ABILENE - Alta M. Brenner, formerly of Dallas, passed away Monday, September 29, 2009, in Hendrick Medical Center in Abilene.

A memorial service is scheduled for 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 11, 2009 at Sparkman Hillcrest Funeral Home, located at 7405 Northwest Highway in Dallas. Interment will be in the DFW National Cemetery in Dallas.

Alta was born August 9, 1923 in Talpa to the late Walter Allen King and Gladys Farrar King. She attended Talpa schools and was valedictorian of her senior class. She graduated from Weatherford Junior College as valedictorian in 1941. After graduating, she went to Washington D.C. and worked for the War Department and later for the U.S. State Department. While working, she attended and graduated from George Washington University. She married Ensign Marvin Brenner, U.S. Navy in 1943 in Washington D.C. She was a member of the Quaker Church, Wilmington Fellowship of Friends and supported her church after she moved away.

Her career with the State Department took her all over the world. She lived and worked in American Embassy's in most Middle-East countries, including, India, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Bangladesh. She was also assigned to the embassy in Mexico City and London, England and was sent on temporary assignments to many other countries. Her services included personnel officer, position management employee training and administrative management analysis. When asked where her favorite place to live was, she always responded that it was India. Although it was a very poor country, she liked the creativity of the people and the culture.

Alta was an adventurous woman all of her life. Although she had a very full life with the State Department, she also was in the Marine Corp. Reserves from 1954-57.

In 1986, she married Thomas Woodward in Arlington, Virginia. She and "Woody" were only able to enjoy a few years together before he passed away. She retired and moved to Dallas, living there several years. While living in Dallas, she was a member and advocate of the Dallas Museum of Art and the DMA league. She was a long-time member of the Dallas Theatre Center, a benefactor and a DTC Guild member. From 2004-05 she was the Lady Mayor of the Fair at the Dickens of a Christmas annual affair. She was a board member of the homeowners association where she lived. She was a member of Arlington Hall and Lee Park Conservatory, the Dallas Women's Forum, the Ramboullet Club, Dallas Hall Society and a member of D.A.R.

Alta was a big supporter of the arts and was generous with both her time and resources. She was a unique and beautiful person and was loved by many. She will be missed but not forgotten.

Alta helped many young people obtain their educational goals. She was an avid advocate of education, serving on the board of Tarleton State University and later on the board of the Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University. She left a trust to SMU in honor of her daughter who had a degree in music from the University of North Texas.  So she will continue to contribute to the education of many in years to come.

She moved to Abilene almost three years ago to be near her sister.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Thomas Woodward, her daughter, Andrea Brenner-Mullin, her parents Wanda and Gladys King, two sisters, Hazel Marian King and Wynoma Alene King, two brothers, Col. Leonard Allen King and Lloyd Ervin King.

Survivors include four sisters, Wanda Revelt of Lindale, Reba Brandon and husband John of Stephenville, Virginia Carr and husband Don of Stephenville and Shirley Murphy and husband Geoff of Abilene, one brother, Dr. Walter C. King of Harvey Ark., many nieces and nephews and many, many friends around the world.

Published Oct. 8, 2009

Stephenville Empire-Tribune