Marion Joyce Brenden (Mez, Mom, Grandma, Nana, Mama) has reunited with her God. She passed on February 25, 2021, at Oroville Hospital due to a heart attack that led to other complications. She did not suffer and her daughters and beloved Vicar Jeff Tuft were at her side. She was 90 years young and still full of energy. She lived alone on her five acres above Oroville, CA with her beloved cat Ginger and her wild birds. It is now a place of comfort and solitude for her daughters Nancy MacKinnon and Marlene Brenden, while they process their loss knowing that she is with God in heaven.
She was born December 31, 1930, in Grand Rapids Minnesota to Martin and Ida Stram. She was the last born of 7 children (Amelia, Isabelle, Harriett, Jeanette (Netsy), Douglas (Sonny), and Irvin (Windy).
She graduated from Grand Rapids High School as Salutatorian in 1948. She married Ellwood (Woody, Al, Big Al) Brenden in 1949. They lived in Blackberry, Cohasset, Grand Rapids, MN. They also lived in South Dakota, Iowa, and eventually moved to Sunnyvale CA. in 1965. She was a member of First Lutheran Church when in Grand Rapids. She worked at Grand Rapids Clinic for Dr. McKenna and Dr. Grinley as a medical assistant. She also worked at First National Bank. In Sunnyvale, she worked for United Technology Center as an Executive Secretary until moving to Oroville around 1980. She held a couple of different jobs in Oroville, eventually settling in as the Administrative Assistant to the Butte County Agricultural Commissioner where she retired. After retirement, she fully embraced her love of gardening and the outdoors. Everyone that visited got a tour of her garden (with all flower names) and a list of the birds that migrated through. She also took her Pinochle skills to a whole new level and her card group can attest to her passion. She also became actively involved in her church which benefited from her skill, knowledge, strong work ethic, and love of her lord.
Marion is survived by her daughters Nancy MacKinnon and her spouse Michael, Marlene Brenden, and her spouse Ken, as well as seven grandchildren, six great-grandchildren, and one great-great-grandchild.
She was preceded in death by her husband Ellwood Brenden, daughter Kathleen Flores and great-granddaughter Hillary Willhite as well as her four sisters and two brothers.
A Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, March 20th at 11:00 am at Calvary Lutheran Church in Oroville. Family requests masks be worn. We are working on setting up a Zoom link for all those that can’t attend.
A graveside memorial, for the family only, is planned for March 22, where her ashes will be placed with her husband Ellwood.
In lieu of flowers, we request donations to her church. All donations will be split with Calvary Lutheran Women’s Guild. Our mom was a long-time member of this group, which raises money to give to local charities through their various church fundraising activities.
Funeral arrangements are with Scheer Memorial Chapel in Oroville. They have a link to leave any thoughts or memories you might want to share.
Thank you to all who loved our mama. She will be greatly missed as the matriarch of our family. Our mother carried this in her wallet: “Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1
We love you Mama!
We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals. - Emmanuel Kant
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