Roberta D. Branigan

Roberta “Robin” Branigan, of Bellaire at Stone Port Assisted Living, passed away Saturday, June 5, 2021, in Harrisonburg, Va. Robin was 87.

Robin was born and raised in Chatham, N.J. She graduated from the Pennsylvania School of Horticulture in Ambler, Pa., and shortly afterwards married Bill Branigan. Bill had a degree in Dairying Husbandry and during the early years of their marriage, they managed large dairy farms. Bill moved to a job with the National Institutes of Health as a laboratory technician in the cancer research division, and in 1962, they moved to Accra, Ghana (West Africa), where Bill worked to bring health services to Ghanaians by building clinics and setting up health care infrastructure.

In 1964, they returned to the U.S. and established a family farm in Tioga County, Pa. They lived in the original 1870s four-room farmhouse for two years with no running water or plumbing and a wood-and coal-fired heat stove before Robin got tired of trekking to the outhouse in the winter and put her foot down and the family built a house with all of the “modern conveniences.” They grew all their own vegetables, milked their cows by hand, raised calves, pigs, and goats and traded milk and butter for eggs.

A few years later Bill joined the Soil Conversation Service in the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a job that took Robin and Bill to four different locations in Pennsylvania and eventually to Maine.

In 1985, Robin and Bill opened The Roaring Lion, a Bed and Breakfast in Waldoboro, Maine, which soon became well known throughout New England for their home-style hospitality and amazing breakfasts. They owned the B&B for 25 years, until retiring and moving to Virginia to be closer to family.

Robin was a voracious reader and letter writer, a master pie baker and a loving and caring friend. She could walk through the countryside and identify every tree, flower, weed and grass. She had a powerful faith in God and was an inspiration to her family and everyone who knew her, and she stayed in contact with scores of friends from all over the world throughout her entire life.

Bill passed away in 2014, but Robin is survived by her sons, Michael (Jan) Branigan, Matthew (Marianne) Branigan and Andrew (Camincha) Branigan; six grandchildren; four great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held in the fall of 2021. Friends who would like to be notified of the service will kindly email their contact information to

Lindsey Funeral Homes in Harrisonburg is handling arrangements and condolences and memories may be shared by visiting

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