Virginia "Jeni" Lehton Bridwell of Clemson, South Carolina, went home to be with her Lord Jesus on February 21, 2022, after a long illness. A devoted wife and mother, Jeni died peacefully in her sleep at 76 years old, after a full and fruitful life, filled with family, friends, travel, and creativity.
Born in Fountain Green, Maryland, Jeni was the only daughter of a military family. A proud "Air Force brat," she grew up near her father's various posts, including Edwards AFB, California, and Patrick AFB, Florida.
Jeni graduated from Florida's Cocoa High School and nearby Stetson University, where she earned a BA in English. She always loved children and taught kindergarten and Sunday school at First Baptist Church of Cocoa Beach.
As a newlywed, she lived in the Bahamas while her husband was employed there, an experience which sparked a lifelong love for the people, culture, and seascape of that island nation. There, she again taught Sunday school to young children.
Jeni raised her family in Huntsville, Alabama, where she taught Sunday school and volunteered with the Girl Scouts of America. She also was active at the local branch of the American Association of University Women, editing an updated guide to local ante-bellum homes. After stints in Virginia and Florida, Jeni and her husband chose to retire in the Upstate.
Living over a decade on Lake Hartwell, Jeni created a beautiful home filled with art and antiques and designed a magical woodland landscape. In fact, she shared her expertise regarding flowers and plants by writing a gardening column in a neighborhood periodical. Her travels took her across Europe, as well as Alaska, where she marveled at the region's wildlife and breathtaking glaciers.
Jeni's gentle, kind, unassuming, extroverted personality endeared her to friends and strangers alike. She deeply cared for all animals, especially birds, cats, and her beloved Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. Jeni was also known for her artistic talents, including her paintings, and interior and landscape design. She enjoyed the competition and fellowship of her bridge group, and she was an avid follower of the Atlanta Braves and Clemson Tigers.
Jeni enjoyed talking to everyone she met, petting every animal she encountered, soaking in the beauty of every object and aspect of nature that she admired, living in the present with every activity, and sharing generously with everyone she loved. Above all, Jeni encouraged everyone to celebrate life with the same joy and appreciation that she did.
Jeni is survived by her husband of 55 years, William H. "Bill" Bridwell Jr., of Clemson, South Carolina, daughter Amy Bridwell (Thom Patterson) of Atlanta, brother Dr. Robert E. Lehton (Bunny Lehton) of Cocoa Beach, nephew Jason Lehton of Melbourne, Florida, and brother-in-law Ronald Bridwell (Judy Wyatt) of Columbia, South Carolina. Jeni was preceded in death by her parents, Dorothy Lehton and retired U.S. Air Force MSgt. Edward Lehton of Cocoa Beach, Florida. She is also survived by close friends Susan Embler, Dave Bowden, and Carol Fairman of Columbia, South Carolina, many friends in Seneca, Clemson, and elsewhere, and her loyal canine companion, Tucker.
Special thanks to her family's housekeeper Anna Robinson, the hospice team at Interim HealthCare, and Home Care Assistance.
A memorial service will be held Sunday, February 27, at 2 p.m. ET at Duckett-Robinson Funeral Home, 108 Cross Creek Road, Central, South Carolina, 29630. Scroll to the video player below to view the service.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Jeni Bridwell's memory to the following: Seneca Baptist Church Scholarship Fund, 1080 South Oak St. Seneca, South Carolina, 29678 or Collins Children's Home, 110 Collins Home Drive, Seneca, South Carolina, 29672.
Click the play button in the video player below to watch the service.
Please visit www.RobinsonFuneralHomes.com or stop by Duckett-Robinson Funeral Home & Cremations, Central – Clemson Commons.