|Death: ||Nov. 27, 1934, USA|
Early Hot Springs undertaker Billy Gross hired 30-year-old George Herbert Brenner, Sr. (1880-1934) in 1903, as a part time embalmer. An individual with a friendly personality who never met a stranger, Brenner soon became a full time employee and in 1910 purchased 1/3 interest in the firm.
Before moving to Hot Springs in June 1903, Brenner had worked in the undertaking and embalming trade in Roswell, NM, since 1900.
His wife, Kathleen Ellenbrook Brenner, was also actively involved in the Gross operations and become the first licensed female embalmer in Arkansas in 1921. She traveled the state to prepare Catholic nuns for burial, as at that time, nuns could not be touched by males.
One of the first pictures of young Brenner was taken in 1910 showing him riding as an attendant on a horse-drawn Gross ambulance (shown in the pictures on this site). Between him and the driver is a small white dog said to be a neighborhood mascot and frequent hitch-hiker on emergency calls.
After Billy Gross died in 1919, the Brenners assumed control of Gross Undertaking Company. They were both well-liked, beloved Hot Springs residents who took care of families with personal, friendly service.
George Brenner's two sons, Charles Lewis Brenner and George Herbert Brenner Jr., joined the family firm fresh out of high school. They at first worked on the ambulance, then gradually began assisting at funerals with their parents.
The Brenners moved out of the upstairs funeral home apartment and into a new home on Lake Hamilton called Brenner Haven. Brenner served as president of the Hot Springs Chamber of Commerce this year.
November 27, 1934
George H. Brenner, Sr., who had been in very ill health, died at his Brenner Haven resort on Lake Hamilton in Hot Springs at the age 59.
The Hot Springs newspaper reported that "several thousand people" attended the funeral and that a loudspeaker system had to be set up outside the mortuary.
Six policemen helped to handle the traffic, and funeral directors from the other funeral homes in Hot Springs volunteered to work the funeral.
He was the first person buried on the Brenner lot in Greenwood Cemetery.
After his death, Mrs. Brenner, her two sons, and her brother George Ellenbrook operated Gross Mortuary. After she died in 1955 and Ellenbrook died in 1958, the two Brenner brothers operated the firm until 1972 when they sold it to the Leggett family which operated Griffin-Leggett Funeral Home in Little Rock.
Kathleen Ellenbrook Brenner (1879 - 1955)*
Charles Lewis Brenner (1907 - 1997)*
George Herbert Brenner (1910 - 1983)*
Created by: Jim (Dr. Mo) Moshinskie,...
Record added: Nov 18, 2006
Find A Grave Memorial# 16698881
Added: Mar. 8, 2010