Editor’s Note: Brenda Cordes passed away in March. Those of you who knew her, and many did, will not be surprised to learn that she wrote her own obituary. Here is what she wrote:
“If I Should Die Before I Wake, I Pray the Lord my Soul to Take
Brenda lived her life her way…giving of loving kindness, being with a
sense of caring and neighborliness that was never more openly expressed.
Her life started at 2:08 am Monday, Sept.1, 1941 in the Calif. Hospital in
Los Angeles, Ca., arriving a few weeks early, weighing 5 lbs 8 1/2 oz. She
was welcomed into the Cordes family as BRENDA ARLEEN CORDES by
her father, Ed, her mother, Lillian, and her brother, Mark, then living in a
new house on a street called Omstead.
She lived her whole life in CA, spending most of her childhood and young adult years in southern Calif.
Her father was a brilliant accountant spending his last years working for
the telephone company. Her mother was an exceptional executive secretary,
working for 27 years for the Los Angeles Dept. of Water and Power.
Her parents, after 15 years, divorced in 1948. She lived at 5125 5th Ave. through
all 12 grades, attending Angeles Mesa Elementary, Audubon Jr. High, and
Dorsey High, graduating in 1959.
She was active in Brownies, Girl Scouts, and 4-H Clubs. She had an early love of the outdoors and animals.
She attended several junior colleges, UCLA, and graduated from UC Davis in
1964 with a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Production.
Her interest in writing led her to a position, for a short time, at Nelson &
Crow, Inc. publisher of Western Livestock Journal.
She decided to pursue a teaching credential at UCLA and received a General Elementary Life Diploma in 1970.
In 1968, together, she and her brother bought property and lived in Woodland Hills where she got her first horse.
Her favorite places were Mt. Shasta & Tecopa Hot Springs near Death Valley, which she visited often with her mother.
She enjoyed hiking, and traveled in Hawaii, Alaska, Peru, Kenya, Mexico, Columbia, Austria, Switzerland, the Amazon, British Columbia, China, the Philippines, and Puerto Rico.
She taught in good and bad times in the LA area for 23 years.
Then, in 1986, she bought a 10 acre piece of land in Coarsegold, CA. In 1988 she ended her teaching career and moved to the mts.
She had the time of her life working for the US Forest Service in North Fork. She worked for a local landscaper, started her own
business, Brenda’s Garden Gate Nursery & Mtn., and for 4 years was head gardener for Ernas’s Chateau de Sureau, a 5 star Inn, in Oakhurst, CA. During that time the garden was featured in the Sunset Magazine.
She drilled a well, brought both electricity and telephone service further down the road, and in 1991, built her two-story dream house.
There she lived happily ever after, and goodness and mercy followed her all the rest of the days of her life. And she was always grateful for this…and for all her loving kind friends and neighbors that were there for her. God bless us all and … Godspeed!”