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Sylvia B. Brenner

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Sylvia B. Brenner Obituary
Sylvia B. Brenner, a l ong-time resident of Brookline died on June 19, 2014, 2 months shy of her 99th birthday. She was born in Haverhill, MA on August 16, 1915, the eldest daughter of Israel J. Bloomfield, a shoe factory owner and his wife Lena. She attended Simmons College in Boston, commuting by train every day from Haverhill, receiving her Bachelors Degree in 1936 and her Masters Degree in Social Work in 1937. She was a staff Social Worker a t Lovell General Hospital at Ft. Devens, MA and Chief of Social Work at Sinai Hospital of Baltimore before becoming a psychiatric social work supervisor and assistant Chief Social Worker at the Cushing Psychiatric Hospital in Framingham, MA (now part of the Boston VA Hospital). It was there that she met her future husband, Dr. Louis Brenner who was just beginning his residency in Psychiatry after having served as a Navy physician on a group of LSTs in the Pacific in World War II. They were married in late 1948, and moved to Brookline in 1954 with thei 3- year-old son Mark and their 2 year-old daughter Janice. They remained happily together in the same house until Dr. Brenners death in 2006, and Mrs. Brenner remained there until the time of her death, 61 years after having moved there. Mrs. Brenner was a long-time member of the League of Women Voters and was very active in the Brookline PTO. She was also very active in Simmons College alumni affairs, spearheading her alma maters sponsorship of WGBH whe n it was stil l a fledgling station. She was also an unabashed liberal, very active in local politics and among the earliest supporters of Mike Dukakis when he was first running for state representative from Brookline, proudly supporting President Obamas two election campaigns, and only a week before her death having made a contribution to the Hilary Clinton election campaign. Mrs. Brenner was sharp, witty and very funny until the very end keeping up to date with the news (she faithfully read the Boston Globe every day and enjoyed Jon Stuart, Stephen Colbert and Morning Joe), and remaining a vociferous reader. In her mid-80s she began corresponding with her family by email, and over the past few years she had begun Skyping with her grandchildren on her I-Pad. Mrs. Brenner was pre-deceased by her two sisters, Bernice Kesslen of Manhester, NH and Beryl Richmond of Marblehead, MA and is survived by her two children, Dr. Mark J. Brenner, Chief of Radiation Oncology at St. Vincent Hospital in Worcester , and Jan B. Elston, Director of Competitive Grant Programs at East Tennessee Foundation in Knoxville, TN. She is also survived by her dear daughter-in-law, Jean Brenner, her loving son-in-law Stuart Elston, PhD, and her absolutely adored (and adoring) grandchildren, Nathan and Julia Brenner, and Stuart and Melissa Elston. She l eaves behind many extended family members and friends. Services were held on Sunday, June 22 at the Wilson Chapel on the grounds of Hebrew College in Newton, and burial services were held at Sharon Memorial Park in Sharon, MA. Donations in her memory may be made to the Simmons College School of Social Work, 300 The Fenway, Boston, MA 02115.

Published in The Brookline Tab from July 2 to July 9, 2014
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