December 29, 1925 – January 11, 2013
Carolyn Brenton O’Brien, 87, passed away surrounded by her family on Friday, January 11, 2013 at Iowa Methodist Hospital.
Carolyn was born in her family’s home on December 29, 1925 in Dallas Center, Iowa to her parents, Harold and Etta Brenton, and was one of seven children.
Carolyn’s family moved to Minneapolis in 1933 where her family lived on the Lake of the Isles. She attended grade school at Northrop School for girls in Minneapolis and high school at the Masters School in Dobbs Ferry, New York. Carolyn was a proud alumna of University of Iowa, where she majored in English and was a member of Delta Gamma. She taught first grade for a year at the University School in Iowa City and for two years at Jefferson Elementary on Des Moines’ south side.
Throughout her life, Carolyn was active in many organizations. For many years, she volunteered in the first grade classroom at Greenwood School in Des Moines. She was an active member of the National Society of the Colonial Dames of Iowa, Bridge-Club, Junior League and she especially enjoyed her Monday Friday AA group. She was a member of The Wakonda Club, attended Central Presbyterian Church, and was past a board member of The Brenton Foundation.
Carolyn was married to Samuel G. O’Brien on June 30, 1951, together they had three children: Sam B. O’Brien (Sarah), Cathy O’Brien, and Cynthia O’Brien (Mike Fitzpatrick), and two grandchildren: Max and Ginny O’Brien.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Samuel G. O’Brien; her parents, Harold and Etta Brenton; and her siblings, W.H. Brenton, Ziba Brenton Brandt, Jane Brenton Eddy and Juliette Brenton Moen.
Carolyn is survived by her brothers, C. Robert Brenton (Babette) and J.C. “Buz” Brenton (Sue), and by her sister-in-law, Natalie Graham Brenton. She is also survived by her children, grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews, all of whom she cared for deeply.
Some of Carolyn’s most treasured times were spent at her family’s homes on Lake Okoboji, Iowa and Woman Lake in northern Minnesota, where she enjoyed water skiing, tennis, swimming and walking with her family while listening to the loons.
The family would like to especially thank her home companions, Tiffany, Mary Lou, Jan and Kim, who brought much independence to Carolyn’s later life at Deerfield Retirement Community in Urbandale, Iowa where she lived.
Memorial Contributions may be made to The Brenton Arboretum, 25141 260th Street, Dallas Center, IA 50063
Funeral services will be held at 10:00 a.m., Friday, January 18, 2013 at Central Presbyterian Church 3829 Grand Avenue, Des Moines. Burial will follow at Masonic Cemetery, rural Dallas Center. Visitation will be 3- 6:00 p.m., Thursday, January 17, 2013 at Iles Funeral Homes – Dunn’s Chapel.
ARRANGEMENTS BY ILES FUNERAL HOMES ~ DUNN’S CHAPEL.Information provided by: Iles Funeral Homes Dunn’s Chapel 2121 Grand Ave Des Moines, IA 50312 www.ilesfuneralhomes.com