Brenda Margaret Casey, 82, passed away on January 29, 2023 in Chandler, Arizona after a courageous, 10-year battle with Alzheimer’s disease.
A memorial service will be held in her honor at 10:30 a.m. on March 18, 2023 at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1520 South Catalina Street, Gilbert, Arizona 85233. The service will be live streamed for those who cannot attend in person.
You may follow this link to view the live stream: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/85154787434?pwd=RHNGU1BMWHVNY1NpWHRLd3NqRUxpUT09
Brenda was born at her parents’ home, on March 22, 1940, in Errol, New Hampshire. She enjoyed her childhood and felt blessed to have such a loving family. Brenda considered herself a “daddy’s girl” and enjoyed having both sets of grandparents and lots of uncles, aunts and cousins nearby.
As a teenager, Brenda left home to attend high school at Fryeburg Academy in Fryeburg, Maine. Her parents’ decision to send her to boarding school had a significant impact on her life. She loved her years at Fryeburg and when she wasn’t studying, she played basketball, enjoyed skiing and made great friends. She graduated from Fryeburg Academy in 1958 but not before meeting the love of her life, Ernest Casey, while on a senior-year, spring break vacation to South Carolina to visit her sister. Ernest was in the Air Force, stationed in South Carolina, when they began flirting one night at a hamburger stand. It was love at first sight. After a whirlwind romance, Brenda and Ernest were married in Monck’s Corner, South Carolina, just two months after her graduation.
Over the span of the next 18 years, Brenda and Ernest had seven children, all of whom have survived them: Lynette Burdick of St. Johns; Les (Lori) of Santa Clara, Utah; Kelly (Sandy) of St. George, Utah; Kristina Kingsmore (John) of Gilbert; Katherine (Steven Meyers) of Las Vegas, Nevada; Aaron (Alita) of Show Low; and Brenda (James Brown) of Sequoia National Park, California. Brenda was very proud of her kids but nothing made her happier than being “Nana” to her 22 living grandchildren, their spouses and her 32 great-grandchildren. Brenda loved her family and took great joy in knowing her posterity would continue to grow long after her time on earth was over.
Brenda worked for many years as an orthotic fitter. She truly loved working and the sense of achievement and fulfillment it brought. She had a strong work ethic and was known for the genuine, caring service she provided to her clients. She often went above and beyond to help them during their time of need. Her children witnessed this same theme at home. Even though money was often tight, the kids’ friends were always welcome at the dinner table and, over the years, she opened her home to others – whether family, friends or her kids’ friends – who needed a place to stay while they sorted life out. She never turned anyone away.
Brenda was known for her biscuits and gravy breakfasts and scrumptious taco dinners. She was thrilled when her kids came home for the holidays, was always up for a road trip, cheated at every game she ever played regardless of how young her opponent was (child or grandchild), and was always a morning person, often too energetic and chipper for her teenaged night owls! She had a wicked sense of humor and a quick wit. She loved to read, loved to travel, and loved to sing. She participated in the church choir, was never shy at karaoke, and especially enjoyed Kenny Rogers and Ann Murray. Even as dementia claimed her brain, she would instantly connect with you if you sang to her.
Brenda and Ernest lived various places throughout their marriage, including Utah, Hawaii, Nevada, California, and in the cities of Mesa, Gilbert and St. Johns, all in Arizona. She was fearless and faced each move head on. Ernest died unexpectedly in 2004 and Brenda rolled up her sleeves and faced it courageously. In 2007 she decided to serve a mission for her church. She spent the next two years serving in the Preston England Mission. This experience bolstered her strength, confidence, and sense of independence which she later called upon regularly after receiving her Alzheimer’s diagnosis. She tried to live each day as fully and independently as was possible.
Brenda was preceded in death by her husband, son-in-law Brian Burdick, an infant grandson, parents Leslie and Margaret (Lane) Hawkins, sister Nancy Bennett, brother Gordon Hawkins, who died in infancy, and brother-in-law, Rex Bennett. In addition to her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren, Brenda is survived by Nancy’s children, David, Elise, Vicki, Daniel and Tracy, and many of her beloved Hawkins, Lane, and Casey extended family members.
Brenda’s children would like to thank the staff at Avenir Chandler Memory Center and Sage Hospice for the care, support, and comfort they have provided. They would also like to thank the staff at Bunker Family Funerals who handled Brenda’s cremation with dignity and respect. Later this year, the family will take Brenda and Ernest’s ashes home to Errol, New Hampshire for interment.
Arrangements by Bunker’s University Chapel, www.bunkerfuneral.com. Should this obituary appear anywhere but bunkerfuneral.com, please check our website for accurate details and service information.