Upholding the tradition of the New York City Council, it was a great privilege to unite the community to reflect upon the enduring contributions of a dear friend of mine, Addison Branch, who passed away in 2012 at the age of 85. Friends, family members and neighbors gathered Sunday at the corner of St. Pauls Avenue and Taxter Place to remember the longtime educator, mentor and neighbor to so many on the North Shore. I was honored be present Sunday to memorialize the generous life and indelible memory of Mr. Branch and proclaim the Northeast corner of St. Pauls Avenue and Taxter Place as Addison Branch Way.
Having earned a master’s degree in education from New York University, Mr. Branch was passionate about teaching and served as an educator and administrator for the New York City Department of Education for more than 30 years. He was a very effective teacher and mentor to many, many people.
To the community of Stapleton, Mr. Branch was a true champion, an influential advocate, and a powerful catalyst for positive changes. He was deeply involved in the historic preservation and revitalization of Stapleton. He was a founding member of the Mud Lane Society, and had served as its president. He also was a member of the Stapleton Local Development Corporation and a life member of the NAACP.
For years, Mr. Branch opened his restored Victorian home to his fellow Staten Islanders for cultural and social events. Every Christmas, he welcomed guests into his home after the annual Festival of Lessons and Carols at St. Paul’s Memorial Episcopal Church. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, he also served on the board of Snug Harbor Cultural Center.
He was a great civic leader whose unwavering warmth and kindness inspired others to action. While society, time and the world may have changed over the years, his friendships remained as strong as ever for decades.