In Memory

Brenda Roden (Terry)

Brenda Jean Roden Terry, 64, of Paris, left this earth on May 31, 2015 at home after a battle with pancreatic cancer.

The Burial Mass will be held at 11:00 a.m. Tuesday, June 2nd at Holy Cross Episcopal Church in Paris with The Reverend C. Jeff Kraemer Celebrant and The Reverend Betty Clement, Deacon assisting. Inurnment will be in the Columbarium of Holy Cross. Visitation will follow the service in the Parish Hall. Bright-Holland Funeral Home has charge of arrangements.

She was born to Mark & Mae Roden in Paris on March 21, 1951. 

Survivors are her husband, Mark Terry of Paris, daughter, Sabina Parker and husband Rex of St. Jo, Texas, daughter, Danielle Terry of Paris and beloved grandson, Ethan Armstrong of Paris along with many other relatives, friends and Cash (family golden retriever). She was preceded in death by her parents.

Honorary pallbearers are: Suzy Harper, Barbara Fendley, Amelia Frierson, Sue Bercher, G. R. Fasken, Lauren English, Nancy Jessee, Kelly Harper and Keitha Chalupa.

The Mariner Sail that shades the playground of the Episcopal Day School is dedicated to Brenda and her valued service as a board member of the school. If desired, in lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to EDS at 320 South Church St., Paris, TX 75460 for the shade and stone threshold into the playground inscribed with her quote: “Children give us the gifts of gratitude, imperfection and loving without limitations”.

Brenda received a Bachelor of Arts from The University of Texas Arlington, a Master of Science from Henderson State University and a Master of Science in Counseling from Texas A&M University Commerce. She was an acknowledged leader in her chosen field of counseling. She was in private practice in Paris from 2006 until 2014 at Counseling Professionals of Northeast Texas. Brenda served on many professional boards and wrote papers as well as led workshops. She was one of the pioneers in the field of Corporate Wellness in North Texas. Among her many honors were the Outstanding Graduate Student Award and the Marilyn and Jerry Morris Distinguished Graduate Student Award from Texas A&M Commerce. Boards and affiliations include Episcopal Day School board member, Board of Directors at Texoma Credit Union in Wichita Falls, Leadership Wichita Falls graduate and board member for the American Heart Association and American Cancer Society in Wichita Falls.

Brenda was a friend and confidant to many who will treasure her wise words. She was always a learner and always a teacher.

Grateful thanks from the family go to: Dr. Bercher, Rachel and Linda with Platinum Hospice, Dr. Cochran, Kelly, Trudy & the chemotherapy nurses at Texas Oncology, the many friends of Holy Cross Episcopal Church who brought meals and flowers and to all of our friends who provided their prayer, calls and cards.

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05/31/15 01:48 PM #1    

Nancy Jessee

When I moved back to Lamar County in 2012, Brenda and I met up again--first tme since 1969 graduation.  When Brenda was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in the spring of last year and had to close her practice, I asked her if I could come and visit her.  From then until this week we visited at least once a week in her home.  I met Mark, her remarkable, loving and sensitive husband.  I also had the joy of meeting her exceptionally loving and brilliant grandson, Ethan--her pride and joy.  He has that beautiful red hair that Brenda had!  She shared much with me about the adventures that she, Mark and Ethan had together and I felt as though I had been there with them.

When we visited, we would talk about politics, serial and mass murderers, what was happening in the world, climate change, the economic future of our country, the beautiful spring flowers and greening trees I saw driving from my place in the country to her home, how full my lake had become, critters that gathered at my place and dozens of other things, including spirituality.  Brenda was not afraid of dying--she worried only for those she would leave behind.  She was constantly thinking of others even through the painful side effects of chemotherapy and of the disease itself. I cannot count the times she asked me how I was emotionally and physically.

She apologized for every little thing I did for her (though it was my privilege to do so)--from making oatmeal to bringing ice and making toast.  No matter how I reassured her that I wanted to do those things, she felt she should be able to do them herself.  We would watch CNN, Fox News, Dr. Phil and many other regular programs and talk about the goofy people on Dr. Phil and goofy people everywhere.  I smile now to think of my reward in visiting with Brenda.  As her body was more and more consumed by the disease, Brenda required mor pain meds.  She was always apologetic that she would drift off, despite my insistence that she do what she needed to do.  Honestly, sometimes when she would snooze, I would also. My telling her that seemed to be ok with her.

Gradually her body gave way--her spirit never did.  The few days before she left earth to be with the angels, Brenda's awareness subsided and confusion and pain took over.  I was able to say bye a couple of times.  Asked her to send me a postcard from heaven, which I expect in Monday's mail.

