|Birth: ||Apr. 29, 1929|
North Carolina, USA
|Death: ||Sep. 28, 2004|
Ethelene McCraw Brasington, 75, of Swannanoa, died September 28, 2004, in Silver Spring, Md., after a long illness.
A proud seventh-generation Western North Carolinian, she was a prominent community leader in Asheville during the 1960s and 1970s. During her tenure as a Model Cities commissioner, she directed the incorporation of the city's first Meals on Wheels program, an organization she led from 1974 to 1980. Her children recall her drawing and updating route maps by hand, packing hot food for delivery near her basement office in the First Presbyterian Church, and delivering meals herself on holidays when volunteers were not available.
Brasington directed the Pisgah Chapter of the March of Dimes from 1969 to 1973, raised money and recruited members for the Asheville-Buncombe Chapter of the North Carolina Symphony, and was among the first women to serve as deacon of the First Presbyterian Church.
Like many women of her generation, she defined herself through marriage and motherhood as a young adult. But as her children grew, she longed for a voice of her own. She found it in community theater, a hobby she credited with helping her "become a person".
Brasington performed in numerous productions for the Asheville Community Theater, Theatre UNC-Asheville, and the Southern Appalachian Repertory Theatre. She played an overbearing Scarsdale matron in Leonard Gershe's "Butterflies are Free", the eccentric Maud Hayes in Jay Allen's adaptation of Barillet and Gredy's "Forty Carats", and Ma Stuart in the world premiere of Susan Graham Erwin's "The Ballad of Frankie Silver". She was particularly proud of her portrayal of Thomas Wolfe's mother in the ACT-Theatre UNC-A production of Hugh Holman's "Thirty-Seven Octobers", a challenging play that tested the small cast's ability to fully develop character. The actors performed under spotlight on a bare stage, speaking long, introspective monologues derived from Wolfe's writings. Encouraged by Director Arnold Wengrow, Brasington fully embraced her character, rehearsing at home with a tape recorder.
She completed her undergraduate studies in management while raising five children as a single parent and working full-time. She graduated from UNC-A at the age of 51 with a bachelors degree in management.
An enthusiastic fan of college basketball, she was fiercely loyal to the UNC Tar Heels and a lifelong enemy of the Duke Blue Devils. She is remembered for her devotion to her children, her impish sense of humor, and her enduring affection for the Appalachian mountains, the Scottish highlands, and the Cape Hatteras lighthouse.
She is survived by four children, Evan Brasington, of Duxbury, Mass., Rebecca Brasington Clark, of Takoma Park, Md., Ben Brasington, of Swannanoa, and Richard Brasington, Jr., of St. Louis; two sisters, Betty Marston, of Old Fort and Dorothy Lowe, of Mountain City, Tenn; and six grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that you honor your parents, hug your children, forgive and forget, and celebrate life. Memorial services will be private.
Published: Black Mountain News - (Oct/14/2004)
Green Hills Cemetery
North Carolina, USA
Created by: James Archer
Record added: Mar 01, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 48971870