Brenda Flatland
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A Woman Ahead of Her Time! Brenda Flatland died in her home on Wednesday, March 7 after a strong fight against melanoma. She was 86 years old. She was born on January 13, 1932 to George and Helen Black. As she was an only child, she was incredibly close to her mother and father. The family lived in Portland Heights, blocks away from her elementary school - Ainsworth. Brenda was a bright student and an avid athlete (notably a fabulous swimmer and golfer). She attended Vassar College for two years and ultimately received her undergraduate degree from Stanford University. She then went on to business school at Radcliffe (at the time, the female institution for women at Harvard College) and received a CFP from UC Berkeley. While most women of her generation did not work, Brenda held many career posts: model, teacher, and — most importantly — that of a stockbroker. Many know Brenda as an avid student of the market — always with a stock tip or financial advice. She later went on to become a certified financial planner. As mentioned, Brenda was a phenomenal golfer — holding several awards. She played golf at the Menlo Country Club, San Francisco Golf Club, and in Palm Springs at Thunderbird and O’Donnell. She was also a great bridge player and president of the Garden Club. Brenda was also a loving mother. She and her daughter, Tara, shared the same close bond as she held with her parents. Brenda is survived by her husband, Richmond Flatland, daughter Tara Verner, son-in-law James Verner and stepdaughter Anne Macdonald, her husband John Macdonald, and five grandchildren: Madison, Alexis and Sophie Verner and Madeline and Mackenzie Macdonald. Brenda will be deeply missed. She was an accomplished, graceful, and generous woman — ahead of her time. A small family service will be held at Sacred Heart Schools Chapel in Atherton on March 10. And later, in April, a larger gathering at the Menlo Country Club. In lieu of flowers, please write a story or make a donation to the amazing team of doctors from Stanford University who helped mom. Go to and request donations go to “Sunil Reddy, MD in medical oncology at Stanford Cancer Center for research. Care of Phyllis Bussey”

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Published in Mercury News on Mar. 16, 2018.
Celebration of Life
Menlo Country Club