Doris Pinney Brenner, 86

Doris Pinney Brenner

Doris (Bertelsen Pinney) Brenner, formerly of Weston and most recently of Meadow Ridge in Redding, died Tuesday morning, Sept. 4. She was 86.

She is survived by her four children, three grandchildren, and three great grandchildren.

Born in 1926 to Norwegian immigrant parents in Brooklyn, N.Y., Ms. Brenner moved to Manhattan as a young woman. There she met her first husband, photographer/filmmaker Roy Pinney. She modeled for him for years, appearing on national magazine covers and advertisements here and abroad.

She began taking photographs of their three infant children and discovered she not only enjoyed it, but was good at it. Coached and encouraged by her husband, she eventually became the foremost photographer of her time specializing in babies and young mothers.

Ms. Pinney photographed the Gerber babies for their ads and baby food labels, and young mothers and infants for Johnson & Johnson’s national ads. For a quarter century her work appeared on magazine covers such as Parents Magazine and Woman’s Day, in advertisements, several baby books and many other publications worldwide.

The Pinney’s studio, Photo Library, was in Manhattan, but during much of that time they lived in Larchmont, N.Y.

In 1977, Ms. Brenner re-married, this time to Melvin A. Brenner. Doris retired from professional photography and channeled her considerable talents into fine art painting. She studied for years with Arlene Skutch at the Pink House Painters studio in Westport and was often featured in art shows throughout the region.

The couple lived first in Greenwich, then Rowayton, and finally in Weston, sharing a happy, active life until Mr. Brenner’s death two years ago.

Ms. Brenner was an involved member of the Unitarian Church and a tireless philanthropist. She collected Christmas gifts for incarcerated parents to give to their children. She visited and comforted bedridden seniors in her community, wrote countless kind notes to people in distress, and took professional photo portraits of prison inmates with their families.

The Family Re-entry Program presented her with The Beth Bush Award for outstanding charity at a banquet in her honor this past June.

There will be a service for Ms. Brenner at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 22, at the Unitarian Church in Westport.

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