One of the last of a generation known as “Old Tryon,” Isabel DuCharme Brannon Child passed away on Thursday, August 31, 2017. She was 98.
Known as “Sissy” or “Izzy,” Isabel was the youngest child of Mr. & Mrs. Charles DuCharme of Grosse Pointe, Mich. She was the fourth generation of her family to be named Isabel.
In the early 1930s, like many others from the Upper Midwest, the DuCharmes began visiting Tryon attracted by its temperate climate and horse activities. The family built a home on Estabrook Hill.
Isabel later transferred from Grosse Pointe Country Day to Tryon High School where she attended for two years. She later attended boarding schools in Warrenton and Chatham, Va. Her education was completed, as was fashionable at the time, with a grand tour of Europe. Isabel was hailed “debutante of the year” at her coming out in Detroit.
She met Spartanburg stockbroker George Brannon when he began to build a house near her family home. He was charmed by the young Isabel and the two were married in Grosse Pointe in 1939.
Mr. & Mrs. George S. Brannon made a home and life in Tryon. They had three children: two daughters, Isabel (Isa) and Jerrie, and a son, Timothy (Tim).
After returning from Vero Beach, Fla., where the couple was stationed while George served in the Navy during World War II, they moved to the site of the Johnson dairy farm on Warrior Drive. The couple constructed a home known as Mulberry Farm where they lived until George’s death in 1983.
Accidents and illnesses impacted George’s health, including glaucoma that would ultimately render him blind. Through these difficult years, Isabel was his constant companion, developing an acumen for caregiving and compassion that would ultimately extend to her many friends and family members facing similar challenges.
After the George’s death, Isabel married William (Bill) K. Child, Sr. The two pursued many shared interests until his death four years later.
Isabel made an indelible mark on the community. She chaired the St. Agnes Guild and ran the Girls Friendly Society at The Church of the Holy Cross. She enthusiastically supported local organizations including: FENCE, Pacolet Area Conservancy, St. Luke’s Hospital, Tryon Fine Arts Center, Tryon Hounds and Tryon Riding & Hunt Club.
Active until her early nineties, Isabel always enjoyed outdoor activities and sports, particularly tennis, golf and shooting, ever the competitor, even at bridge, bingo and bowling.
Isabel had a zest for life. She related easily to everyone she met and always had a witty story or clever joke to share. Her effortless grace and genteel manner made her the life of any party. Further, she was the consummate hostess – loving nothing more than entertaining her family and friends.
Isabel is survived by a daughter, Isa Spencer of New York, and a son, Tim Brannon of Tryon. She was predeceased by her daughter Jerrie Mooney. Also surviving are four grandchildren: Charlie Spencer and Drew, Betsy and Michael Brannon; four great grandchildren, five nephews and two nieces.
A funeral was held at 3 p.m. Sunday, September 3, 2017 at the Holy Cross Episcopal Church, Tryon, N.C. with Father Robert Ard officiating.
Memorials may be made to Tryon Fine Arts Center, 34 Melrose Avenue, Tryon, NC 28782.
An online guest register is available www.mcfarlandfuneralchapel.com.
McFarland Funeral Chapel & Crematory