May 4, 1940 - December 11, 2021
Mildred (Milly) Brenneman, formerly of Wellesley, passed away peacefully at her residence in Nithview Community, New Hamburg on Saturday, December 11, 2021 at the age of 81. Prior to relocating from Wellesley, Milly was a devout member of Poole Mennonite Church where she and her husband Ralph attended their entire lives and joyfully shared in the work of the church. Milly took pride and joy in running a household dedicated to good food and great fellowship. Her home was always open to her family and friends, and she lovingly prepared meals from scratch that carried on the traditions she learned in her Swiss-Amish Mennonite upbringing. Today, her family replicates those same methods and traditions to both honour her and to simply enjoy the better things in life. Mildred was an educator by trade, starting out in a one-room schoolhouse in New Prussia where she taught all eight grades. After her professional teaching days concluded, she continued to employ the trade on her own children and grandchildren. Grammar and spelling were two of her focus areas; often conducting impromptu quizzes on her attentive family. And further, she would give her children reading lists to pass the summer days of elementary school when classes were not in session. Not all of her children appreciated these lists at the time, but later in life they have come to appreciate and consume good, quality literature.
During her active domestic days, she would often have a coffee break in the afternoon to read the list of birth announcements and obituaries in the newspaper. She would say that if her name appeared in either list, she planned to lie down for the rest of the day. Her wit and wisdom permeated a room, and her charisma was easily on display. Her grandchildren looked forward to visits with Grandma, and in time the grandchildren learned how easy it was to request their favourite meals as Grandma would never refuse to prepare them.
Mildred leaves to mourn her family and many friends. She was a loving, supportive and avid listener for her children, Sandy (Rob) Skirving of North Carolina, Fred (Illana Perlman) of Toronto, Keith (Angela) of Winnipeg, and Janet (John Balsillie) of Winnipeg. Mildred was a special Grandma of Cate (Allen) Buckner, Matt (Leslie) Skirving, Joshua (Trisha) Brenneman, Jason Brenneman (Jackie Kicksee), Jake Brenneman, Tristan (Nicole) Brenneman, Morgan Brenneman (Jordan Nardai), Bronte Brenneman, Lydia and Naomi Balsillie, and Great-Grandma of Logan and Miriam Buckner. Mildred was the dear sister of Laura Rathbone, Sarah Maloney, Mary Roth, Roy Jutzi, Margaret Jutzi, Jake (Grace) Jutzi, and Martha (Don) Ropp. She is fondly remembered by her sisters-in-law Floris (Wayne) Leis and Linda Brenneman-Snider, her brother-in-law, John (Ruth) Brenneman, and many nieces and nephews.
Mildred was predeceased by her loving husband of 61 years, Ralph Brenneman in February 2021, by her parents, Amos and Lydia (Jantzi) Jutzi, brothers Amos and George Jutzi, sister Clara Jutzi, brothers-in-law Alf Rathbone, Keith Maloney, Arthur Roth, Don Snider, and sisters-in-law Edith Jutzi, and Grace Jutzi.
Cremation has taken place. A memorial service at Poole Mennonite Church will be planned for a future date, when public health restrictions allow for larger gatherings.
Mom was an independent thinker who endorsed independent living, and wanted her children to carve their own path while maintaining loving relationships within their own and extended families. Her message was clear; live life authentically and share your love with those around you.
Mildred Brenneman; a life well-lived, lessons well learned. Mom, we miss you.
As expressions of sympathy, donations may be made to Poole Mennonite Church or Tri-County Mennonite Homes – Nithview Community