Brenda J. Powers

Brenda J. Powers

A service celebrating the life of Brenda Jean (Grauman) Powers will be held at 11:00 A.M. Monday, August 10, 2015 at the Otsego United Methodist Church, Pastor Joe Shaler officiating.

Friends may meet with her family, Sunday, August 9, 2015 from 4 to 7 PM at the Winkel Funeral Home, Otsego.

Brenda went to be with her Lord and Savior Wednesday, August 5, 2015. The older of two children, Brenda was born to Clarence Arthur and Bernice Elizabeth (Punches) Grauman on January 18, 1940 in Allegan, Michigan. She was a graduate of Plainwell High School and WMU. On November 20, 1959, in Plainwell, Brenda married the love of her life, Robert Powers, and together they raised four children. Brenda owned and operated the Mercantile Antiques and Costume Shop in Otsego for 20 years. She will be remembered for her love of adventure, her sharp wit, can-do attitude, her passion for serving the underdog, and for her love of the Lord. A life-long social bug, she will be dearly missed by many, including special friends from the Goon Squad, the Golden Girls, the Plainwell High School class of ’58 monthly lunch group and the loving church family of the Otsego United Methodist Church.

Brenda was preceded in death by her parents Clarence and Bernice Grauman.

She is survived by her husband Robert; her children, Jeff (Mary) Powers of Grand Rapids, Jerrie (Tom) Matthews, Sherrie (Larry) Town and Tim (Susan) Powers all of Otsego; 12 grandchildren, Ashley (Richard) Humphries, Brian Powers, Andrea Powers, Matt (Cathy) Matthews, Kevin (Kim) Matthews, Jenna (Matthew) Leyndyke, Bobby Matthews, Aric (Lindsey) Town, Adam Town, Veronica Powers, Jessica Powers and Sabrina Powers; 7 great-grandchildren, Navene, Kennedy, Brady, Claire, Cameron, Evelyn and Case; her sister, Mary Howe and her brother Jerry Grauman.

Brenda was never afraid to “let her light shine”, so we ask all who knew and loved her to light a candle in memory of a life well used and to seek out how we too, may shine our light on the world.

Contributions in memory of Brenda may be made to the charity of your choice, or please consider honoring Brenda by performing a random act of kindness.

Messages of condolence may be posted at

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Messages of Condolence

  1. Dolores Pulver says:

    I WILL light a candle of kindness……………Know that I loved her very much. I loved her integrity, trthfulness, caring for others, her tears of compassion at times and her fearless way of getting things done. When there was a need–she was there!

    I am in prayer for you all………but remember the the love she constantly shared……….she LOVED you all fiercely. My life is better for having known her. D

  2. Scott, Genevieve, Emma, and Landon Wrobleski says:

    Lots of love being sent to Brenda’s family today. May you all be blessed with peace knowing she is shining her light from heaven. Each sunshine will be a reminder of her constant love of each and every one of you. God Bless.

    • Sherrie says:

      Read this tonight. Missing my mom. Thank you

  3. Tera Kinnane says:

    Brenda was an amazing woman and role model with a heart for her family, her God and for those who were in need of any type of help. She had a servants heart and was an inspiration and a joy to all those around her. Love and hugs to the family and all who were touched in some way by this wonderful woman.

    The Kinnane Family

  4. Kathi Fuss says:

    What a wonderful person and such an inspiration to others was this fantastic lady!! Brenda had more courage than anyone I know and this courage kept her going. She accomplished so many difficult things and was a light for many, many people. I will miss seeing her and keep you all in my thoughts and prayers. RIP Brenda–my friend!!

  5. Jerry and Judy Shumaker says:

    To Jerry, Bob, and Family. Please accept our most sincere sympathy on your loss of Brenda. She sure was a fighter and always so much fun at gatherings with her classmates. She will be missed by so many people. May your fond memories help to guide you through your grief. Please know that our thoughts and prayers are with all of you. Brenda was quite a gal ! ! ! ! Take care now.

