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Brenda Messer's name popped into my head while walking, on this dull Monday morning in MAy 2015. After searching online for her name, it is with great sadness that I read about her death. So the fog and gloom could seem appropriate - except that I am brightened by recalling the beautiful, smiling, energetic and affectionate Brenda Messer from the early 1970's.

I was introduced to Brenda by her sister Judy, and for a short while enjoyed occasional visits with her family. We parted - me to vagabond for a many years, putting many miles, adventures and people between us. But I never forgot her.

I offer my condolences to Brenda's family.
Brenda, I always admired you and your work and I'm thankful for having known you. I wish I had been able to say goodbye while you were still here.
Although I have lived away from Western for two decades, it saddens me greatly to hear of Brenda's passing. Years and years ago I was a student at Western, and Brenda was unceasingly generous with her time and support, even though I was just another twerp in blue jeans. Later, when I taught at Western for a couple of years, graduating to suit jackets, she was no less helpful and cheerful to work with. And after I moved to BC, she still remained in occasional contact, even inviting me to publish a timeline of Canadian art. She was a real jewel--one in a million. My sincerest condolences to her family.
Brenda was my 3rd cousin, who I just recently connected with via email and phone. I was on the hunt for ancestry information and Brenda so generously filled in blanks for me, since her grandfather and my grandmother were 1st cousins and good friends. Condolences to her entire family, she was taken much to soon.
Sincere condolences to Brenda's family from her many friends who went to SLIS with Brenda.
My sincerest condolences to Brenda's family and friends. In the 1990s Brenda and I worked with the PMA group at Western. Brenda was always an inspiring and uplifting person; quick to laugh, generous with her attention. The occasional times I saw her since leaving Western were always a bright spot in my day. I will miss her.
In the early 1970s, slide libraries were still considered something of a cutting-edge resource for faculty and students in the new visual arts – fine arts – programmes, as they were known then, beginning to emerge in universities and colleges across the country. As the first slide librarian students encountered through the halls of university life at Western, Brenda had the unenviable task of guiding often, impatient people through the process of using the resources of the slide library so carefully organized by her for the department. Her task, mainly keeping us in line and educating us about what not to do, was peppered with careful notes and questions designed to direct efficient use of library resources. To this day, I remember the critical path set out – her design – of entering the library (always, with hands pristine), of proceeding to the slide drawers, of selecting, and then, working from one visual image to the next. I remember still the play of my eyes across historical texts to slide-viewer and back.

As it turned out, (until 1992) I spent many afternoons in the slide library, most often with Brenda somewhere near by – quietly working in the background or overseeing that year's new batch of students. Her voice firm, yet kind and careful outlined the route to information gathering and visual investigation. She suggested the pensive hours that undoubtedly lay ahead and promised a hint of the discoveries and surprises that come from first-hand viewing, along with considered observation. Not only did she set out procedures that continue to guide my research, she offered a well-trodden path for visual discovery and for finding new ways of making visual connections that continues to serve me well.

As the years went by, the routine of pulling slides began to include a brief chat about new projects, interests, exhibitions and publications, and then, our children. I am sorry to say that it has been some time since I last visited with Brenda. For me, her presence – the flash of quick recognition in her eyes, the trace of mirth in her smile – are woven into the texture of the visual education I received and participated in at Western.
Brenda was a wonderful colleague. She championed visual resources in Canada and generously gave her time and talents to the VRA. She was an early adopter of the MDID software and often contributed information to the users group. But most of all she had a warm smile and sunny disposition that will be greatly missed. My sincere sympathy goes to the family.
I loved my Mom so much and quite honestly don't know how I'm going to live without her. She was my biggest inspiration and my biggest fan. I miss her more than words can say.
Brenda was an inspiration to me. I constantly looked at back issues of Positive to find out how to do even the most basic tasks in the slide library (at McMaster). There are also many happy memories of the CVRC conferences and meetings.
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