OBITUARY - EVIE JENNES BRENDEL
Evelyn Jennes Brendel – 1964 - 2023
Evelyn Jennes Brendel died on Wednesday night, March 22, 2023. She persevered for several years with great courage and great good humor through a diagnosis of metastatic breast cancer. No words can express what a gigantic hole her leaving has made in our hearts and lives. We miss her so very much.
Evie’s light shone like an image from the Webb telescope. She loved people. Her great curiosity and sense of adventure took her around the world to live, play, and to work. In the USA, she worked for Baxter and US Surgical where her marketing and people skills made her a top salesperson. Then off she went to Russia in the 1990’s, then on to Slovakia to work for Coca-Cola.
Finally, she settled down in the Netherlands with the love of her life and husband, Erik, and raised three lovely daughters, Everie, Elies, and Ella. There she made a wonderful life full of friends and learned how to speak excellent Dutch – with a very American accent, of course. She was involved in her new community and culture, celebrating Dutch holidays and customs with joy and eagerness.
Evie loved being a mother. She was affectionate and funny, and made sure her family gathered each evening for a proper sit-down dinner. The conversation was always lively and full of laughter – current school activities and dramas, politics, art, and local events. Evie shopped each week at the Haarlem market with Erik and/or some of their girls. She inherited her love of nutritious organic whole foods from her mother. Evie loved to try new foods and recipes, often passing them on to friends and family. She kept a list of each family members’ favorites, making them upon request or for special occasions.
Evie kept in regular touch with her friends and family in the USA for thirty years, visiting each summer for several weeks. In America, she visited her childhood friends in and around Bethlehem, Pennsylvania where she grew up. Evie also visited her Penn State University friends (she graduated with a BS in Business in 1986), and they all raised their children as one big brood. Their children are now adults, and they too keep in touch and visit with one another.
Evie, her husband, Erik and children always spent at least one week with her family in Avalon, New Jersey, a lifelong annual family vacation spot. There she visited and played beach paddle tennis with her parents (Mary and Bob - deceased), sister Katie, brother Robby, brother-in-law, Kevin and nieces Anna Lou and Campbell.
Evie was an international entrepreneur who worked on several start-ups in the US and Europe. Her ability to connect with people and organize marketing projects made her indispensable. Her colleagues around the world miss her.
The Jennes family loves to travel. And because Evie is a born organizer, the five E’s (as they call themselves) traveled far and wide. From France to Egypt to Southeast Asia. To Central America and the Alps. From Hollywood to Vermont to Maine and Utah, USA. Evie loved places with history and culture – even Hollywood culture. She planned trips that would teach them how others lived and worked. Trips that showed them the art and natural beauty of a particular place.
Evie’s positive perseverance and tenacity during the seven years she had breast cancer inspired everyone she encountered. Her study and knowledge of her disease, her approach to healing and her constant attitude of moving forward in joy and gratefulness was awesome to behold. She was a ‘never say die person’ who withstood much hardship and pain, yet never complained. If you asked her how she was – she always said ‘good’. She had so much life that she wanted to live and so much more time she wanted to spend with her family. When the end came, she was surrounded by her children, husband, and sister. Erik never left her side for the last three days she was alive. Evie died in her beloved husband’s arms.
Evie’s ability to connect with people and forge deep and lasting friendships was a lived example for her family. They, too, have her gift of caring and connectedness with others. Since Evie’s death, the now four E’s have been surrounded by their friends. Each day, friends come to their home with hugs, tears, food, cards, and flowers. Visiting for an hour or so, laughing and crying, sometimes walking on the beach together. Time to reminisce, reflect and mourn an amazing life that ended much too soon. Farewell sweet Evie.