Please join us on ZOOM video as we share memories and photos of Brenda’s life
Use this link: https://daggerwinggroup.zoom.us/j/91766670993?pwd=czJtck9VZ2k5NURlS2xid2tZTE5rUT09.
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You can also join by phone at: +1 647 374 4685
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If you are having issues please call Brenda’s daughter Cheryl at 416-709-4668
Brenda Briden passed away on September 25th in Nanaimo BC after a brief illness. She was 81 years old.
Brenda will be so dearly missed by her husband Len, her children Cheryl and David, her sister Ann and her nephew Ian and his family. She will also be missed by Len’s children Dale, Patti and Len Jr, as well as Len’s sister Sari and her husband Larry. She will be remembered as a cherished grandmother by Sydney, Mitchell, Anna, Grace, David, Daniel, Robert, Margaret, Marion, Elizabeth, Grace, Samuel, Kalli and Sarima.
Brenda spent her childhood in Port-Credit, living in a house attached to a small grocery once run by her parents, Harold and Miriam McKinney. She attended Forest Avenue Public School and Port Credit High School. Brenda spent her summers selling hot dogs at Ma and Pa Green’s refreshment stand (named after her grandparents) at the Port Credit Harbour and working at Bangor Lodge on Lake Muskoka with her friend Evelyn Andrews.
While studying at Ryerson, she met Norm Ferguson, a fellow student. After they graduated, Brenda and Norm got married and moved to Oakville to raise their family. During those early years in Oakville, Brenda taught Sunday School at Walton Memorial Church, volunteered at the Eastview Public School Library, and she and Norm were active with the Kinsman and Kinettes. Summers were spend on multi-week camping trips to the East or West coasts, as well as cherished time at her parent’s cottage near Owen Sound, and visiting cousins in the Jordan family near Parry Sound. Brenda even learned to ski when her children entered teenage years, and the Ferguson and Hawke families enjoyed many fun holiday ski trips.
Over a span of 25 years, Brenda was proudly part of the daily lives of thousands of families in Oakville, having served long stints as a public school secretary at Brantwood and Abbey Lane public schools. She knew every student’s name, bandaged every skinned knee, made every student feel special just for dropping off a daily attendance sheet, gave stern looks to the kids assigned to the bench, typed countless report cards, and was the backbone of organization for school events and celebrations. She was beloved by her principals, teachers and students.
Later in life Brenda became an avid sailor. She and her second husband Len Briden were founding members of the Lakeshore Yacht Club in Etobicoke, and they loved exploring all the yacht clubs on both sides of Lake Ontario in their boat Roman’s Run.
After house sitting in Nanaimo for long-time friends Joy and Pat Fagan, Brenda and Len fell under the spell of Vancouver Island as a retirement paradise. So they left Ontario in 2003 to enjoy blissful Island life in Ladysmith, down the highway from Nanaimo. Over the years they enjoyed all the major sights and spectacles the Island had to offer – from the scenery and restaurants of Tofino and Ucluelet on the West Coast, to getting great seats at the World Curling Championships in Victoria. Her Island life was enriched by her love for her dog Duncan, and more recently, her feisty new rescue dog named Oreo.
Becoming friends with Brenda always meant you were a friend for life. She kept up with friendships dating back to public and high school. She recently got together with the girls from her 1960 graduating class of Secretarial Science from Ryerson – celebrating their 60th year reunion by sharing stories and laughs over zoom. Brenda treasured her relationships with “The Girls” – Marg, Wendy, Elaine and Dorothy. These were women who she shared couples Bridge Club and dinner parties from the 1960s and 70s, and who were still close friends who she kept in touch with up into 2020. And finally, moving to BC meant the start of even more wonderful friendships – particularly with the Fagan family and Win and Ce Hopkins.
Brenda was well travelled, and could claim to have spent time in many of North America’s hidden gem locations – from the protected beaches of Cavendish on Prince Edward Island to Banff National Park, and from Arizona’s Petrified Forest to a sand-floor beach house in Oxnard, California. She visited England with her Mother. She cruised to Alaska with Liz Archangeli, a best friend from child hood, and she went to Vegas three times over a 50 year span. She sailed through the Welland Canal to Great Lakes Erie and Huron. And in 2019, she took her last two vacations. First was a “Glamping” adventure (camping with more glamourous accommodations) with friends Win and Ce to Port Renfrew. And the final big trip for Brenda and Len in the Fall of 2019 was a roadtrip with Sari and Larry through BC to the Yukon and then Western Alberta.
Brenda will be remembered by all for how fiercely she defended those she loved, and how she stood up for herself and others, never shy to share her sharp point of view. Heaven help anyone on the receiving end of one of her letters of complaint! In recent years, she made life better for others when she volunteered her time to older islanders who needed help with shopping and companionship. She served as a role model for women making courageous choices to be happy.
Brenda was a breast cancer survivor. In Brenda’s honour we encourage you to make a donation to the cancer charity of your choice.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Brenda BRIDEN, please visit our floral store.