Brenna Shae Williams
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October 27, 1990
July 21, 2014
Brenna Shae Williams, 23, of Reno, passed away on July 21, 2014 in Rockville, Maryland of complications arising from Ewing's Sarcoma, a rare form of cancer. Brenna was born in Reno on October 27, 1990 to David George and Carla Marie Taylor Williams. As a child, she spent time in Salem, Oregon and Stockton, California before returning to Reno where she attended Sage Ridge School and Reno High School, from which she graduated in 2008 with honors.
From an early age, Brenna's primary love in life was music, which was shared and nurtured by her parents. As a teen, she fell in love with the music and culture of the 1960s and dreamed of a career in the music industry. To that end, she enrolled in Richmond University in London, England in 2008 and immediately jumped into the music scene at Richmond by creating "Top of the Hill," a live music night for the university.
Even as she bravely battled for her life, Brenna never stopped striving toward her dreams and never gave up on the future. She continued her education at Webster University in St. Louis, Missouri, and Penn State University. She recently completed a prestigious internship with The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and was about to graduate with a business degree.
Brenna's good cheer and enthusiasm were infectious, inspiring anyone who knew the joy of spending time with her. Quick-witted and intelligent, she was passionate about politics and social issues. Her experience as a debater ensured she would engage anyone who cared to tangle with her in those areas of interest. From her parents, she also learned to love competition and sports. She was fiercely dedicated to the San Francisco Giants, who realized one of her dreams in 2010 by winning their first World Series in 56 years. Later, she came to support Crystal Palace FC of the English Premier League, an affinity she picked up from her loving companion, Norman Quarrinton of London. Brenna and Norman shared everything in life and were inseparable for the last five years.
Brenna's time was fleeting, but she packed an incredible amount of experience and memories into her life. She spent time on both coasts of America and the Midwest. She traveled extensively, visiting many parts of Europe as well as the Carribbean and Pacific. She got to see many of her favorite bands in concert, including the Rolling Stones, The Who, Paul McCartney, Vampire Weekend, and Pulp, and attended several music festivals including Glastonbury and Lollapalooza.
Brenna's legacy is a clear, bright example of how best to live. She was driven each day by the many things she loved so well. Even in the face of her diagnosis, she thrived. She continued to learn about the world and engage with it. Her family and friends were lucky to share time with her, and all have learned from her example. Her laughter and her grace will never be forgotten.
She is preceded in death by her grandfather Kenneth Williams and aunt Kendyl Williams Depoali. She is survived by her beloved Norman Quarrinton, father David Williams of Reno, mother Carla Williams of St. Louis, Missouri, brother Logan Boyd of St. Louis, Missouri, grandmother Nancy Williams of Reno, grandparents Sharon and Carlo Taylor of Carmichael, California, aunts Jan Martin of Sparks, Pam Payen of Loyalton, California, Catherine Taylor of San Jose, California, uncle Jim Taylor of Sacramento, California, and several cousins.
Brenna was never happier than when she was making other people happy. Her life will be celebrated with a worldwide toast on July 31st. We ask all those who knew her or touched by her to raise their glass with friends and family and say "Here's to Brenna. Her love, energy, courage and compassion made the world a better place." Please feel free to add any other words of inspiration that enter your mind when you think of Brenna.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to fight cancer at www.ride4brenna.tumblr.com.
Published in Reno Gazette-Journal from July 25 to July 27, 2014