He Never Met a Stranger


On July 16, we lost a kind, good and talented man who devoted his life to advancing the rights and living standards of working Californians.

The obituary of Obie V. Brandon appears on page 4 of this issue of Voice of Action. It describes how he grew up in West Sacramento in a Union family and put the values he was taught into action as a Union leader.

Born with an unwavering sense of justice, Obie was a formidable champion of underdogs everywhere.

Obie had a genuinely sincere interest in other people. He was a good listener who was great at identifying what others needed and then finding a way to get it to them. He gave a lot of selfless and thoughtful guidance to those who sought it.

He also had a great sense of humor, as well as a voracious appetite for life. For a person who was so physically imposing, he had an amazing amount of energy, yet he was surprisingly humble.

The priest at Obie’s memorial service said he could not give a sermon that said more about Obie’s legacy than the standing-roomonly crowd that filled the church. The pews, aisles and balcony overflowed with evidence of a life well-lived.

Obie knew what was important in life: family, friends and people in general. What mattered to him was his relationships with other people. He never met a stranger.

Above all else, Obie realized that the most important role in his life was being a father. And, as his son said in his eulogy, Obie believed the best move he ever made in his life was marrying his wife, Kathy.

Obie Brandon was a special individual who left an indelible mark on his family, his friends and all working people in the great state of California and beyond.

There will never be another Obie Brandon, but we can keep his spirit alive by remembering the things we learned from him, and then conducting ourselves accordingly. UFCW 8-Golden State