place at the Fortune-Keough Funeral Home on Tuesday, April 18, 2017 from 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM. A Mass of Christian Burial will take place at 11:00 AM on Wednesday April 19, 2017at St. Bernard's Church, with Rev. Patrick Ratigan officiating. Burial will take place in Schroon Lake at a later date.

Friends wishing to remember Jo-Anne Kerst Branch may make memorial contributions to Adirondack Medical Center Oncology Unit in care of the funeral home. Family and friends can also share their memories and sign the online guestbook at
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Jo-Anne Kerst Branch, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Service Information

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

St. Bernard's Roman Catholic Church

27 Saint Bernard Street, Saranac Lake, NY 12983

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Fortune-Keough Funeral Home, Inc.

20 Church Street, Saranac Lake, NY 12983

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