Brenda M Box

October 18, 1954March 7, 2013

Brenda M. Box, of Springfield, Virginia, passed away Thursday, March 7, 2013. Brenda graduated with a journalism degree from Colorado State University, worked as a Capitol Hill correspondent for USA Today Broadcasting/Gannett News Service, as an anchor for the UPI and NBC/Mutual radio networks, and as a reporter for West Virginia Public Radio and WTOP Radio before coming to NPR 10 years ago. Outside of broadcasting she worked for the Wilderness Society and the National Wildlife Federation, and she served as press secretary for the District of Columbia's City Administrator. She was a long-time member of the National Association of Black Journalists, winning an NABJ Excellence Award for a series on Black Pioneers. The Gannett News Service honored her work for radio coverage of the 20th anniversary of the civil rights march on Washington. Brenda is survived by her husband, Steve Johnson; daughters, Chantel and Chanel; son, Anthony and two step children, Joshua and Maureen Johnson. She is also survived by her mother, Lillie P. Vaden, sisters Jennifer (Mark) Box, Dawn (Baxter) Box Givens, step-brothers John Vaden, III and James (Tia) Vaden, two step-sisters Candace (Ron) Alexander, Cheryl (Wayne) Tucker and five grandchildren. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Panreatic Cancer Action Network,

Newscast Executive Producer Robert Garcia writes this appreciation of Brenda Box: We are deeply saddened to announce that our beloved and respected colleague, Newscast Editor Brenda Box, has died after a courageous four years dealing with pancreatic cancer. She was 58. Anyone who ever worked with Brenda knows what a special and unique person she was: equal parts cynical and sensitive, outspoken and hilarious, brilliant and fun, and warm and self-deprecating. Brenda Box, NPR Newscast editor and good friend. Kathy Rushlow/NPR Correspondent Carrie Kahn, who largely dealt with Brenda on the phone, but grew close to her anyway, put it this way in a recent note to Newscast staff: "Every time I called Newscast and she answered the phone, no matter how stressed or busy she was she always had a few moments for a quick chat, great banter and that memorable laugh. Not that filing spots is not fun enough, but Brenda made it something special, personal and among friends." Newscast's Korva Coleman has a further explanation of Brenda's role in the unit: "Although you never heard her name on an NPR broadcast, she shaped what you heard. While you never heard her speak to you on the radio, she guided your understanding of events. Brenda Box was the editor that every journalist dreams of, one who elicits the best from reporters and quietly removes the errors. ... Brenda often concluded her conversations with her trademark, 'cool beans.' That was the indication that her exacting eye had reviewed the reporter's work and approved." There is no justice served remembering Brenda only in the context of her health issues in recent years. But it must be said that in this particular respect, she taught us all the true meaning of gentle grace under great adversity.


  • Memorial Gathering Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Brenda M Box

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September 29, 2013

Our deepest sympathy on the loss of a lovely lady. Crystal, Penny, and the staff of the Hotel Macomber

Ellen Gee

June 13, 2013

I think of Brenda often and will always cheerish all the good she shared with those around her.

Tywanna Patterson

June 12, 2013

Thinking about you, sweet lady and missing our conversations and hearing your voice!

Bob Gates

June 11, 2013

Brenda, I miss you.

Tywanna Patterson

March 15, 2013

My dear friend, Brenda, thank you for being a great friend to me, Pat and Patrick all these years. I will miss seeing you and hearing your voice but I will carry you in my heart forever! So glad I got to talk to you, see you and hug and kiss you before you departed for Heaven and became an Angel. Glad I was able to speak at your service as well. Big Bird is doing well....Patrick's nickname you gave him. Love you lady and prayers going up for the family always!

Valerie McAroy- Johnson

March 14, 2013

May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.

Bettye Mcdell

March 14, 2013

The loss of someone so close is difficult to bear. We share your grief. We will miss Brenda she's gone but she will never be forgotten. She will for ever live on in our hearts. We love you dear cousin. Bettye,Khalida,Linda,Kashawn,Rasheed,Aunt Stell,Karnita,Djuana and the rest of your family in L.A.

March 13, 2013

The Izrael Family extend their condolences during this trying time.

James and Teshima Izrael

Robert Robinson

March 13, 2013

To the family of Brenda, may God grant you peace and comfort. Brenda was a beautiful person with a wonderful spirit and cheerful personality. I met her years ago in the early days of USA TODAY. She fought a good fight. Rest in the assurance that her soul is in a better place and her spirit will live on.

Victoria Wilburn

March 13, 2013

Steve, Nellie, Anthony and the Box and Johnson families. It saddens my heart not being able to personally say farewll to Brenda. She was a beautiful woman and mothe; a friendly, funny, and highly intelligent lady.....Just know she's in a better place in Gods care and grace. She's smiling down on all of us up in HEAVEN away from all if any fuss. I was honored to know her she often greeted my daughter and I with a smile. She's absent physically that same memory will live on for quite awhile. The Wilburn's Victoria & Victoria "LaQuita"