Brenda Lee Beckham, 79, of Athens, Georgia, died peacefully in her home on Friday, May 28, 2021. The second child of a large family, Brenda was born and raised in the farming community of Dickson, Tennessee until moving to Memphis in 1958 and then to Atlanta in 1965. After marrying in 1968, she lived with her family in Lawton, Oklahoma, Roswell, and Vinings, Georgia, Columbia, South Carolina, and finally Athens, Georgia.
Brenda was preceded in death by parents Alfonso and Louise Carr, brother Jack, and infant daughter Kathleen.
Funeral services are Friday, June 4, 2021, at 11:00 AM at Lord & Stephens Funeral Home, EAST Chapel. The family will visit at the funeral home Thursday, June 3, 2021, from 6:00pm to 8:00 pm. The interment will be in Athens Memory Gardens.
She is survived by her husband Edward, sons William and Jason, grandchildren William, Caroline, Ashton, and Ariail, and siblings James, Melba, Steve, Shirley, Carolyn, Sherry, Rex, Kathy, Tom, Neal, and Leisha.
Brenda left home at age 17 to complete her education and begin her career in Memphis. She attended high school and college at night while working at the Walgreens soda fountain during the day. Over the next ten years, Brenda advanced with Walgreens to positions as buyer and personnel staffing for their Southeastern stores.
She married her husband Ed in 1968 and completely and totally supported her husband and children during their 53 year marriage. While their children grew, she was a constant volunteer at the various schools they attended. When sons Bill and Jason entered high school, she expanded her sewing talents to include quilting, eventually opening Country Accents Store in Cobb County. Once they were in college Brenda discovered a new passion; gardening. Ironically, gardening was something she hated growing up on the farm. She received her training and certification as a Master Gardener in Atlanta in 1993 and continued advanced training over the next 25 years.
In 1997 Brenda and her husband moved onto a small farm in east Athens. Her love of people, gardening, and her community caused her to seek out the Master Gardening program there.
Through her leadership, and with the help of many close friends (also garden lovers), Brenda was the catalyst who grew the Athens Area Master Gardeners Association (AAMGA) from three members to hundreds of members with dozens of community projects. She was past president of AAMGA, Georgia Master Gardeners Association, and Friends of the State Botanical Garden of Georgia.
But above all, Brenda is remembered by her family and her many, many friends for her beautiful smile, her infectious laugh, and constant, unwavering, eternal good nature and positive attitude.
Lord & Stephens Funeral Home, EAST, Athens, is in charge of arrangements. www.lordandstephens.com
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