Crosses

Zena Pearl (Rickman) Brogden

June 24, 1927 ~ January 1, 2023 (age 95) 95 Years Old
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Obituary

    Zena Pearl Rickman Brogden, 95, passed away Sunday, January 1, 2023, taking her last breath on this side of eternity and her first in the presence of her Savior. She was born in Macon County on June 24, 1927 at the home of her parents, Tom and Fannie Rickman. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband of 61 years, C. Ed Brogden, who died in 2009, her only brother, J. Roy Rickman and his wife, Doris D. Rickman, and daughter-in-law, Anne Brogden.

    Zena Pearl is survived by her sons, Rick and Mack Brogden and Mack’s wife Linda, all of Franklin; her grandchildren Chris and Julie Brogden, of Charlotte, NC; Lorrie B. Contino and husband Mike, of Franklin; Ericka Brogden of Franklin; Joe and Amanda Brogden of Franklin; and Dustin and Chrissy Brogden, also of Franklin. Great grandchildren surviving include Kendal and Kaitlyn Brogden of Charlotte; Abby, Heidi, and Cole Brogden of Franklin; and Will and Emma Brogden, also of Franklin. Zena Pearl is also survived by two nieces, Kaye Rickman and Janet Tipton, and Jamie Leigh Tipton, great niece, all of Franklin.

    Zena Pearl retired from the Macon County Board of Education after teaching 33 years at Cowee School, teaching fifth and seventh grades. After high school graduation, she attended Brevard College. After that she moved to Dublin, North Carolina, and taught for two years. Zena Pearl moved back to Cowee Valley, was married, and had two sons, Rick and Mack. She soon decided to return to college for a teaching degree, and attended Western Carolina Teaching College. It was there she received her B.S. Education degree. She then went to work at Cowee School, and taught there for thirty- three years. She taught many children during that time, with classes of at least 30 students. One of her favorite students shared that one year a student in her class had rheumatic fever and could not attend school. Mrs. Brogden prepared lessons for that child and took them to their house, so that he could keep up and pass. She taught them music and organized great art projects, like ceramics, which they painted and hung proudly in their homes.  One year she had a split grade, teaching two grades in one room. However, she never complained about the situation to the class. Instead, she did her best to make learning fun and exciting, inspiring each child to learn.

 

 

     Zena Pearl became a member of Cowee Baptist Church in 1939 at age twelve and was the longest living member. Zena Pearl loved her Lord and served in several positions in the church. She became the first Pianist of the church in 1939, playing for fourteen years. She served as the first Choir Director of Children and Youth in 1952 for twelve years. She served as Sunday School Director from 1983 -1992. Mrs. Brogden worked as Sunday School Secretary and Assistant Secretary for twenty-one years. She also worked as GA Leader for nine years, as an Acteens Leader, and BTU Secretary. She was a member of WMU. Zena Pearl served as Chairman of the Flower Committee from 1982-2014. She was active in serving as a Coordinator for the Prayer Team for many years, too.

   Mrs. Brogden loved creating flower arrangements, as did her mother Fannie, and she would see that a fresh floral arrangement would be on the vestibule table each Sunday at church. Many of these flowers came from outside her parent’s home, or in her garden.  She also made beautiful flower displays for her family’s graves in the cemetery, and would change them out each year. Her love of flowers was evident the minute you walked in her home, where lovely potted, fresh, and other arrangements were placed throughout her home.

    Zena Pearl, known affectionately as “ZP” by her friends and family, was a pillar of her community who loved cooking and baking, and often prepared meals for anyone and everyone. When she discovered there was a death in the community, she was one of the first to start planning food for the family. She would contact members of her Sunday School class, and within a short time, a week’s worth of food for the family would be planned. For Sunday dinner after church, it was not uncommon for her to prepare two or three meats, seven or eight vegetables, and several desserts. Zena Pearl often laughed and said she never knew how many she would be feeding-whether she would have 1 or 101 to show up at her kitchen table. When she had to prepare a meal unexpectedly, Zena Pearl was blessed with being able to walk in her kitchen, and was able to prepare a full course meal in a matter of about thirty minutes. She rarely used recipes, but loved to try out new ones. She also loved making ham and cheese balls, and, using her copper cheeseball molds, she would make several at a time for gifts. She would share them with her mail carrier, her doctor, the UPS driver, her neighbors, her friends, and her family. Zena Pearl shared the love of Jesus with everyone she knew.

        After retirement, one of Mrs. Brogden’s favorite past times was studying, and writing family history. Over a period of several years, she developed a huge photo album of the Brogden’s history and genealogy, complete with pictures, dates, and names back to 1823. She presented two of her grandchildren a copy of this labor of love, to be shared with the rest of the family. She also wrote numerous other family histories.

     When her grandchildren and great grands started arriving, she always remembered them with calls, cards, gifts, and birthday money- one dollar for each year of their lives. She began coloring pictures of scripture verses and sending them as gifts for special achievements and events in the lives of their families. Zena Pearl had a favorite saying, “I love you a bushel and a peck”, taken from one of her beloved aunts. She demonstrated this love to everyone, young or old, that she knew, throughout her life.

A funeral service will be held 3:00 PM Sunday, January 8, 2023 at the Cowee Baptist Church. Burial will follow in the church cemetery. The family will receive friends from 1-3 prior to the service at the church.

    In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, or a charity of your choice.

Online condolences can be left at www.bryantgrantfuneralhome.com

Bryant-Grant Funeral Home & Crematory is serving the Brogden family.

 

 

 

 

 

 

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Zena Pearl (Rickman) Brogden, please visit our floral store.


Services

Visitation
Sunday
January 8, 2023

1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Cowee Baptist Church
6301 Bryson City Road
Franklin, NC 28734

Funeral Service
Sunday
January 8, 2023

3:00 PM
Cowee Baptist Church
6301 Bryson City Road
Franklin, NC 28734

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In Loving Memory Of

Zena Brogden

June 24, 1927-January 1, 2023




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In Loving Memory Of

Zena Brogden

June 24, 1927-January 1, 2023




Look inside to read what others have shared


Family and friends are coming together online to create a special keepsake. Every memory left on the online obituary will be automatically included in the book.   


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