  6. Sue Daniels says:

    The world has lost a bright and shining star… Brenda was always such a joyful and giving person and occupied a special place in my heart as a connection to my grandpa (Dave Carlson). I’ll never forget the day we figured out that link and she looked at me and said “he wasn’t always a very nice man!” and immediately apologized for blurting it out! I laughed, and said that I knew that about him – and then we laughed together. She had worked for my grandpa many years ago at Carlson Construction, and knew my mom and family through that connection. I’ll always treasure her dedication to the praise team and her willingness to be part of our joyful noise even when it was easier for her to participate from the pew instead of up front. Sending much love, many hugs and prayers for peace, comfort and strength to all of her family as we all learn to live in a new normal without her smile and encouragement. Know that her love for all of you lives on… may she now sing joyfully through the gardens of Heaven!

  7. Coach Neil and Sue Browne says:

    At one time, either Coach or I have been a part of your lives. Bob, I really got to know you at the library, what a wonderful Grandpa you are. And you were a fabulous husband.
    Jeff, Jerrie, Sherrie, and Tim, you are the absolute best parents and children!!! We have admired you so.
    All of this was because you were taught by the very best mama.
    Please know how very much that our hearts are with all of you.
    God’s bessings and love,
    Coach and Sue Browne

  8. Sarah Volker-Clemens says:

    To the entire Powers family:
    May you all feel the overwhelming love and peace of our Heavenly Father as you go through the following days ahead. Let all those loving memories help to bring you comfort, and peace in knowing where she now is and that one more beautiful Golden Girl joined the heavenly ranks and that heaven is definitely full of fun and laughter with her spunky self!!! Love and hugs to you all, I feel very BLESSED to have had Brenda in my life!

  9. Bill & Brenda Standish says:

    Brenda was such a wonderful and amazing woman. Our thoughts and prayers go out to her family.

  10. penny browning says:

    So Loved going into the Mercantile. She found me the perfect “Mimi” wig. Always had her eye out for 6ft cross cut saws for me.

  11. pastor roy gose says:

    to the powers family…
    thank u all for sharing your wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother with a smoky mountain pastor…enjoyed the visits brenda made to OUR(brenda & roy’s) mountain…and the trip up to Mt Leconte was a trill of my life time…i go several times each year…BUT this ONE Trip is remembered over and over again…and looking forward to SCALING the Mt Leconte in heaven with My Sister In Christ Brenda Powers…
    and Cookie and Mick look after Brenda until Robert , Sandy and I get there…
    be assured that the Powers Family is being lifted to heaven today and each day here in OUR beloved Smoky Mountains…
    again thank u 4 sharing…
    in Him
    bro roy

  12. Anne Carlyle says:

    Brenda taught me so much about how to serve others. I am forever grateful, and I smile as I imagine her resting in the arms of Jesus

  13. Julie Bregitzer says:

    oh how we love my mom’s best friend forever Brenda – what a shining example of love, friendship and kindness. and laughter….always smiling and laughing whenever I saw her… she was not only my mom’s best friend but a part of our family.. thoughts and prayers for the family.

  14. Jim and Patti Hewitt says:

    I can only feel that when Brenda arrived in heaven, God simply said to her:”well done my good and faithful servant!” She lovingly gave so much to so many. She was a rare gem. Certainly one to be greatly admired. Our sympathy to the family in your great loss. Wishing you peace and comfort at this sad time. Hugs.

  15. Ron Arndt says:

    You will be missed you helped so many from scouts to the christian neighbors. God Bless You. The Arndt Family

  16. Holly DeZurik Leasure says:

    Jerrie & Sherrie,

    I am so sorry for your loss. May your beautiful memories of your Mom comfort you in the days and weeks ahead


  17. Zaidos and Donna Church says:

    We were so sorry to hear of Brenda’s passing. She fought a good fight. Brenda will be remembered for her giving nature and also for her humor. She had the ability to see the humor in every situtation and could share that with others in such an engaging way that we were in stitches. Wherever Brenda went, laughter followed. And there was the very serious side of Brenda that loved her Lord with all her heart and served her fellow man. She was a very special lady and will be sorely missed. Our prayers go out to the family.


    Brenda was a great little lady, so vibrant and fun to be around,she will be missed.