I honor my friend Brenda.  I thank her to the depths of my soul for allowing me to walk with her on her journey as far as possible.  It is the greatest gift, other than my two sisters, that I have ever received.  It has filled me with love that will always be there.

My friends and classmates, we have lost a rare and wonderful woman!

I love you all!




05/31/15 02:11 PM #2    

Betsy House (Mills)

Oh, Nancy, I am so glad you were able to be there with Brenda to help make her last days filled with comfort and love.  She was so lucky to have you! 

I know Brenda was so caring and compassionate with her counseling clients.  She is a great loss!


06/01/15 10:20 AM #3    

Bobby Hargroves

I am saddened to again learn of the passing of one of our classmates. I had a class with Brenda, and we became friends somewhat in that class. I flirted with her, which I am sure many of you other guys did too. She was so Cute. I did not know of her illness, I am sorry.  Nancy, it is so wonderful to have and be a friend such as you in these times of need. I only hope, when and if, I ever have to help a friend I can be as compassionate as you.

Grace and peace to all, and may God continue to bless you.


06/01/15 07:27 PM #4    

Nancy Jessee

Bobby, the real treasure is being allowed to be a friend through all this.  Brenda has given me a gift far greater than any I could give her!!  Thanks for your loving comment.

06/01/15 08:14 PM #5    

Nancy Jessee

To be allowed to be a friend is about the
best complement one could ever receive.
To be recognized as a friend is a lifetime honor.
Please don’t honor me with your thanks or compliments—
This is Brenda Roden Terry’s time for prayers and tributes.
This graceful lady deserves all the kind prayers,
kind reflections and salutes that
all of us can give.
I am very sure she rests in the
comfort of love
and complete understanding.
My life is much richer for this gift.
It always will be.
Please let all your love and prayers go
to Mark, Ethan, Sabrina and Danielle.

06/05/15 04:31 PM #6    

Bobby Graves

Brenda's passing is our loss, but, her eternal gain. I had no idea about her illness and am grateful, Nancy, that you were abo to be with her and the family. God bless them all. 

06/17/15 04:16 PM #7    

Lauren Murphy (English)

Having learned of Brenda’s illness last Spring, I was very upset but honored her wish for privacy.  The Saturday afternoon of our class reunion, I called to see if I could stop by for a very brief visit.  Much to my surprise she agreed.  Since we had not visited or talked in over 20 years, this was the beginning of many of our special times together.  Brenda and I were in each other’s first wedding ceremonies but had lost touch with each other after both of us had moved around so much in recent years.  Brenda’s illness brought my classmate and childhood friend Nancy Jessee back together as well.  Many times I would pay a visit only to find Nancy sitting beside her bed.  Of course, Nancy would let her sleep—not me!!  We talked of the special and humorous times we shared as friends during junior high and high school.  However, it was not until Brenda faced the challenges of a terminal illness, that I realized who Brenda really was!!  Her courage, strength, wisdom, and love for her husband and family were phenomenal.  Brenda’s faith kept her going many months past the doctor’s expectations.  Her husband Mark is truly a Saint as he took care of her every need this last year of her life on earth.  When Brenda asked me to be an honorary pallbearer, I was overwhelmed and so very honored.  Some of Brenda’s Favorite Quotes were printed in the memorial service program:  “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said; people will forget what you did; but people will never forget how you made them feel.”  Brenda—you made me feel blessed  to have known you and I thank you for allowing me the opportunity to reconnect with you again as you prepared to enter heaven’s gates.  I am a better person for having known you.

06/17/15 10:30 PM #8    

Nancy Jessee

Lauren, You are generously kind and very thoughtful in your comments. I suppose folks like us will always be grateful for having known Brenda's strength and courage.  And how blessed we are for knowing Mark, a dedicated, devoted, loving husband and friend to this great lady.  Brenda thought of all others before herself.  I am so glad, Lauren, that you and I could share the love for and grief at losing such a wonderful friend!

Maybe I wouldn't have responded to your post at all, but I do miss her so-and I do love and appreciate you so much!

Lauren, sister and neighbor, I send love to you!





09/15/15 08:34 PM #9    

Karen Bean (Barber)

This was so hard to hear about the death of Brenda Roden we used to be great friends and neighbors on NEATHERY St in Paris when we were kids going up . We used to ride horses together. T0 this day I cant pass by a tree full of  horse apples without thinking about the times we would rest our horse under the trees and let the horses eat the horse apples, I DONT know why we didnt say more in touch I GUESS thats what happens sometimes . I wish someone had posted about her being sickand also about the funeral I would drove up there to be there for all of you and her family.       LOVE KAREN BEAN BARBER

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