Eleanor Brinsfield Vann, 77, died peacefully at her Pinehurst home the evening of July 18 2018, with John, her beloved husband of 48 years, at her side.
From the time she accepted Christ at a Billy Graham crusade at age 10, she spread light to the world with her magnetic smile, altruistic nature, charismatic leadership, exceptional strength, and especially her loving devotion as a wife and mother. The joy she showed others in life will only be exceeded by that she now shares in Heaven. Born in Atlanta April 11, 1941, the daughter of Marion William Brinsfield and Elizabeth Cannon Brinsfield, she is survived by her loving husband John MacRae Vann; her three children Susan Gray of Vancouver Washington; Valerie Tribble of Byron Georgia; Elizabeth Steffen of Pace, Florida, and four grandchildren.
Some of her remarkable talents and accomplishments included: overcoming devastation of becoming a Vietnam widow and single mother of two at age 26; starting and becoming the first President of Gold Star Wives of America, Dogwood Chapter; first woman to graduate from Georgia State University with a bachelor’s degree in actuarial science; running her own tax consulting practice, the first woman to graduate from the Long Island University MBA program at the United States Military Academy at West Point; senior consultant at the Watson Wyatt Worldwide Benefits Consulting Company; CEO of her own Executive placement company in Fairfax, Virginia; and Senior Consultant at IBM Consulting worldwide. Her success in business was eclipsed by her love for volunteer work, which crossed the spectrum from teaching Bible study at age 16 to young children; teaching cheerleading to young women; empowering breast cancer survivors, like herself, under the Reach to Recovery program; leading a team providing community support to 26,000 military family members in Stuttgart, Germany; representing the Army Chief of Staff as one of the Arlington Ladies at funerals at Arlington National Cemetery; leading the local effort to establish North Carolina’s first Moving Day to generate public support and funding for research seeking a cure for Parkinson’s disease; and countless other selfless activities. One of her toughest jobs was wearing two hats as an Army wife caring for her family through a lifetime of John’s deployments and frequent moves coast-to-coast and overseas. She loved golf, was a gourmet cook, and discovered late in life a gift for painting. Her greatest achievement in life, however, was her steadfast example to everyone of love, faith in Christ, hope, and grace. John, their three daughters, families, and friends who knew Eleanor are so grateful for the gift of her love, and hope to reflect her legacy in their own lives.
A Service of Remembrance will be held at Trinity Christian Fellowship church August 4th at 11am, followed by a Celebration of Life and reception at the Pinehurst Country Club (Member’s Club) at 12:30 pm.
In lieu of flowers, donations to Trinity Christian Fellowship or to the Clara McLean House of the First Health Foundation are welcomed.
To send flowers or a remembrance gift to the family of Eleanor Brinsfield Vann, please visit Boles’ Tribute Store.
Online condolences: BolesFuneralHome.com.