On January 11th 2013, I lost my fight to stomach cancer. And although I will miss you all dearly, please have faith that I am in a better place.
I was born in Edmonton, the 3rd of 6 children to a great family. My parents raised all of us to be hard workers and kind citizens. I look back now and appreciate all of the intangibles that I got from growing up on a family farm.
Over the course of my journey, I accomplished many things. The one that I am most proud of, though, is my marriage and family. My husband, Tony and I met 26 years ago working at Canada Trust. We were always friends and enjoyed playing baseball and volleyball together in those early days. As time went by, we started dating and realized that we both had met our match. We married in 1992. In those early years, we travelled as much as we could. In 1997, we welcomed into our lives, our first son, Taylor. I am very proud of the young man he has become and the maturity he has developed. In 1999, we were blessed with our second son, Jonathan. His lively spirit and kindness have always been a joy for me. Last, but definitely not least, Carly Ann arrived to complete our family in early 2004. Her energy and spunk are a delightful complement to our family dynamic. We have travelled extensively with and without our kids and I am truly grateful for all of our special times together.
While I left my full time career after the birth of Jonathan, I continued to seek many ways to get the fulfillment I always got from a job well done. I was involved in numerous health and skin care home based businesses over the years, as all my friends know! As I searched though, I eventually found my way into volunteer work which gave me the satisfaction of being able to give back some of the good fortune I have been blessed with. My biggest accomplishment is helping and driving the redevelopment of the Parkview Community Center. From the playground, to the interior of the hall and the gathering spaces outside, it is a treasure that I hope everyone will use for years to come.
My sisters, Debbie, Donna, Sharon and Charlene have been a fantastic support to both me and my family. My dear friend, Tami, you have been completely amazing to me and to my entire family. You are the best! My sister in law, Andrea, my own ‘personal nurse’, your care and knowledge were invaluable to me over my time in the hospital. I can never thank all of you enough for all of the love and help you have been over the course of this illness. In addition, both I and my family are so thankful for the outpouring of support from all of our friends and our community during this battle. Your help, small and large, helped to ensure my journey was worry free. It was a true delight to see how everyone came together to help us out. Thank you.
Stomach cancer is a tough and rare disease that is not one of the big mainstream cancers as far as research goes. To help this out, in lieu of any flowers, please direct what resources you can to the Alberta Cancer Foundation (710-10123 99 ST, Edmonton, AB, T5J 3H1), in support of the research of Dr. Jennifer Spratlin. Her work in this area will help others facing this tough disease.
I am survived by my father, Richard Brenneis, siblings Debbie Miniaci, (Joe), Charlene Maillet, Brian Brenneis (Karen), Sharon Stepanick (Glen), and Donna Brenneis. I was predeceased by my mother, Florence in 1995. My maternal grandmother Lindeman also survives me. In addition, I also have many cousins, aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews. My grandfather fell victim to this disease and passed in 1962.
I am also survived, of course, by my loving husband, Tony and our 3 children Taylor, Jonathan and Carly Ann.
From a care perspective, I cannot say enough about the outstanding medical teams at the Cross Cancer Institute, from our doctors, Jenn and Steve, to every nurse, to the aids that were always there with a warm blanket for me…you all are truly the gold standard in your profession.
My Memorial Service (Funeral Mass) is to be a celebration of my life – so I ask you to dress brightly, as I lived my life. It will be on Friday, the 25th of January at 1:30 p.m., at St. Joseph’s Basilica, 10044 113 Street. A reception afterward will be held, of course, at Parkview Community Center, 9135 -146 Street. All are welcome.
Cremation has taken place–semicolon– a private interment will take place at a later date.