Jacob Branen, grandson of legendary publisher, killed in Florida

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Jacob Branen, whose family owned the Burlington Standard Press for nearly 50 years, was killed Feb. 4 when struck by a vehicle while walking home from work. He was 29.

Branen, who grew up in southeastern Wisconsin before the family moved to Florida in 2005, worked as a customer service representative at Teletech in Daytona Beach. He also worked in the electronics department at Walmart.

Jacob Branen
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After being hit by the vehicle, Branen was taken to Halifax Hospital in Daytona Beach, where he later died. A celebration of his life will be held at 5 p.m., Friday, March 15, at Veteran’s Terrace, 589 Milwaukee Ave., Burlington.

Branen’s father, Bob Branen, served as Wisconsin Newspaper Association president in 2000. He also was publisher of Southern Lakes Media until 2001, when the family sold its six weekly newspapers.

Shad Branen, Bob’s brother, was Southern Lakes Media president at the time, and their mother, Nancy Branen, served as chairman of the board. Nancy’s husband, William Branen, started the family’s nearly 50-year run in 1954, when he bought the Burlington Standard Democrat.

William Branen, who in 2001 was inducted into the Wisconsin Newspaper Hall of Fame, served as Wisconsin Press Association president in 1964-65. He also was the first president of the WNA Foundation and served as National Newspaper Association president.

Since 1999, the William E. Branen Scholarship has been awarded to the three high school journalism programs that win the general excellence award in the WNA Foundation Better Newspaper Contest. Each winning school receives a $1,000 award.

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