Born on a frosty morn, March 6, 1954, Belle Peterson Bain Bronner was welcomed into this world by her parents, E. Clifton Bain, and Beatrice Powell Bain Cook. To complete her life journey poetically, she departed this life after a light snowfall on December 11, 2023, at the age of 69. She was many things to many people and held in esteem by all. She is survived by her husband of 42 years, Jon Benjamin Bronner, Sr; and her children, William Henry Room, III, Jon Benjamin Bronner, Jr. (Glenda,) Bain Alexander Bronner, Beatrice Powell Bronner Ellington (Gray), and Rebecca Bronner Parr (Greg). To her grandchildren, she was known as “Tinker” and is survived by four: Hallie Bain Romm, Emma Helton Romm, Jon Benjamin Bronner, III, and Faye Dameron Bronner. She also has surviving two brothers, Edward (Lynne) and Powell (Betty), a niece, Anna, and a nephew Parker, plus innumerable cousins.
She never met a stranger, and she knew that if you tried hard enough, you always had at least one mutual acquaintance with everyone. Her eloquence was such that even walls were forced to share in her jovial conversations. Renowned as a wit, she had moments of absolute hilarity, and in her more serious moments, she could discuss a wide range of topics from history, literature, language, furniture, architecture, and above all chinaware. She ascribed to the adage that “Whoever dies with the most china wins,” and the census to arrive at her total is expected to take no less than two years.
Belle possessed unrivaled style, elegance, and grace, and she had many an admirer. She received outfit compliments routinely, and when asked where she got a particular piece or item, she would oft remark, “Oh this? I have had it for years.” By profession, she was a trained teacher, graduating from St. Margaret’s in Tappahannock before earning her teaching degree at VCU specializing in special education. She was very devoted to her students, but she would tell you that the true crisis in modern education is a lack of color coordination. Her devotion extended to a large network of friends in whose company she enjoyed herself tremendously.
Most of her life was spent in Richmond, but she has called many places home ranging from Evansville to Orlando to Moyock, NC. She had spent much of the past decade at her family home, Millstone, in Water View, VA and attending it gave her great satisfaction. In her free time, she volunteered at her children’s schools, and she spent many years on the Board of the Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School Foundation. Her frivolous pursuits included holiday decorating (in a space of 14 days, she could alternate from Groundhog’s Day to Mardi Gras and then to Valentine’s Day) as well as being something of a champion sunbather in her youth, a discipline which required inordinate practice.
Her funeral will be held at 11:00 a.m. at Christ Church Episcopal in Saluda, VA on Friday, December 15, 2023. Interment will immediately follow the service in the church cemetery. She will be deeply missed by her family and friends.
In lieu of flowers, the family request memorial contributions made in her name to Christ Church Episcopal , P.O. Box 476, Saluda, VA 23149.
Faulkner Funeral Homes, Bristow-Faulkner Chapel, Saluda, is assisting the family.