Nature 10

Judith (Young) Brinson

August 13, 1943 ~ July 3, 2021 (age 77)


Judith Y. Brinson was delivered from this life on July 3rd, 2021. Born to Sue and Neil Young, she was intelligent, generous, kind, charming, determined and loved by everyone she met.

 A role model to her entire family, she worked tirelessly to both advance her career and cultivate a healthy, supportive family culture. At the time of her death, she was chairman of the family-owned business, Apparel Brands, Inc.

 In contrast to the cultural norms of her generation, Judy did not subscribe to the belief that women had to choose between a career and motherhood. With two young twin girls, she excelled in college and obtained her business degree from UNCG.

Shortly after graduating from UNCG, she married the love of her life, Jack Brinson, on August 24th, 1977. Together, they blended their families seamlessly and made a home in Lake Wylie, SC, Highlands, NC, and Hilton-Head, SC.

 Judy’s enviable spirit and drive would continue to forge a new path for women, quickly ascending the corporate ladder to become the first female Senior Vice President for First Union Bank.

Judy was a trailblazer, constantly portraying equal parts grace, equal parts fortitude for her three daughters, Fonda Haight, Freda Philbeck, and Karyn Brinson. She was also a beloved grandmother and great grandmother to Justin Shook, Savanna Poole, Kris Shook, Josh Shook, Nick Haight, Zoe Shook, Madeline Poole, and Ryder Shook.

But Judy’s incredible impact was not limited to those closest to her. Her vast philanthropic efforts consisted of funding the Brinson Honors College at Western Carolina University, providing hundreds of students in the state of North Carolina with scholarships, and the opportunity to pursue their aspirations as fervently as Judy did. She also made significant contributions to the Duke Eye Center, resulting in considerable resources for ophthalmological research and treatment at Duke University Medical Center.

Judy Brinson’s wide-spread influence on health care and education access within the state of North Carolina is immeasurable. Equally immeasurable is the love and support she provided and instilled within her friends and family members. She was a truly exceptional woman, sister, wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, always giving of herself wholly. She was a beacon of light to her family, with a spirit of kindness that everyone should aspire to impart upon the world.

Although we leave her here, we take her spirit with us.

She is survived by her husband, Jack Brinson, her children, Fonda Haight, Freda Philbeck, and Karyn Brinson, her grandchildren, Justin Shook, Savanna Poole, Kris Shook, Josh Shook, Nick Haight, great-grandchildren, Zoe Shook, Madeline Poole, and Ryder Shook, brother, Phil Young, and sister, Pat Wilkins. And the golden retrievers she loved so much, WIlly, Roadie, and Twinkle.

In lieu of flowers the family ask that a memorial be made to the Cashiers Highlands Humane Society.

Cashiers Highlands Humane Society, 200 Gable Drive, Sapphire, NC 28774 

Bryant Grant Funeral Home and Crematory is serving the Brinson family.

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