MARKET BOUNTY – Sitka Farmers Market volunteer Hannah Green, center, sells produce Saturday during the third market of the summer season. The next market will be held Saturday at ANB Founders Hall from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The Sitka Farmers Market was recently included on the Exceptional Markets list by the Certified Naturally Grown program. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Stephen Harold Brenner

 

Stephen Harold Brenner

 

***Please note: A prayer vigil for Stephen will be held 7 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 22, at St. Gregory’s Catholic Church. A celebration Mass will be 1 p.m. Monday, Jan. 23, at St. Gregory’s with a reception to follow in the lower level of the church. 

 

Stephen Harold Brenner was born August 26, 1943, in Storm Lake, Iowa, the son of Harold and Eileen Brenner. He died at the age of 73 on Jan. 18, 2017, at his home in Sitka after a lengthy illness.

The cause of his death was from a very rare condition called frontal-temporal dementia, which began prior to his retirement from Spenard Builders Supply. It’s important to understand one of the effects of this very debilitating disease caused Stephen to react in conversation in ways not normally seen in his known personality, a family member said.

Stephen was raised on the family farm and upon graduation from high school in 1962 left the farm seeking job opportunities not found in the mid west. He drove from Iowa to Fairbanks, where he began working in sales for Yukon Office Supply. 

In 1967 Stephen met Bonnie Reeder, who was attending the “A 67” state centennial celebration being held in Fairbanks. 

That meeting with Bonnie was followed by a great phone and letter courtship leading up to their marriage on April 26, 1968, in Sitka. 

Stephen had earlier been promoted to manage the Ketchikan office supply store, and they began their life together there.

 In 1970, daughter Stephanie was born, followed in 1972 by their second child, Michael.

Ketchikan remained their home until 1978 when Stephen was transferred to Anchorage. He took on a new job in 1980 with Spenard Builders Supply and was quickly promoted to the assistant manager position at their store in Sitka. The family moved here in April of that year, and in 1986 Stephen was promoted to store manager, a position he held until his retirement in June 2005, completing 25 years at Spenards.

Stephen was an avid outdoorsman enjoying hunting and fishing with friends and his family.

He appreciated a good meal, conversation and wine, and there was always room at the table for new friends. 

He was a devoted husband, father, and grandfather who spent countless hours playing with his grandkids. 

He contributed to a wide variety of civic organizations; Ketchikan Chamber of Commerce, Exalted Ruler of the Ketchikan Elks Lodge, Sitka Community Hospital Board, Sitka Historical Society. In addition to the local Boy Scout organization, the Sitka Sportsman’s Association, and St. Gregory’s Catholic Church.

He is survived by: his wife, Bonnie, of Sitka, his daughter Stephanie Brenner Stoner and Andy Stoner of Sitka; his son Michael and wife Dawn of Oregon City, Oregon; three grandchildren, Carl Brenner of Sitka, and James and Lauren Brenner of Oregon City; sister Nancy Haukap, Sioux City, Iowa; and brothers Allen, Dennis, and Robert, all of Phoenix, Arizona. 

His brothers-in-law Steve Reeder and wife Sallie of Cave Creek, Arizona, and Fred Reeder and wife Debbie of Sitka; and many nieces, nephews and cousins also survive.

A prayer vigil will be held 7 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 22, at St. Gregory’s Catholic Church. A celebration Mass will be 1 p.m. Monday, Jan. 23, at St. Gregory’s with a reception to follow in the lower level of the church. 

Honorary pallbearers are Glen Madsen, Frank Miles, Steve Reeder, Fred Reeder, Hal Spackman and John Litten.

 

In lieu of flowers the family suggests donations to St. Gregory’s Building and Restoration Fund at P.O. Box 495 Sitka, AK 99835

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