  19. Jeff Bohl says:

    It’s been a very long time since I saw the woman I knew as Mrs. Powers. But I remember her and the Powers family being wonderfully welcoming to me as a young boy when I was over to hang out with Tim. She was always smiles and a kind word, with that dose of business that came with orchestrating the activities of a very busy bunch of kids. I saw her only a handful of times after graduating high school and moving away and every time it felt like reconnecting with an old friend. . . who cared about me. What a wonderful person she was. Thanks, Tim, for connecting me in this very small way with your mother. Anne and I will hold you and your family in our hearts as you work through this difficult time.

  20. Becky Chester says:

    Prayers and love to Uncle Bob and family, Aunt Brenda was definitely a shining light, always accepting with open arms.

  21. Tim and Marcia Quigley says:

    Dear Family of Brenda,
    Heaven has certainly gained a wonderful, happy, vibrant Angel! Brenda always had a smile for everyone! Please know that she is now your Guardian Angel watching over you! Prayers and Blessings to all of you!

  22. Darl and Joyce Gilliland says:

    Dear sweet Powers family, Brenda was my cheerleader when I found out that I had cancer. She helped me around the track at Relay for Life encouraging my every step. The following year, when she was diagnosed again with cancer, I made a promise to her that I would help her around the track at Relay. We held hands, we laughed and cried that we were able to make it around. She never complained how she was feeling, always smiling or making a wisecrack about herself. She was a very loving and giving person who started so many wonderful mission projects at church. She touched countless lives and always made you feel better after talking with her. She loved you all dearly and so proud of your accomplishments. We pray that you feel comfort and peace from our Heavenly Father through the coming days. Our love and prayers to all of you.

  23. Pam Kuiper says:

    Our family was honored to have Bob and Brenda as neighbors for many years. She and Bob watched over my Mom and my Aunt with such care and compassion. She taught me so much as a Christian. I know there is rejoicing in Heaven with Brenda joining the Angels. My sympathy to all of the family .

    Pam Hutchinson Kuiper

  24. Josi Pape says:

    What a wonderful, loving, giving woman. Brenda was always there with words of encouragement, and love. I never have encountered any one with such drive and passion for the underdog. I remember the days when she and June Stull would go down to Bronson Park and feed the homeless, until Bob was concerned for their safety, and suggested that she find a safer way to do that mission. Last year I had the honor of joining the masses to help with Picnic in the Park. I left that day feeling so blessed to be a part of that wonderful mission.I know that God had a special project for his Angel Brenda, and took her home to see that it was done right. God bless you Bob, and family for the care you gave her, and for sharing her and her abilities with so many of us who called her friend. She will be missed.

  25. Tracy Blanchard says:

    May all the memories you have help you through this difficult time.
    Peace & Love,
    The Blanchard Family

  26. Sherry Schumaker says:

    Brenda was one of the most (if not the most) selfless people, and a true servant of the Lord. She gave of herself to the church, the community, and the less fortunate and she did so with a smile and with tireless energy, even when she was sick. Our prayers are with all of her family who will forever feel a void in their lives, and to the people she served who will also feel her loss.Love and prayers to all of you, and prayers for comfort for your loss.

  27. Debbie Rysenga says:

    Brenda will be missed by many people. She was a inspiration to many people. She loved the Lord very much. I am glad she is with the Lord and she will have no more pain. Prayers to all her family and friends. She touched so many people she was a very loving and encouraging friend.. She will always be in many our our hearts for a very long time.

  28. Karen Panse McNees says:

    So sad to hear of your loss! Growing up in Otsego was special, and Mrs. Powers is a part of those great memories for me! How many running meets was she there, cheering us all on?! I remember being welcome at your home, seeing her wall of photos, and I loved the way she surrounded herself with reminders of those who were most precious to her, her family! She had a wonderful, dry sense of humor, and could handle just about anything! Prayers and hugs to your whole family!!

  29. Jamie & Zach Radcliffe says:

    Our prayers are with the family on the passing of Brenda. I have such fond memories of bringing Zachary to pick out his halloween costume at her shop and she and Barb Michaels would talk him out of whatever scary costume he wanted and get him to wear some crazy outfits!! Later in life when I encountered my health concerns, Brenda was always my mentor and I would say if Brenda can get thru her struggles and smile then I surely can. She was a wonderful woman who will be greatly missed here on Earth but what a beautiful angel she will make!

