Charles Robert Brenton Obituary

Charles Robert
Charles Robert "Bob" Brenton

April 24, 1930 - April 4, 2019
Born in Des Moines, Iowa
Resided in Des Moines, Iowa
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Charles Robert Brenton “Bob” passed away peacefully on April 4, 2019. Bob was a man of many loves and passions. First and foremost was the love that he had for his family, especially that for his wife Babette Conner Brenton for over 70 years. Second was the love for his five children and seven grandchildren.

Bob was born on April 24, 1930 in Des Moines, Iowa the son of Woodward Harold Brenton and Sarah Etta Spurgeon. Five siblings preceded him in death, Mary Elizabeth (Brenton) Brandt, William Henry Brenton “Bill”, Carolyn Ruth Brenton (O’Brien), Jane Brenton (Eddy), and Juliette Brenton (Moen). Bob is survived by Junius Clyde Brenton “Buz” of Des Moines, Iowa.

Bob was passionate about and committed to the State of Iowa. The Brenton Family homesteaded in Dallas County in 1853. The Brenton family were, and are to this date, farmers ultimately establishing Brenton Brothers, Inc., a century farm, located in Dallas County. The Brenton family founded The Bank of Dallas Center later to become Brenton Banks, Inc. in 1882. Brenton Banks, Inc. was sold to Wells Fargo in 2001.

After his birth in Des Moines, Bob lived with his family in Dallas Center. The family moved to Minneapolis, MN where he attended The Blake School and then returned to Des Moines. Bob graduated from The Taft School in Watertown, CN in 1949 where he was captain of the track team, a member of the hockey team (he played a game at Madison Square Garden) and appointed the Monitor of his class. Bob graduated from Iowa State University, a Delta Tau Delta, in 1953 with a degree in Agriculture.

Bob married Babette in 1952. In 1953 they moved to Ft. Sill, Oklahoma where Bob served as First Lieutenant in the Tenth Mountain Division. Bob and Babette raised their young family in Dallas Center where Bob managed Brenton Brothers, Inc.. The family subsequently relocated to Des Moines in 1964. After the death of his Father
in 1968, Bob served as President and Joint Chief Executive with his brothers Bill and Buz, at Brenton Banks Inc..

Bob was involved in many community and professional organizations, most notably President of the American Bankers Association, President of the Iowa Bankers Association and President of the Iowa State Foundation. He was involved with the Central Iowa Health Association and the Chicago Farm Foundation. He served as a board member of the national Chief Executive Officers, the Iowa Transfer System (one of its founders), Pioneer Hi-Bred International and the ISU Agricultural Foundation and Living History Farms. Bob was also a member of Gamma Sigma Delta, the agricultural honor society of Iowa State. Bob thoroughly enjoyed the Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and he and Babette traveled extensively to attend its many seminars both nationally and internationally.

Through the Brenton Foundation, Bob and his siblings proudly founded the Brenton Center for Agricultural Instruction and Technology Transfer at ISU honoring their parents Harold and Etta Brenton. In addition, Bob was the inspiration for and donated to the Brenton Skating Plaza in downtown Des Moines.

That Bob enjoyed sports is an understatement! In his thirties he played hockey for the Des Moines Capitals. He was an avid tennis player, jogger, bicyclist, hunter, and downhill skier dating back to his youth at Buck Mountain in Minnesota. Bob treasured decades of his life skiing with his family in Colorado where he bought a home, his “piece of heaven”, in Vail, Colorado in 1972.

After retirement Bob and Babette resided in Bonita Springs and Naples, FL for over 20 years. He became a passionate golfer at the Bonita Bay Club where he would one day live long enough to be a “super senior” and could drive his cart within inches of the putting greens. He loved that!

Bob is survived by his wife Babette Conner Brenton, Carroll Brenton Michalek (Rick), Jane Brenton-Knauer (Mark), William Harold Brenton “Bill”, Mary Brenton Howe (Jim) and Bobetta Christine Matthes (Mike) and his beloved grandchildren Evan Brenton (Mary), Nealy Brenton, Melissa O’Conner (Logan), Jimmy Howe, Hannah Knauer, and Claire and George Matthes.

Bob’s family is devastated at his passing. He was a man of great integrity and high values. He lived by the philosophy, “Your word is your bond.” Bob lived life with great passion and love for his family, his friends, his employees at the farm and the bank.

There will be a visitation on Friday, April 26 between 4:00 and 6:00 pm at Dunn’s Funeral Home, Des Moines. Funeral services will be held on Saturday, April 27 at 11:00 am at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul, Des Moines. Burial will be 9:00 am, April 27, prior to the funeral service.

In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to The Brenton Center for Agricultural Instruction and Technology at ISU or the Cathedral Church of St. Paul, Des Moines.




Dunn's Funeral Home
2121 Grand Avenue
Des Moines, IA US 50312
Friday, April 26, 2019
4:00 PM - 6:00 PM
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Cathedral Church of St. Paul
815 High Street
Des Moines, IA US 50309
Saturday, April 27, 2019
11:00 AM