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Marilyn D. (Teninbaum) Brenner

1928 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
Marilyn D. (Teninbaum) Brenner Obituary
Marilyn D. (Teninbaum) Brenner

Aberdeen - Marilyn D. (Teninbaum) Brenner died Friday, September 14, 2018, at home. She was 90.

Born in Paterson and reared in Passaic, she was the daughter of Nathan and Sadye Teninbaum. As a child, she was an accomplished pianist. After graduating from Passaic High School, she was the winner of a four-year Governor's Scholarship and graduated from Douglas College in 1950. She taught English and History in the Passaic, and Valley Stream, NY public schools before marrying in 1958. In 1963, she, her husband, and her three sons moved to Aberdeen Township (then Matawan Township), and she quickly became a community leader, initially serving as Secretary of the Strathmore Civic Association.

In 1965, she was first woman elected in the Township's history to the Township Council. During her tenure on the Council, she led a successful initiative to build sidewalks in the Cliffwood and Cliffwood Beach sections of the Township, going door-to-door to obtain the necessary easements from homeowners. In 1966, she was elected Secretary of the Monmouth County Democratic Party. In 1967, a press report referred to her as "the Council's main spark". She lost in council elections in 1967 and 1969, but she continued to remain active in Democratic Party politics, working to elect Democratic candidates at the local, state and national levels for decades. She was a member of the Monmouth County Democratic Party Executive Committee for over 40 years. In addition, she was elected to the Board of Trustees of Planned Parenthood of Monmouth County and Temple Shalom in Aberdeen, and she was a volunteer at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Matawan.

In 1977, she ran for and won a seat on the Matawan-Aberdeen Regional Board of Education. She won reelection in six subsequent elections, covering 21 years to 1998. During those 21 years, she served as the Board's President, Vice President and Chairperson of its Personnel, Program/Curriculum Negotiations, Policy, Legislative, Finance and Facilities Committees. She led a series of major actions undertaken by Board to improve virtually every aspect of the District's schools, including building an addition to Matawan Regional High School to end split sessions; reorganizing the schools to create two district-wide middle schools so that children from all over the two towns would begin attending school together at a younger age; hiring new central office and school administrators; winning changes to union contracts to provide more time for instruction; and obtaining increased federal, state and local funding for a host of educational programs, including Title 1, compensatory reading and math, special education, gifted and talented education, vocational education, advanced placement classes, adult education, science programs, driver's education, arts and music program, and athletics. She was elected to the Matawan Regional High School Hall of Fame in 2008.

After her husband died, she worked as a meetings manager for the New Jersey Association of School Administrators. But, she was a gifted teacher. In 1988, 30 years after she had left teaching to raise her family and hold elected office, she returned to the classroom, teaching English and History at the Middlesex County Vocational-Technical High School in Perth Amboy. She taught there for 17 years and retired in 2005.

She was predeceased by her husband, Norman, in 1981.

Surviving are her 3 sons, Dean Brenner and his wife, Robin Shaffert, of Washington, DC, Eric Brenner and his wife, Jolene, of Kingston, MA, and Todd Brenner and Jo, of Surfside, SC., their families, and many other relatives and friends

Funeral services will be held on Sunday, September 16th, 11:45 AM, at Temple Shalom, Aberdeen, under the direction of Mount Sinai Memorial Chapels, East Brunswick. For directions, please visit

Contributions in her memory may be made to the Brenner Family Scholarship Fund at this link: or by check payable to the Community Foundation of New Jersey with Brenner Family Scholarship Fund on the memo line and sending it to: Community Foundation of New Jersey, PO Box 338, Morristown, NJ 07963-0338.
Published in Asbury Park Press from Sept. 15 to Sept. 16, 2018
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