Earlene Frieda Frances McKee Brenner, 89 of Goodland, Kan. passed away peacefully on Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014 at the Good Samaritan Nursing Home in Goodland following a brief illness. |
Earlene was born April 8, 1924 at the family home in Vernon to Earl C. and Frieda M. Hartman McKee.
Earl worked in and around the community doing various jobs. In 1927 the family moved to the old Hartman place east of Idalia.
Here Earlene attended the Star Grade School and later attended and graduated from the Idalia High School. Earlene and her family moved to a house south of Idalia and later to a house on the McKee farm.
Following her graduation she stayed at home to help her mother around the house as well as other chores on the farm.
As a young girl she met Raymond Brenner at church and got to know him better as they both attended Idalia High School.
Raymond took her to her high school graduation in Wray, as her parents were unable to attend.
One evening Raymond was dropping her off at her home following a church function and proposed to her as "White Christmas" was playing on the radio.
They were married on June 2, 1942 at the McKee home south of Idalia. She wore a turquoise dress and both sets of parents were in attendance.
William Hartman, uncle of the bride and his wife Mary stood up with them. Raymond and Earlene moved into a two bedroom house southwest of Idalia next to his parents on the Brenner home place.
Raymond built a porch on the house so she could have a washing machine, as until then she had to go over and use her mother-in-law's washing machine.
It was during this time that Raymond was drafted into the Army. After he completed basic training in Texas she moved there to be with him.
They rented a one-room apartment complete with cockroaches and bed bugs.
Raymond's brother Franz, also in the Army, was killed in Italy and she remembered the experience of riding home to the funeral on a troop train.
When Raymond was transferred to Indian Town Gap, Penn. she moved back to their home in Idalia.
About a week before Raymond was discharged she was home attempting to light the furnace when it blew up in her face.
When Raymond arrived home he found her with a burned face and it was a few days later when their first child Darrel was born.
Not long after Raymond's discharge from the Army he came home after attending a sale in Armel and told her about a pretty house they sold at the sale and wanted to show it to her.
She went with him to see the house and said maybe they could buy one like it some day. It was at this time he told her he was the one that purchased the house.
They moved the house to land purchased from Arnold and Blanche Weyerman also located southwest of Idalia.
Here Raymond farmed with his brother Harvey and father C. L. Brenner.
Two years after the birth of Darrel a second child Beverly was born.
Ten years later a third child Danny was born.
After a number of years Raymond gave up farming and went to work for Ebeler Motor Company in Burlington selling cars while still living on the home place.
In 1960 they built a new home a few miles west of their present home. She really enjoyed her new home doing various chores while Raymond was working in Burlington. Here she was responsible for the cattle having water.
After the death of Edmund Ebeler, owner of Ebeler Motor Company, they moved to Burlington where Raymond bought part interest in Bob Wells Sales and Service.
In 1976 their son Darrel partnered with Raymond and Earlene in the business changing the name to Brenner Motor Company.
Here Earlene went to work as a secretary and Danny went to work as a salesman, thus she had the opportunity to work with both of her sons.
Following the death of her husband Raymond in 1986 and the sale of the business, Earlene moved to Lone Tree to be closer to her daughter Beverly.
In her later years she decided to leave the rigors of the big city and moved to Goodland, Kan. to be near her son Danny. Here she continued to live until her death.
She was baptized and confirmed in St. John United Church of Christ and was a lifelong member.
Earlene enjoyed many things in life such as traveling, reading books, and going to coffee with her many friends in Burlington and Goodland.
Two of her memorable highlights was her trip to Germany and her trip with Raymond to Alaska.
The family enjoyed her cooking, especially the homemade bread used to make an onion sandwich, her German potato salad, her cherry nutcake, German chocolate cake and pecan pies.
She enjoyed her 85th birthday visiting with family and friends at St. John Church.
Earlene's life was devoted to being a wife, a mother and grandmother and especially spending time with her grandchildren.
Besides her parents, Earlene was preceded in death by her husband Raymond and an infant sibling.
She is survived by her three children, son Darrel and wife Rhonda, daughter Beverly Goodman and husband Denny, son Danny and wife Dawn Ann; her brother Don McKee and wife Bonnie, 6 grandchildren, Kami Rosin and husband Bob, Stephenie Lorimer, Marci Pieper and husband Joe, Angela Brenner, Lacey Brenner, and Landon Brenner, four great-grandchildren, Melissa Sowers and husband Justin, Aaron Rosin and wife Baylee, Dylan Rosin, Josh Rosin, and one great-great-grandson, Caleb Sowers, and numerous nieces and nephews.
Funeral services for Earlene were held on Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014 at 10:30 a.m. at St. John United Church of Christ in Idalia with Pastors Chuck Wright and Chad DeJong officiating. Burial followed in the St. John Cemetery.
Visitation was held on Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014 from 5 to 7 p.m. at Love Funeral Home in Burlington.
Memorials may be made in Earlene's name to St. John Church and may be left at or sent The Bank of Burlington, 410 14th St., P.O. Box 419, Burlington, CO 80807.
Friends may go to www.lovefuneralhomes.com to sign the family's online register book and to leave an online message of condolence.
Funeral services for were entrusted to Love Funeral Home in Burlington.
Published in The Burlington Record on Feb. 6, 2014