December 7, 1943 - August 19, 2021
On August 19, 2021, Brenda Wesner, our beloved sister, aunt, and friend, passed away in Salt Lake City, Utah after a courageous battle with Cerebral Amyloid Angiopathy. Brenda was born on December 7, 1943, to Howard and Adaline (Jones) Wesner in Sherman, Texas. She was the youngest of Howard and Adaline’s two daughters, Susan being the oldest. Three years after Brenda was born, Howard and Adaline moved their small family from Dennison, Texas to Tulsa, Oklahoma for Howard’s job with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Howard’s job would take the family from Tulsa to Muskogee to Lawton to Ardmore and then back to Tulsa where Brenda completed her schooling. Even though Brenda was born in Texas and spent most of her adult life in Arlington, Virginia, she always considered herself from Oklahoma. Brenda attended the University of Oklahoma, or “OU” as it is referred to by alumni. Brenda graduated from OU with a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree of fine arts in drama. Brenda had many accomplishments while at OU, among them: membership in Alpha Gamma Delta fraternity, which included several leadership positions, and being honored as OU’s “Big Woman on Campus.” Among the things Brenda was most passionate about, other than chocolate, traveling and her faithful feline companion Shasta Ann, was theater. Brenda developed a passion for theater in junior high school and that passion continued throughout her lifetime. Brenda starred in several theatrical productions beginning in junior high school and continuing as a member of The Arlington Players theatrical group in Arlington, Virginia. Brenda loved to sing and had several leading roles in musicals and dramas such as Kiss Me Kate, South Pacific, Sunday in the Park with George, and The Man Who Came to Dinner. Many of her performances were held at Signature Theatre in Arlington, Virginia. In addition to theater productions, Brenda appeared twice on the Ted Mack and the Original Amateur Hour television show in the late 1960s. Shortly after graduation from OU, Brenda left Oklahoma for the big city hustle and bustle of Washington, D.C. Brenda had a 30-year distinguished career at the Library of Congress in the Congressional Research Service (CRS). Brenda’s hard work, graciousness, and ability to handle complex tasks made her an invaluable CRS member. Brenda’s abilities often resulted in Members of Congress and congressional staff contacting her first when they needed research from the Library. She took a leading role in the design and implementation of the first management information system for CRS, one of the first in the Library of Congress. That role led to her becoming the manager of the office overseeing CRS data collection and processing, Inquiry Status and Information System (ISIS). To know Brenda was to love Brenda. During her time in D.C., Brenda made many long-lasting friendships. A former co-worker summed it up best, Brenda “had kind words for everyone, made time to stop, talk, and show interest in her colleagues.” While working at the Library of Congress Brenda would hire Robert Newlen and come to know Lou Timmons, both of whom became Brenda’s life-long friends. From her time in theater, Brenda would come to know her cherished friend Sue Kovalick. Whether it was going to dinner, taking in a movie, or catching up on the telephone, Brenda cherished her time with Sue, Lou and Robert. We would like to thank them for sharing their lives with Brenda and for the care and compassion they provided Brenda especially during her most difficult time. Brenda was blessed to have you as friends. Brenda always kept busy and when she developed an interest in something, most often it became a passion. Brenda was an ardent genealogist, often spending hours, if not days, tracking lineage of family and friends. She was a member of numerous genealogical societies and was an officer of the Kate Waller Barrett chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution and the National Society of Colonial Dames XVII Century. And, while not a genealogical society, Brenda had a special place in her heart for Mount Vernon where she was a member. She loved spending time there with her family and friends. Saving quite possibly the best for last, Shasta Ann aside, Brenda loved chocolate and she loved to travel. Brenda’s traveling adventures took her to far away and exotic places, including Tahiti, Egypt, Lithuania, Ireland, and Nova Scotia. Brenda also extensively travelled the United States, her most recent trip to Alaska with her family. Brenda shared many a traveling adventure with her sister Susan, time they both cherished. Brenda also spent time travelling to California and Utah to share holidays and special occasions with her family. As for chocolate, Brenda always considered it her “fourth food group.” She preferred dark chocolate but never turned down milk chocolate treats. Brenda’s two favorite passions collided when she took a chocolate themed cruise that included chocolate cooking classes, tastings, beverages, and desserts. In September 2020, Brenda and Shasta Ann moved from Arlington to Salt Lake City to be closer to family and to receive treatment and care for her health condition. Brenda resided at The Ridge Foothill in Salt Lake City and came to make many friends while there because of her kindness and bubbly personality. Brenda was always up for a showtune duet! We would like to thank Travis Miller and his caring staff at The Ridge for their compassionate and diligent care for Brenda this past year. Travis and his team provided Brenda with exceptional care, and we are forever grateful to them. Also, we would like to thank Brenda’s Moniker Hospice team who provided Brenda with loving and compassionate care during her most difficult time. Both sets of caregivers did an exceptional job and provided wonderful care and support to Brenda’s family, once again - thank you. Brenda is preceded in death by her parents Howard and Adaline Wesner, and is survived by her sister Susan Wesner Pierce; nieces Kimberly Vasquez (Eddie) and Laura Townsley (Pat); great-nieces Eleanor Townsley and Hannah Vasquez; great-nephews Richard Townsley and Christian Vasquez; and her beloved cat Shasta Ann. Brenda’s service will be held at Neil O’Donnell’s Funeral Home in Salt Lake City on August 30, 2021. A visitation will begin at 2 p.m., and the service will begin at 3 p.m. Brenda’s final resting place will be near her parents at Memorial Park Cemetery in Tulsa, Oklahoma on a date to be determined. In lieu of flowers, the family would ask that donations be made to The Arlington Players in Arlington, Virginia, or the Signature Theatre in Arlington, Virginia. Both were very dear to Brenda and held fond memories for her.
On August 19, 2021, Brenda Wesner, our beloved sister, aunt, and friend, passed away in Salt Lake City, Utah after a courageous battle with Cerebral Amyloid Angiopathy. Brenda was born on December 7, 1943, to Howard and Adaline (Jones) Wesner... View Obituary & Service Information
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