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Alfrina Shaver-Brink

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Alfrina Shaver-Brink Obituary
Shaver-Brink, Alfrina CHULA VISTA -- It is with profound sadness that the family of Alfrina Shaver-Brink, announce her death at the age of 87. Rena, as family and friends knew her, was a longtime resident of Chula Vista. She died on May 3, 2014, of a heart attack. She and her husband, John, had been in residence at Fredericka Manor. Rena was born to an Italian immigrant family in Baltimore, MD, during the height of the Great Depression. As was the case with so many families during that era, times were difficult and great sacrifice was needed for families to stay together and survive. These fundamentals were key to this very special woman, wife, mother, grandmother, aunt and friend. Her childhood shaped the practical way that she approached life while her deep Catholic faith was her compass. Rena attended the Institute of Notre Dame Preparatory School, one of Baltimore's oldest Catholic, college preparatory high schools for girls. Her future husband, Edward Shaver, was attending St. Mary's Seminary and University when they met at a school dance and became good friends. Soon after, the country was called to war; World War II impacted every citizen. Ed enlisted in the Army Air Corp and as he prepared for duty and combat overseas, he asked Rena if she would write to him. Their correspondence became the foundation of their union of shared ideas and goals. When he returned from war, he asked her to marry him and they started their lives together in June 1945. Ed stayed in the newly formed U.S. Air Force, making it a career, and over the course of two decades they raised seven children. The family lived in a number of areas across the country, depending on the "needs of the military," and finally settled down in Riverside, CA, where her husband joined the postal service. During the years that her youngest child was still in high school, her beloved husband, Ed, passed away. Rena never stopped looking forward, with her sight to the future, she moved to Chula Vista. In retirement, she caught up on many of pursuits that were not available to her when she was younger. She took courses at the local community college and devoted a great deal of time to volunteer work in the community. She made new friends, one of which was John Brink, a retired Navy Captain and a recent widower. In April 2000, they were married and delighted in sharing time together, travel, family, and volunteer work. Rena leaves behind a living legacy, her husband John; seven children, Diana, Christine, Dan, Theresa, Thomas, Pauline, Rosemary; nine grand- children; and her sister Ann. However, it is her distinct character and the joy that she took in living that touched all who met her. She will be remembered for the highest qualities of love, loyalty, and hope. A funeral Mass will be held Friday, May 9th, at 9 a.m. at St. Rose Lima Catholic Church in Chula Vista. She will be laid to rest at Riverside National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations to St. Rose of Lima Parish and school are encouraged in support of their ministries.

Published in The San Diego Union Tribune on May 8, 2014
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