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Elizabeth Betty Brenner
  • Memorials may be made to:
  • St. Philip's Church
    142 Church Street
    Charleston, SC 29401

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Elizabeth Betty Brenner Obituary


Elizabeth (Betty) Lemon Brenner, 87, widow of J. Francis Brenner, Jr. died early Sunday morning, June 3, 2012 with family at her side, in Mount Pleasant, SC.

She was born June 21, 1925 in Birmingham, AL to Alonzo Linton Lemon and Elizabeth (Lil) Cason Lemon.

After earning a Bachelors degree in Journalism at the University of Missouri, Betty followed her family to Charleston, SC, where she went to work for the News & Courier. They lived in one of the first decommissioned Officers Row homes on I'On Avenue on Sullivan's Island, and later, Betty moved the "Bandstand" (now located in the park on Middle Street) to a waterfront lot on Hamlin Creek, renovated, and made it her home.

While teaching a course at the College of Charleston, Betty once assigned students to create a marketing campaign for a "card" which could be used instead of cash or checks. As this was long before the invention/use of credit cards, many of her students gave up, saying the assignment was impossible. Betty then worked for many years at the Bradham Advertising Agency, where she created Coburg Dairy's famous "Better than it has to be" slogan, among many other achievements.

Betty and Francis notably renovated and restored 54 Queen Street (known as the "Thomas Elfe Workshop") and provided tours and hospitality for Charlestonians and visitors for many years from their lovely home and courtyard. She expanded into a companion business selling fine reproduction furniture and accessories.
Together Betty and Francis spoiled a series of eight pet Rhode Island Red hens, all named "Mary Hancock", who traveled the country with them on many adventures. They also founded the National Organization for Chicken Admirers and Trainers.

Upon retirement, Betty designed their Johns Island home to evoke a barn, where she indulged the wild birds and her garden.

Betty was preceded in death by her husband, J. Francis Brenner, Jr. and sister, Dorothy (Dot) Lemon Jenkins, of Charleston, SC and her nephew, William Ward Yielding, of Birmingham, AL.

She is survived by her sister, Jean Ann Lemon, of Belmont, CA; nieces Linton Yielding Bowie of Half Moon Bay, CA, Elizabeth (Liz) Jenkins Thompson of Daniel Island, SC, and Margaret Jenkins Donaldson of Mount Pleasant, SC; nephews Frank Brooks Yielding IV of Tubac, AZ, and Rivers Thomas Jenkins III of Charleston, SC; step-son J. Francis Brenner III of Reading, MA; and nine grand-nieces/nephews.

The family wishes to recognize Ms. Margaret Lee, Ms. Mary Ann Mitchell, and the staff of Sandpiper Nursing and Rehab, B-wing, for their tender and devoted care over the years.

A funeral service will be held graveside at 9:30 AM on Wednesday, June 6, 2012 at Christ Episcopal Church Cemetery, 2304 Highway 17 North, Mount Pleasant, SC 29466. The family will receive friends immediately afterwards. Memorials may be made to St. Philip's Church, 142 Church Street, Charleston, SC 29401. ARRANGEMENTS BY J. HENRY STUHR INC., MOUNT PLEASANT CHAPEL.