Brent Gary Jerome
September 8, 1979 – July 28, 2021
September 8, 1979- July 28, 2021
Brent came into the world with a bang, and went out with a flash.
COLUMBIA - Brent Gary Jerome died Wednesday, July 28, 2021, while vacationing on Sanibel Island, Florida with his family. On the beach, Brent had a beer in his hand and the love of his life, Kristen, at his side. They watched their two magnificent children, Parks and Eleanor, look for seashells when a bolt of lightning struck and ended Brent’s life at the age of 41.
Born in Janesville, WI, Brent graduated in 1998 from Craig High School in Janesville, where he played baseball, ran cross country, and excelled in basketball. He traveled to Madison and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from University of Wisconsin-Madison, and certification in Secondary Education from Edgewood College, Madison, WI. Madison is where he solidified an unwavering love of Badger athletics, made a strong group of friends, and had plenty of good times with those friends. Even after moving to South Carolina, his annual trip to Wisconsin seemed to restore his soul.
Following college, he moved to Columbia S.C. to work with the Richland County School systems. Brent received his certification for Secondary Principal from the South Carolina Department of Education in 2017. He was certified in Life Space Crisis Intervention and as a Nonviolent Crisis Intervention Trainer. He was a former High School Social Studies teacher in Richland School Districts 1 and 2 and finished his career as a Behavior Intervention Specialist.
Throughout his career in education, he coached boys’ basketball, baseball and cross country. Brent had a close relationship with his father and followed his footsteps into public education. Brent cared deeply about children and worked towards a world where all children were given the opportunity to learn and grow in nurturing environments. This was evident in Brent’s leadership, both at work and in his family. He was a fierce father who loved Eleanor and Parks dearly. Brent tried every day to be a better person and modeled that behavior to his family.
Although neither of them grew up in S.C., Kristen and Brent made Columbia their home. He was a volunteer soccer coach through the YMCA and baseball coach with Trenholm Little League. He was an active member of Downtown Church in Columbia, and led a home group alongside his wife, Kristen. They have been Fireflies season ticket holders since they came to Columbia and loved going to games alongside family and their strong group of friends. He spent many Saturdays smoking various meats to perfection on his simple Weber grill.
Upon his death, five of his organs were able to be donated to patients in need of transplants. Doctors admit that it was hard to find recipients for organs from a guy with his “dimensions” (he was 6’3”). Kristen and his friends in Wisconsin were surprised to learn that even his liver was in good enough condition to save another’s life.
Brent is survived by his wife, Kristen, and their children, Eleanor and Jon Parks; his father, Jon Brent Jerome; his sisters, Kerrie Hinch and Beth Johnson; his parents-in-law, Al and Laura Searcy.
Brent’s Service of Witness to the Resurrection is planned for Saturday, September 25, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. at Downtown Church, 2030 Gregg Street, Columbia South Carolina. The service will be live streamed on the website downtownchurch.me. Dunbar Funeral Home, Devine Street Chapel, is assisting the family.
The family wishes to thank the many First Responders on Sanibel Beach, The Sanibel Fire and Rescue, the EMS Drivers, the staff at Lee Memorial Hospital, the Life Link Foundation and its representatives, and all of the support they continue to receive from friends and strangers.
In lieu of flowers, Kristen asks anyone to donate blood with the Red Cross and/or make a financial donation to a fund that will establish a scholarship at the University of Wisconsin for education students who are passionate about serving at-risk youth in the public school system. The URL to make gifts to the fund is: https://supportuw.org/giveto/jeromememorial.
Memories may be shared at www.dunbarfunerals.com
Service of Witness to the Resurrection
2030 Gregg StreetThe service will also be live streamed on the website downtownchurch.me
Brent Gary Jerome
September 16, 2021
I am a previous student of Mr. Jerome’s from Westwood High. Mr. Jerome always had a smile on his face and was always willing to go the extra mile to help his students. He was very patient and kind. I am deeply saddened to hear of his passing and I am praying for peace and strength for his family and friends.
Fletcher Spigner III
August 14, 2021
I did not know Brent, but his birthday is the same as my son's - September 08. I am both amazed and inspired by his life, and saddened by the circumstances of his death. He lived a loving and good life. An educator. A coach. A husband, father and son, and a Christian. They don't come any better than he. My sincere condolences to all in his family. Cherish his memory. I'll think of him often.
Fletcher Spigner III
August 12, 2021
Brent was a fellow tall person and such a friend. He kept me sane when kids drove me nuts and never gave up on me, even in the hardest of times.
He is one of the reasons I am still a teacher today. God bless him and his family.
August 12, 2021
What I remember most about Brent is his wit! His sense of humor was quick and on point! He made those around him feel better than they were before. I can hear him still tell a story and it brings a smile to my face. Brent will leave a huge void in the lives that he has touched! God bless his family, how my heart goes out to them!
August 11, 2021
I didn't get the chance to know many of my extended family members but one thing I know without a doubt, my Dad (Gary Jerome) would have been so heartbroken for his little brother Jon. I know my Dad would have tried to comfort you and love you. My Dad left behind 4 miracles who would be honored to be there for you as he would have been. Although miles separate us, my brothers, Adam Brent and Aaron Dennis, my sister Bridgette Celeste and I, April Robin, have you in our thoughts. We dearly love or uncle Jon and all of his family. Please take comfort in knowing you have family that cares for you far and wide.
Note: You may have spoken with Bridgette in the past. If there is anything we can do for you, she has our addresses, phone# and email addresses to contact us
August 11, 2021
I remember when Kristen told us she met Brent. She was giddy with excitement about their first date following a mutual friend’s wedding. It wasn’t long after their first interaction that we saw Kristen fall head over heals with him. Brent quickly blended in nicely with the family and became the highlight to each family event sharing his endless humor of Dad jokes and love of sports and craft beer. Brent and I often shared our stories of teaching high school students together. He understood the life of a teacher and I always felt like he appreciated the sacrifice and work I put into my profession. While he was quiet and reserved he always had a way to bring humor and laugher to any situation. What I loved about him most however was how he loved on his family; he handled each situation with care and attention. He invested in his family, providing love and guidance and it shows in his family today. His daughter captures Brent’s grace and demeanor and demonstrates a wisdom about herself that is mature and well nurtured. Brent will be greatly missed and I will miss his sarcasm and wit. I so appreciate how much the family is striving to bring Brent’s spirit alive. His impact will forever grace each of us. Brent please watch over us all and thank you for blessing our family with your presence over the last 11 years.
Abby, Tim and Kids Wyllie
August 11, 2021
Brent had a way of calming down and deescalating situations that clearly show his devotion to his work and his obedience to God. When coaching my first time through Trenholm Little League Baseball, I asked for any parents that would be willing to help. The reply I received from both Kristen and Brent we IMMEDIATE and I was so thankful that Brent decided to step up, because I know I could not have done it without him. He had a quiet reserve that instilled calm and direction for the children and parents alike. His ability to understand the children on their level, was amazing. His desire to calm parents when high emotions wanted to take over, is something I will remember and take with me into every child/teen sporting event in the future.
Brent was a wonderful father as can be seen in the love & joy sweet Eleanor passes to everyone she meets. Sometimes I cannot fathom why the Lord takes some of his best creations home early, but I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to get to know Brent this past year. He was truly a remarkable Godly man, I hope to tell him again one day. He has touched our lives for the better and we Praise God that our paths crossed on this earth. All of our love and prayers-
The Wyllie Family