Brenda Cawley
Brenda Cawley N. CHARLESTON - Brenda Sexton Cawley, of Historic North Charleston, wife of Col. John H. Cawley, died on Sunday, May 27, 2012. Born November 19, 1944, to William Wilson Sexton and the late Pansy P. White, Brenda grew up in North Charleston, graduating from Chicora High School in 1962. She entered The College of Charleston, but decided to join the workforce. Brenda worked as a Stewardess for Delta Air Lines when choices for employment for women were mother, teacher or nurse. After giving birth to Matthew Washburn in July 1968, her only son, she transferred to Louisiana State University. There, she completed her degree and returned to work as a sales representative for Xerox and a nurse recruiter for a hospital. Believing that she controlled her destiny, Brenda owned her own clothing shop called "Madness" in 1978. When she moved back to Charleston, she opened a Real Estate company, later selling it to Hamrick, Carter and Associates. She continued to serve others in the government sector as the Clerk of Council for the City of North Charleston and later as the Deputy Clerk of Council for the City of Charleston. When diagnosed with cancer in 2006, Brenda, in typical form, turned her cancer into "mission possible." She inspired many a survivors to live a full, active life. Though her experiences and treatments were extensive and harsh, Brenda helped others navigate their own destiny by promoting self-advocacy during cancer treatments. She was a catalyst for strength and advocacy in the cancer community. Brenda, a woman once afraid of riding in a boat, became active with Dragon Boat, leading her team to cross the finish line on the Ashley River. In October 2011, the City of North Charleston, inspired by Brenda's vision of finding a cure for breast cancer, dedicated its new pink fire truck to her. The City uses the pink fire truck to raise breast cancer awareness in the community. Brenda adored her long time friends "The Magnolias" and wanted their goodwill to never be forgotten. Brenda was an active and cherished member of Cokesbury United Methodist Church. Surviving in addition to her husband and father are: son, Matthew Dennis Washburn (Elizabeth) of Atlanta, GA, three step-sons Michael Cawley, Hugh Cawley, and Dr. John Cawley (Gina), all of Atlanta, GA, adopted daughter, Julie Elmore (Curtis) of Hanahan, seven grandchildren, Madeline Rose, Luke Fraser, Charlotte Anne, Patrick, Sean, Emily and Amber, brother, William Wilson Sexton, Jr. of North Charleston, niece Julie Sexton Crawford (Chris) of Houston, TX, great niece Campbell Crawford, step-mother Norma Sexton, and many wonderful friends. She is predeceased by: her mother and niece, Amanda Sexton. The family is truly grateful for the love and support provided by everyone. The family will receive friends Wednesday, May 30, 2012 from 5-8:00 PM at J. HENRY STUHR NORTHWOODS CHAPEL, 2180 Greenridge Road. The funeral service will be held on Thursday, May 31, 2012 at 10 AM at Cokesbury United Methodist Church, 4990 Dorchester Road, North Chas., SC 29418, immediately followed by a burial service at Live Oak Cemetery, Walterboro, SC. The family will receive friends and guests after the burial service at the home of Jackson and Laura Lynn Hughes, 109 Silverhill Rd., Walterboro, SC 29488. In lieu of flowers, Brenda asked that donations be made to the Pink Fire Truck Foundation c/o North Charleston Fire Department, P.O. Box 190016, North Charleston, SC 29419 and Dragon Boat Charleston, 1643 Savannah Hwy # 261, Charleston, SC 29407. A memorial message may be written to the family by visiting our website at www.jhenrystuhr.com. Visit our guestbook at www.legacy.com/obituaries/ charleston

Published by Charleston Post & Courier from May 28 to May 29, 2012.
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14 Entries
To a beautiful woman, wife, mother, grandmother and friend. Brenda was all of this and more. She was strong, courageous and kind, always smiling and being the gentle spirit that she was. Her legacy will always be remembered.

I worked with John since 1980 at the City of North Charleston. John, we are here for you whenever you need to talk about Brenda and the wonderful life you two shared or whatever you need to talk about. It is difficult to lose someone so close to you. Just know that she suffers no more and that she is in God's care now. You will be with her again one day.
Ginger McCartney
May 31, 2012
Brenda was my sweet and funny friend and I am going to miss her so much. She was a woman of strength, determination and great style. She wasn't in my life the last few years, but she was always in my world and I cherish the memories I have of her and Matt in New Orleans and with you John when I was in Charleston. My prayers are with you, Matt and your family. The world will be a lonelier place without her.
Cheryl Speights
May 31, 2012
Mr. John & family, thank you for sharing about Mrs. Brenda's wonderful life through her obit. She touched so many lives...including ours. She truly fulfilled God's calling. We'll continue to keep you in our prayers for comfort and peace. Randy, Heather, Gracie & Emmy
Randy Fulmer
May 31, 2012
Brenda was a Beautiful woman, inside and out!She will be missed by so many! Sincerely, Carol,Rhonda,Beth and Lori Hartley...Barry Stacks and Roger bussby
Carol Hartley
May 30, 2012
I knew Brenda through her husband John, whom I worked with when I was with the City of North Charleston from 1992-1994. She was a beautiful woman inside and out, with a glowing smile and personality to match. My thoughts and prayers go out to John and Brenda's family.
Harve Jacobs
May 30, 2012
It was a great pleasure to know Mrs Brenda even though it was for a very short period of time. John our hearts and prayers go to you and your family.
Joe, Carol and Rachel
Joe Shelley
May 29, 2012
Julie and Family,
Please accept our deepest sympathy on the passing of your loved one. Your family is in our thoughts and in our prayers. Mayor Minnie Blackwell and Hanahan City Council: Kevin Cox, Joel Hodges, Jeff Chandler, Mike Dyson, Michael Sally, and Dan Owens.
Mayor Blackwell and City Council
May 29, 2012
My prayers are with all of you. Brenda was a wonderful person and inspired everyone she met. I will miss her witty personality. Sara Jackson, Marietta, Ga
May 29, 2012
John, so very sorry for your loss. Brenda and I went to highschool together, and she came into the bank where I worked two or three years ago and introduce you to me. May the Holy Spirit comfort your family in your grief.
Jo Ann Cofield
May 29, 2012
I am so grateful to have known Brenda. She taught me so much over these past months. Though Brenda and John would thank me over and over for spending moments with her, I am truly the one who was blessed. I will miss her greatly.
Pamela Huff
May 29, 2012
Rest in Peace Ms. Brenda...you will be missed.
Candace P Holmes
May 29, 2012
John: Without being aware, Vanessa and I intended to come to visit with Brenda again tomorrow morning, but it was not to be. I called on Sunday, but it was already too late by then. She was a champ, and I am glad I got to see her before she entered the paradox called death to enter the portal of eternal life. I will miss her dearly.

She fought until she made the decision to go on. She always told me that she would continue to fight until she was beyond comfort like some other cases we would discuss.

I always encouraged her to continue to fight until she was ready to release everything. She really loved you, her father, her son and her grandchildren so much. I know she was ready when she could release you all - in God's care.

"Though her soul may set in darkness, it will rise in perfect light; she loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night." (Unknown).
Marian Carter
May 29, 2012
With much love Brenda
Lisa Langdale
May 28, 2012
To The family of Brenda Cawley: My heartfelt sympathy to you all. I met Mr. & Mrs. Cawley when I worshipped at Cokesbury. Being a new attendee/member, she always took the time out to greet me. I will miss our Sunday morning conversation as well as her smile.

Brenda B. Randolph
Brenda Randolph
May 28, 2012
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