Charlene S. Briand, 86, died on April 20, 2023, at the home of her daughter and son-in-law, Beth and Matt Powell, in Centre Hall, PA, where she resided for the past 5 years.
Born on January 20, 1937, in Glen Cove, NY, she was the daughter of the late Burton and Betty Swartz. She married the late Ernie Briand, her husband of 46 years, on June 2, 1959, at the chapel at Syracuse University.
Charlene is survived by her daughter Laura Briand Clark and her husband Bruce of New Hartford, CT, and her daughter Beth Powell and her husband Matt. She was the proud grandmother of three grandchildren, LeighAnn Clark and her partner Pete Inserillo, Kayleigh Powell and her husband Matt Miles, and Spencer Powell and his fiancé Angela Haggard. She was predeceased by her sister, Joan Dickinson and her brother, Neil Swartz.
Charlene graduated with a degree in Journalism from Syracuse University in 1959 and following her marriage to Ernie, resided in Montauk for 59 years until moving to Centre Hall, PA.
Charlene was a dedicated homemaker and local conservation/environmental activist. She was the founder of the East Lake Drive Association which successfully fought the development of a fish processing plant on East Lake Drive in Montauk. She was a founding member of The Coalition for Hither Woods which fought the development and private sale of Hither Woods, fighting to protect acres of open space and its underlying groundwater. The group was successful in having over 1300 acres of land added to Hither Woods State Park. She was active in the creation of Shadmoor State Park in Montauk, preventing a subdivision from being built on the property. She was also involved in the preservation of the Montauk Air Force Base and its 278 acres of woodlands, wetlands, meadows, and bluffs. Today this area is known as Camp Hero State Park. Many of Charlene’s efforts are documented in the Charlene Briand Papers in the Montauk Library Archives.
In addition to her environmental efforts, she was active in local politics, serving as an East Hampton Town Assessor and a member of the Zoning Board of Appeals during the 1980s.
In 1991, Charlene and Ernie fulfilled a lifelong dream and began traveling 7 months of the year in their motorhome visiting National Parks across the United States. They also visited Hawaii, Greece, and the United Kingdom. Even after Ernie passed away in 2005, Charlene continued to travel in their motorhome for several years, and was able to explore more of England and visit Wales and Ireland with Beth.
She was the wife of Ernie Briand, a 50-year member of the Montauk Fire Department.
A graveside service will be held at Fort Hill Cemetery in Montauk on Saturday, April 29th at 1:00 p.m. followed by a gathering for family and friends.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to one of the state parks she campaigned for at www.naturalheritagetrust.org/donate.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Daughenbaugh Funeral Home, Inc 228 S. Pennsylvania Ave., PO Box 579, Centre Hall, PA 16828, in conjunction with the Yardley & Pino Funeral Home, Inc, 94 Pantigo Rd., East Hampton, NY 11937. An online guest book can be signed or condolences to the family available at www.daughenbaughfuneralhome.com.