In memory of Renie Lingenfelter Branham -- a lovely wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, friend…
The services on January 17, 2009, were beautiful. I felt so privileged to have been there. Everything -- including the pictures, the individuals who spoke, the music (the “oldies” and the live performances), the MCSO honor guard -- made for a very respectful and affectionate tribute to a wonderful woman. What an amazing life to celebrate! As evidenced by the large number of people in attendance, Renie touched many lives. We came together in sorrow, but also with appreciation and joy that we were blessed to have known someone like her. One thing was clear: We all were in awe of her. We loved and admired her unwavering spirit and her gracious heart; and we were so inspired by her strength.
Listening to the stories that were shared during the services, the tender as well as the humorous, gave me some comfort knowing that all through her life, others saw in her the very traits that I found so appealing, when I first met her in our Freshman English class at Tolleson High. Renie's gorgeous blue eyes and dazzling smile could light up any room...any life. She was never negative, always caring, a breeze to talk to, easy to laugh with. It was such an honor to call her my friend. I have many sweet memories of Renie through the years, which I cherish, and still, I wish there had been time for us to create even more. I am grateful for the time that we did share, and she will forever have a special place in my heart and soul.
At this time and always, I wish peace and strength to those who love Renie and those whom she loved. Renie especially adored her family, and each one in her beloved family made her so very proud. We will miss her greatly, but it may help to focus on how she enriched our lives. Her own life was well-lived in spite of the challenges that she so bravely faced. That is an extraordinary legacy.
It is hard to believe that this world has lost one of its brightest lights, but let’s all remember her smile, how she entered our hearts, how she made us smile -- and her memory will live on.
May Renie’s eternal rest be peaceful.
MaryAlice Minard (née Rojas)