  30. Sue Higgs says:

    So sad to hear of Brenda’s passing. She worked with me and others on the OHS class reunion and was always happy and bubbly. I used to see her and Barb Michaels walking every day on my way to work. Rain or shine or snow or whatever the weather they were out there every day. Now she and Barb can continue their walking forever.

    My deepest sympathy to the family especially Bob and Tim. She will be missed by everyone who knew her.

  31. Teri Laster says:

    What a beautiful person Brenda was. She impressed me so much as a young mom with her selfless nature & true Christian spirit. She didn’t just “talk the talk” , she lived the Christian life. I will always remember her with a big smile on my face for the pleasure of knowing her & calling her friend! My thoughts & prayers are with her entire family & I pray you find peace knowing she is safe in the arms of our Lord.

  32. Ellen Radke says:

    Our family, Mark, myself, Jody, Becky and Jason were neighbors of the Power’s for many years. The kids enjoyed playing together. I never remember Brenda without a smile or sharing something that made me smile. She was a beautiful soul! And I know she will be missed.

  33. Jamie & Zach Radcliffe says:

    Our thoughts & prayers are with Brenda’s family. I will always remember when I would take Zach to get his costume every halloween, he always wanted some scary outfit and Brenda & Barb Michaels would talk him out of it and find the coolest costumes for him that didn’t include swords and scary masks. When I was diagnosed with my own health concerns I always thought of Brenda and her strength and positive attitude, she kept smiling regardless of what she was going thru and I strived to have that attitude. What a wonderful Angel she will be!

  34. Sharon Buys says:

    Brenda set such a great example on how to give and share not only material things, but God’s love. She will be missed by many. My sympathy to the family.

  35. Isaac Pratt says:

    Prayers to family, friends, and all the people whose heart she has touched throughout her life. She was a wonderful, Godly woman and will be missed.

  36. Wanda Hartman says:

    I met Brenda in my Bible Study Fellowship group. We became good friends and met for lunch whenever possible. Her christian testimony was truly a “light” to those she met. I am forever grateful that she came into my life and will cherish her memory forever.

  37. Kerry and Sue Knight says:

    Our prayers are with the family she will be missed by many.

  38. Bernard and Louise Lester, Robert and Julie Taylor & family says:

    Our prayers are with the family on the passing of Brenda. She was a wonderful woman who will be greatly missed here on Earth but what a beautiful angel she will make!

  39. Our prayers are with the family on the passing of Brenda. She was a wonderful lady who will be greatly missed here on Earth but what a beautiful angel!

  40. Rev. Brian Tice says:

    Brenda was such a supportive and caring person. I have wonderful memories of serving with her on the Habitat for Humanity board and having her as a member of my Praise Band. The quilt ministry she and my Aunt Barb created was a testimony to their love for the disenfranchised and marginalized in society, making about 100 quilts a year for distribution to the homeless. My thoughts and prayers are with her family during this time of mourning. May Brenda’s memory be a blessing to all who knew her.

  41. Devyn Moore & Friends says:

    To the Powers Family –

    We are keeping you all in our thoughts & prayers during this difficult time. We’ve heard nothing but great things about grandma, and although not all of us have met her we feel for your loss deeply. Let us know if there is anything we can do for you during this hard time.

    Best wishes,
    Devyn, Megan, Kaitlyn, Lauren, Sammy, & Kacey

  42. George and Mary Washburn says:

    We are so very sorry for your loss. Brenda was an amazing, beautiful person who tirelessly gave so much of herself to help others in any way that she could. She was an inspiration to everyone that knew her as she shared God’s love with so many people. She truly made this world a better place! Our thoughts and prayers are with you as you grieve.

  43. Ellyn & Jim Deneau says:

    Brenda was a light that shone bright and strong… She was an inspiration to so many and her passion for her family, and her causes, and her Savior was written on everything she was involved in. She didn’t lose her fight… God said it is time my child to come home. She is pain free, and surrounded in Gods light and love in a way we can only anticipate. Our condolences to her family for I am sure that her absence will be felt very vividly.

  44. Karen Myers (Town ) says:

    Sorry to hear this she was a good woman she will be solely missed !

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