Brenda Diane McLain, wife of Kenneth John McLain, born Brenda Burris on December 31, 1952, eldest child of Harold and Patricia Elliott Burris, slipped the surly bonds of earth on September 2, 2017 after a long, bare-knuckle brawl with breast cancer.
Brenda spent much of her childhood with her beloved Grandma Ollie and Grandpa “Wild Bill” Elliott at their farm, Hillbilly Paradise, where she learned the value of hard work, self-determination and “ the ol’ one-two”, all of which she instilled within her five children; Heidi Laurel Werner Amundson, Kary Casio daCunha, Stella Rosa daCunha, Darren Paulo daCunha, and Emma Elizabeth daCuhha-Bremer, and all of her beloved grandchildren. In addition, Brenda spent over 30 years raising hundreds of “ugga-buggas” and foster children including Kyesha Tossie, out of her home in Olathe, and giving them all the gift of her singular brand of loving discipline. She has been an inexhaustible source of willpower, wisdom and humor, the indomitable Rock of Gibraltar for her family and all who were lucky enough to come within her sphere of influence.
The last years of her life was spent nurturing her lifelong dream of farming, running Woodland Heritage Farms. Seeing her throw all that strength and energy at something she loved and watching it pay off was a wonderful thing.
She learned to sail and spent as much time as she could out on the water, free.
Brenda leaves behind a loving sister, Teri Burris Polivka, and was preceded in death by her beloved brother, Frank Burris.
The list of those now bereft at the thought of life without her is much too long to list here, but please know that you are all, every single soul she touched in her remarkable lifetime, written on the heart she now carries to Heaven.
“Hark now, hear the sailors cry
Smell the sea and feel the sky
Let your soul & Spirit fly in the mystic…”