Carol Drechsler Brandon of West Tisbury died peacefully at home on Saturday, Feb. 4, 2017. She was 97. She engaged every room she entered with elegance, dignity, humor, and charm. And very often in French.
Carol was born on Dec. 18, 1919, in Baltimore, Md., to Ivan and Gertrude Drechsler. While she spent much of her school years in Europe with her family, she attended the Bryn Mawr School and Notre Dame, and graduated from Goucher College in Baltimore.
After graduation, Carol moved to New York City. While working as a summer intern at the original Barnes and Noble bookstore, she met a colleague, Lawrence Brandon, with whom she fell in love and married. Their life together was a true adventure of love, dedication, partnership, and parenthood. They shared a passion for their children and their families, travel, opera, art, and literature, but mostly each other. Their marriage lasted 67 years. She expressed the intensity of their love in her journal: “How to explain that our happiness is in being together … B [Lawrence] and I were separated during the war for over two years, and I feel as though I’m always trying to make up those 800-some days …”
The birds and flowers of her beloved Sweet Meadow home were Carol’s passion. She cared for them gently and protected them fiercely. Once when her children suggested that her view from the backyard would be enhanced by removing the tree that was home to her birds, she proclaimed, “That’s a good idea. You can cut it down when I’m gone.” The tree stands today.
Carol and Lawrence lived throughout the United States, including Maryland, Connecticut, North Carolina, Louisiana, and New York. Wherever they landed, Carol made lifelong friends with her humor, loyalty, intellect, and interest. It was true of their final home, West Tisbury, which they loved most fondly. Carol had many friends from the Garden Club and the West Tisbury Congregational Church, and their retirement on Martha’s Vineyard was full and rich.
Carol was devoted to her family. She is survived by two daughters, Molly (Ernest) and Christine (George) and two sons, Tony and Rogers (Esther). There are also 10 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren. She is preceded in death by her husband, Lawrence, her parents, her sister Elizabeth Stevens Drechsler (Stevie) and brother Ivan Robinson Drechsler Jr. (Buddy).
The Brandon family would like to sincerely thank all of the caregivers and Island services that made our parents’ final years as peaceful as possible. However, we are especially grateful to Cherry Faulk for the relationship she developed with Carol in her final years. Her care, devotion, and positive spirit blessed Carol and our entire family.
Services will be scheduled in July 2017. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the West Tisbury Congregational Church.