Nanette Grace LaBrenz, 97, passed away peacefully, on Saturday, January 15, 2022, surrounded by family.
A Zoom memorial service will be held at 2:00 p.m., Saturday, January 29, 2022.
Nanette “Nan” was born to Earl and Marian Burkholder in Grand Rapids, Michigan, on November 25, 1924. She married Richard “Dick” Arthur LaBrenz on September 28, 1946, in Grand Rapids, Michigan. In 1959 the couple relocated to Abilene, Texas and made it their permanent home. Together, they had a large, beautiful family of nine children, 5 sons and 4 daughters.
She was known as a wonderful and loving wife and mother. Nan and her husband, Dick, provided a warm, loving home for their children, always welcoming their friends with love and laughter. Their lives were centered around their family, and around worship of their heavenly father, Jehovah. Nan and Dick were baptized as Jehovah’s Witnesses in 1952 and spent many years as evangelizers and Bible Teachers.
When Dick, the love of her life, passed away in 2003, Nan continued living in the family home. All nine of her children were present in the two days before her death, in and out of the house where they all had lived. They loved and surrounded her until the end of her long life.
Nan was known as a happy, loving person, frequently teasing, or coming up with funny comebacks, exercising her sassy sense of humor. Her children remember her love of music; she loved to sing old show tunes as she cooked and did other household chores. She also had the gift of making each child believe he or she was the favorite! This amazing accomplishment made each child feel certain that he or she was special and loved, and produced a lot of good-natured rivalry among the siblings.
Nan was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, Richard Arthur LaBrenz, her two brothers, Don and Dick Burkholder, a beloved sister-in-law, Dorothy Preblo, and one granddaughter, Nicole LaBrenz Paz.
She is survived by her children, Richard LaBrenz II (Yvonne), Keith LaBrenz (Gail), Lynette Perry, Suzette Kirkpatrick, James LaBrenz, David LaBrenz, Lisette Allen, Annette Kitch (Dennis), and Nathan LaBrenz (Connie); 33 grandchildren, and 30 great-great grandchildren, with one on the way. Also, by many, many friends and adopted grandchildren who loved “Grandma Nan”.
Nan’s family wishes to extend special thanks and love to our spiritual family who exhibited extraordinary love and care for Nan when the family needed them the most. The family also wishes to extend sincere thanks to Hendrick Hospice Care who helped make her final days more comfortable, and who supported the family with care and concern.