Dr. Brenda Anne Wilkie Bender-Sayyad

COLUMBIA – Dr. Brenda Anne Wilkie Bender-Sayyad peacefully passed away on Sunday, January 20 at Bernadin, Rice Estate in Columbia, SC.  She was surrounded by family and friends.

Born to Lorenzo and Geraldine Wilkie, Brenda was a graduate of Chesnee High School, Spartanburg Junior College, Limestone College, University of Georgia and University of South Carolina. She obtained double Doctorates from University of South Carolina that she utilized in her teaching and principal career within the South Carolina Education System, Department of Corrections and several private colleges.  She was a business owner and counselor.  Brenda believed in hard work and passed her terrific work ethic on to her children.  As her friends will say, she was always working and helping someone.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Lorenzo and Geraldine Wilkie and her son, John Bender.  She is survived by her daughter, Michele Bender Huggins, son-in-law, Mark Huggins, grandchildren, Taylor Bender, Zachary Huggins and Heather Huggins, her brother, Gerald Hugh Wilkie and wife, Margaret Rita Wilkie, and numerous nieces and nephews.

Nothing pleased her more than being a Nana to her grandchildren and too many of Taylor’s friends that frequently visited and helped her. Also the love she had for her dog, Rocky Remington III had no bounds.

She was a true fence rider as her family was firmly divided between University of South Carolina, Clemson, Georgia and University of North Carolina. But, if University of South Carolina or Georgia were playing she would impishly grin and say she was rooting for them.

Visitation was Saturday, January 26, 2019 at 1:30 p.m., Dunbar Funeral Home, Devine Street Chapel, 3926 Devine Street, Columbia, SC with service beginning at 2:30 p.m. A Celebration of Life for family and friends followed at Suber Marshall Memorial United Methodist Church, 3900 Live Oak Street, Columbia, SC.

The family would like to thank Rice Estates, Bernadin Unit, for their terrific care of Brenda while she was a patient there. In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Alzheimer’s Association or your local animal shelter or rescue.

Memories may be shared at www.dunbarfunerals.com.