John "Bratton" Fennell, 57, of Charleston and Myrtle Beach, SC passed on Friday January 7, 2022, surrounded by his friends and family after a steadfast battle with Glioblastoma.
He is survived by his two children Langdon Bratton and Hayden Marie (Hattie) Fennell, as well as his brothers Chang Haskell and Seth Fennell, his sisters Caroline Haskell and Katheryn Fennell Wonder, and his mother Blaine Haskell Fennell. He was preceded in death by his father, Alva Bratton "AB" Fennell.
Born on May 25th, 1964, in Columbia, SC Bratton spent his early childhood living in a number of towns across the southeast. In 1971 the family settled for several years in Rome, GA, before ultimately returning to Columbia, SC in 1975. Bratton was the second oldest of five children and frequently served as a leader in the family due to his characteristic maturity and wisdom beyond his years. Bratton graduated from Spring Valley High school in 1982, where his sports were golf and math, winning a state championship in the latter. He was also active in the local church basketball circuit. After high school Bratton attended the University of South Carolina where he graduated Magna Cum Laude. There he developed a number of close relationships with his classmates and professors in the accounting program, all of whom likely remember him as a student who wasn't afraid to correct his professors during class. During his time at South Carolina, Bratton also met Gale Alge Fennell, who he married in 1988 and is the mother of his children. Though the two were divorced in 2011 they maintained a close friendship until his death.
After finishing USC with a Master's in Accounting, Bratton obtained his CPA license and begun his career at the accounting firm Coopers & Lybrand (C&L) in Columbia, SC. He worked at C&L for 5 years before taking a director position at Giant Cement in Summerville, SC. In 1995 Bratton returned to Coopers & Lybrand at the Company's Spartanburg, SC office and continued to work with the Company through its merger forming PWC, becoming an assurance partner and also spending time in its Virginia Beach, VA and Miami, FL offices. In 2003 Bratton returned to Giant Cement to take a CFO role and move closer to friends and family in Charleston, SC. In 2008, he took the same roll at Burroughs & Chapin in Myrtle Beach, SC, commuting from his home in Charleston for several years before moving to Myrtle Beach full time in 2011.
For many Bratton will be most remembered for the unwavering support he gave to numerous non-profits, churches and professional organizations, in both time, talent and resources. Others will remember his impact within the accounting profession. Bratton served on the board of numerous charities and non-profit organizations such as the United Way, Freedom Readers, and the Myrtle Beach Symphony. He was also an active Rotarian, serving on the board of the Myrtle Beach Rotary Club and contributing to many Paul Harris awards, and was very involved in his local churches, serving in a leadership capacity at each he attended. Within his profession, Bratton served as a board member for the SC Association of CPAs from 2009-2016 and as an AICPA Council Member from 2014-2015. During his time in Charleston, SC Bratton developed an avid love for running and was very involved in the Charleston Running Club. This passion led him to complete multiple high level marathons including New York, Chicago, and Boston. It also led him to help found the Myrtle Beach Track Club, where he was the distance running coach for several years. His other favorite pastimes included traveling, reading, and showing up everyone in trivia with his seemingly endless knowledge of random facts and impressive memory, both of which he proudly held onto until his final moments.
A memorial service will be held at 11:00AM on Saturday, January 15, 2022, at Grace Church Cathedral, 98 Wentworth Street, Charleston, SC 29401.
In lieu of flowers, Bratton has requested that donations be made to the Episcopal Church of the Messiah in Myrtle Beach, SC or Grace Episcopal Church Cathedral in Charleston, SC. As an alternative the family has also selected two additional charities related to causes which Bratton supported during his lifetime: Wings for Kids and the Lowcountry Land Trust.
Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to McALISTER-SMITH FUNERAL & CREMATION, Mt. Pleasant, 1520 Rifle Range Rd., Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464, (843) 884-3833.