Elon mourns the passing of Edith Brannock ’39
Brannock, a retired assistant professor of home economics and longtime friend of Elon, died Sept. 25.
A constant presence on the Elon community for the past 50 years, Edith Brannock ’39 passed away Sept. 25. She was 99 years old. A graveside gathering will be held at Elon's Magnolia Cemetery on Nov. 3 at 2 p.m.
Brannock was born in Alamance County in 1918. A descendant of Brantley York, who established the Union School that later became Trinity College and ultimately Duke University, and the Rev. James O’Kelly, founder of the Christian Church that established Elon College, she graduated from Elon College in 1939 with a major in home economics and a minor in science. During her time at Elon, she served as vice president of Elon’s Home Economics club, which was open to home economics and art students. She hosted many social events, including several for her sorority, Tau Zeta Phi. Home economics, or domestic sciences, ultimately became her life’s work, and after graduation she began her career as a vocational home economics teacher in Alamance County.
Brannock taught younger students for 20 years before following in the footsteps of her father, Ned Faucette Brannock, an 1899 graduate of Elon, and a much-loved chemistry professor who taught at Elon for more than 50 years. Her mother, Mary Lula York, graduated from Elon in 1898.
In 1962, almost half a century after Elon’s first home economics department was organized, Edith Brannock joined Elon’s faculty as an assistant professor of home economics. She also taught subjects from nutrition and biology to child psychology. During her teaching career at Elon, she obtained a master’s degree in education from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 1967. She retired from Elon in 1980 due to the phasing out of the home economics courses but remained fully committed to the school. She often offered her skills planning successful gatherings many times as an active member of the alumni association and was responsible for getting many of her classmates together in 1999 for her class’ 60th reunion celebration.
She also attended numerous campus events, including a May ceremony commemorating the gifting to Elon of a 1770 New Testament belonging to her great-great grandfather.
Brannock was a devoted and active member of the Elon Community Church for almost 90 years and the 2013 recipient of the Tau Zeta Phi – Sigma Sigma Sigma Heart of Gold Award, given to an alumnae sister who has “motivated and inspired others to know the power of one heart touching another heart; that has led a life that has exemplified to others that selfless service is a noble virtue.”
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Building Fund at Elon Community Church, PO Box 625, Elon, NC 27244, or to the Ned Faucette Brannock Scholarship, Office of University Advancement, Elon University, 2600 Campus Box, Elon, NC 27244.