Not everyone thinks of helping to eliminate the tedium of someone else's chores. But when Clayton 'Billie' Bruder of Folly Beach noticed that her friend's mother-in-law found sweeping the driveway a little challenging, she went out and bought her a leaf blower. And she took the time to make sure that it was light enough for the elderly woman to use.
On another occasion, she heard the mother-in-law, Corrie Estridge, talking about a flower she had admired in someone else's yard, says Marlene Estridge, the friend who now is city clerk and treasurer for the town of Folly Beach. Bruder purchased one for the elderly woman to plant and admire in her own yard, she says.
'She cared about the young, the old and those in between,' Estridge says.
Bruder's son, Al Bruder of Greer, notes his mother's concern for animals as well as people.
Billie Bruder was a woman who always had three or four stray cats coming around, he says. Regardless of where they lived, they seemed to know she would feed them if they showed up. Cats would visit her to eat twice a day, every day.
Estridge knew Bruder, who was born in Cross Hill, for about 60 years. Bruder died Aug. 18 at 85.
They were friends long before Bruder began working as the town's bookkeeper in 1989.
She came to that job after Hurricane Hugo destroyed all of her possessions, the house she was renting and the Atlantic House Restaurant, where she was the office manager.
Each year, Bruder would call Estridge over to the restaurant to figure the income on which the establishment's business license fee would be based, she says. Bruder wanted the figures to be correct the first time and didn't mind supplying Estridge with a lunch that included the cheese biscuits her friend so loved to get the job done.
While Bruder managed the restaurant's office, she also was a great cook, Estridge says. Her co-workers had many opportunities to eat some of her best dishes during the more than 10 years she worked for the town of Folly Beach.
'She made the best Charleston red rice I ever tasted,' Estridge says. 'Every grain fell apart. That and jalapeno cornbread were two of the things she would bring into the office.
'She also was a wonderful mother,' Estridge says. 'Her children and grandchildren were the most important thing in the world to her. She talked about them all the time.'
Name: Clayton 'Billie' Bruder.
Community: Folly Beach.
Memorable characteristics: She was fun-loving and compassionate.
Worklife: Teacher in Landrum and Hanahan for a couple of years each. Office manager and bookkeeper on Folly for many years.
Survivors: Her husband, Albert Ralston Bruder Jr., Folly Beach; children, F. Ben Turner, Atlanta, James E. Turner Jr., Monroe, N.C., Eleanor Turner Kisner, Jacksonville, Fla., Albert R. Bruder III, Greer, and John Anthony Bruder, Charleston; nine grandchildren; one great-granddaughter; and a sister, Ruth Elizabeth Coates of Port Royal.
Reach Wevonneda Minis at 937-5705 or firstname.lastname@example.org.