Jeff Bredenberg of Oreland, Pa., has died, March 2, 2010

Jeff Bredenberg Nov. 2009My brother, Jeff Bredenberg, died at home in Oreland, Pa., on Tuesday night, March 2, 2010. He had been sick with brain cancer for about 2 1/2 years.

Jeff and I are both natives of Raleigh, NC. Some readers might know him as a Raleighite. Others might know him for his work in the newspaper world or book publishing. Recently he had become known for his How to Cheat … book series, which included How to Cheat at Cleaning — see How to Cheat Books.

A memorial service for Jeff will take place this Saturday, March 6, 2010, at 1 p.m., at the BuxMont Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Warrington, Pa. — this link should lead to a map.

Here is the text of Jeff’s obituary — see also the versions in the Philadelphia Inquirer and in the Raleigh News & Observer for March 5:

Jeffrey Ellis Bredenberg

Nov. 26, 1953, to March 2, 2010

Jeff Bredenberg about 1970Jeffrey Ellis Bredenberg, 56, a former newspaper editor who later wrote and edited books, died Tuesday, March 2, 2010, of glioblastoma, a brain tumor, at his home in Oreland, Pa.

He completed two books after his diagnosis in September 2007.

A native of Raleigh, N.C., he got his first newspaper job at age 16 working as a copy boy and then copy editor for the News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C. He then worked for newspapers in Fort Myers, Fla., Burlington, Vt., Chicago, St. Louis, Denver, and Wilmington, Del. He worked for the News Journal in Wilmington as an assistant managing editor from 1988 to 1994. During that time, he redesigned the newspaper and supervised various newsroom departments.

In 1994, he joined the book division of Rodale Press in Emmaus, Pa., rising to the rank of managing editor. In 1998, he became vice president for content for the Internet health portal, based in Blue Bell, Pa. Since 2002, he had worked as a freelance writer and editor of books and articles (

During his career, he wrote, edited, or otherwise contributed to more than 25 books. His most recent releases were a how-to series, How to Cheat at Cleaning, How to Cheat at Organizing, How to Cheat at Home Repair, and How to Cheat at Gardening and Yard Work (

He appeared frequently in print articles, online, and on television. His TV appearances included “The Late Show with David Letterman,” “The Rachael Ray Show,” and “The Today Show—Weekend Edition.”

Jeff graduated from Needham Broughton High School in Raleigh in 1972. His higher education was a patchwork affair, including a year at North Carolina State University and classes at Edison Community College in Fort Myers, Fla., the University of Vermont in Burlington, and Temple University.

He met his wife, Stacey Burling, at the Rocky Mountain News, where he worked as an editor and she was a reporter. They married in 1988 in Denver.

Jeffrey Ellis Bredenberg 1955He frequently participated in events at his sons’ Cub and Boy Scout troops, volunteered with the youth group at BuxMont Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, and rarely missed his sons’ soccer or baseball games or band concerts.

He is survived by his wife; sons Adam and Colin; his mother, Gladys Bredenberg, of Raleigh; and his brother and sister-in-law, Alfred and Virginia Bredenberg, of Raleigh. His father, Paul Bredenberg, a retired philosophy professor at North Carolina State University, died in November 2009.

A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m., Saturday, March 6, 2010, at BuxMont Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 2040 Street Rd., Warrington, Pa. 18976.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the National Brain Tumor Society, East Coast Office, 124 Watertown St., Suite 2D, Watertown, MA 02472.

AB — 4 March 2010


7 thoughts on “Jeff Bredenberg of Oreland, Pa., has died, March 2, 2010

  1. My deepest sympathy. I have just started blogging and I have no idea how I got to your page. I am also a journalist retired – formerly english newspapers, then Australian magazines and pr. All the best.


  2. Reggie Revis

    Jeff and I were copyboys together at The News& Observer (Raleigh, NC). In fact, he showed me the ropes. On a few occasions after woork we would go to eat at The International House of Pancakes on Hillsborough Street–midnight and 1 in the morning. His interest in writing and editing were very strong even then. My condolences to his family.

  3. Jeff acquired my book “The Joy of Simple Living” for Rodale (revised years later as “Simpler Living”) and steered it to success. He was instrumental in helping my career along. Very sorry to learn of his passing.
    Jeff Davidson

  4. DJH

    I believe Jeff wrote three sci-if books that had a huge impact on me as a young man. I exchanged emails with him a few years ago. Sorry for the loss! He made a nice impact on my world and I’m sure others.

  5. quriosity

    DJH – Thanks for your comment. Jeff was better known for his later “How to Cheat …” books about cleaning, home repair, etc., but he was very proud of his science fiction.

  6. Diana B. Tanner

    After reading Jeff Bredenberg’s book, “How to Cheat at Cleaning,” I wanted to know more about him and his other publications. I wish to offer my condolences to all his family. This one book introduced a man who was thoughtful, kind and humorous.

    I have also read his wife Stacey Burling’s words about her care giving experiences. Several years before, I lost my sister to Glioblastoma multiforma. And now I have lost my husband and best friend after a very long illness. His long term and final care at home has been among the most difficult and painful experiences of my life. But, I am so grateful for being able to give him the ultimate in love. It is my impression that you, Stacey, share this feeling.

    Thank you for sharing your comments. You will always have my admiration.

  7. quriosity

    Diana — Thanks for your kind comments. Jeff was my only brother, and I miss him greatly. Stacey was just visiting us here in Raleigh this weekend. She and I are both writers and were talking about what hard work it is. But Stacey made the interesting comment that Jeff loved writing and it was an enjoyable activity for him.

    ARB — 11 August 2014

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