Margaret Louise Branchaud

Published 8:35 pm Monday, April 24, 2017

Margaret Louise Branchaud died on April 23, 2017, from complications of Parkinson’s disease.

She was 82. Margaret had called Washington, North Carolina, home since retiring from a New York advertising firm in the 1990s.

The sixth of seven children, Margaret was born August 17, 1934, to Louis Hector and Frances Whelan Branchaud in Cavalier, North Dakota.

She attended boarding school in Manitoba, Canada, returning to Cavalier for high school. While she was at St. Scholastica College in Duluth, Minnesota, she served as art editor of the yearbook and was graduated in 1956 with a degree in education. After teaching in the Iron Range of northern Minnesota, she ventured to New York City in 1958 to pursue advertising.

Starting her career with Grey Advertising, Margaret became an advertising executive who worked with clients including Borden, IBM, Xerox and Panasonic. When her mother Frances retired as Cavalier’s optometrist, the two of them spent Margaret’s vacations visiting relatives and sightseeing throughout the United States. They also became globetrotters whose destinations included Ireland, Greece, Bermuda, Australia and New Zealand.

After working 40 years on Madison Avenue, Margaret retired from J. Walter Thompson as a senior advertising executive. Leaving her office in the Chrysler building and her condo on Long Island, she bought a house in historic downtown Washington so that she could live near her sister, Sheila Lueck.

Margaret quickly adopted Washington as her home, where she continued to pursue life-long community service such as rescuing abandoned animals — especially cats. Margaret enjoyed sharing her hobby of doll collecting with the A-Z Doll Club, volunteering at the Blind Center, and working with her church, Mother of Mercy. Although she did not achieve her vision of opening a bookstore in her retirement, she remained an avid reader.

She was preceded in death by her father, Louis Hector Branchaud; mother Frances Whelan Branchaud; brothers John (Lia) and James Branchaud; sisters Patricia (John) Basaraba, Beverly Branchaud and Catherine Ann Branchaud.

Margaret is survived by her sister Sheila and husband Charles Lueck; sister-in-law Lia Branchaud in California; 15 beloved nieces and nephews; their children and grandchildren.

The family would like to thank the staff of Community Home Care & Hospice for their kindness and expert care of Margaret as her Parkinson’s advanced. Sincere appreciation is also extended to the staff of Golden Way Home Care for the attention to Margaret’s daily needs that allowed her to live out her time at her own home.

After cremation has taken place with Paul Funeral Home, Ms. Margaret Branchaud will be remembered at 10 A.M. Friday with a Mass of Intention at Mother of Mercy Catholic Church, with a luncheon to follow. Later in the year, Margaret will be remembered with a Mass at St. Brigid’s Catholic Church, Cavalier, and her ashes will be buried there in the Hector Branchaud family plot of the church cemetery.

Online condolences may be sent to the family by visiting

Paul Funeral Home & Crematory in Washington is honored to serve the Branchaud family.