McLeod Mortuary

1919 East Valley Pkwy, Escondido, CA


Emily Catherine Brainard

February 16, 1992September 2, 2019

Emily Catherine Brainard, whose passion for cooking and love for adventure enriched the lives of all fortunate enough to know her, passed away Monday, Sept. 2, 2019, at the age of 27. Born in Naperville, Illinois, on February 16, 1992, Emily moved with her family to Chattanooga, Tennessee in 1996, and then to Poway, California, in 1998. She graduated from Halstrom High School in 2011. In her early teens, Emily dabbled in baking and cooking, rarely following a recipe but instead creating her own concoctions. While a senior in high school, she decided to pursue a career in culinary arts. Emily graduated from San Diego Culinary Arts Institute in 2012, earning a certificate of Diplome Professionnel de Commis de Cuisine. She worked at several well-known restaurants in San Diego including Bice and Mister A’s. Since 2016, Emily worked for Chefs on the Run in Los Angeles as a Chef Driver, overseeing catering jobs primarily for the entertainment industry. Emily’s talents, belief in hard work, and dedication to her job earned her high praise in the demanding culinary industry. Dogs, particularly Golden Retrievers, have always been an integral part of Emily’s life. Her dog, J.R., has been by her side for the past 10 years, always comforting her and often accompanying her on long hikes and runs. Emily loved spending time with her nephews, Luke, Rocco and Jesse, whether it was building with Legos, playing games, hiding impossible-to-find Easter eggs, or just having conversations with them. An avid reader, Emily loved and appreciated the classics, her favorite books being “To Kill a Mockingbird” and “The Great Gatsby,” but her diverse reading interests included biographies, struggles in other countries, investing in crypto currencies, and of course, cookbooks. Emily, who most recently lived in Santa Monica, California, is survived by her parents, David and Karen Brainard of Poway, CA; sister and brother-in-law Elizabeth (Brainard) and Steven Lombardi of Dana Point, CA; brother Daniel Brainard of Chicago, IL; nephews Luke, Rocco and Jesse Lombardi of Dana Point; and grandmother Katherine Hadders of Poway, CA; along with aunts, uncles and many cousins. “Emily, we will forever miss your beautiful smile, infectious laugh, witty sense of humor, the twinkle in your eyes, feisty personality, and compassionate, caring and loving spirit.” Visitation for Emily will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Saturday, September 21, at McLeod Mortuary in Escondido, CA. A memorial service will be held at 2:30 p.m., September 21, at Church at Rancho Bernardo, Rancho Bernardo, CA, followed by a reception at Bernardo Heights Country Club at 4:30 p.m.


21 September


10:30 am - 12:30 pm

McLeod Mortuary

1919 East Valley Parkway, Escondido, CA 92027

21 September

Memorial Service

2:30 pm

Church of Rancho Bernardo

11740 Bernardo Plaza Ct., San Diego, CA. 92128

21 September


4:30 pm

Bernardo Heights Country Club

16066 Bernardo Heights Pkwy., San Diego, CA 92128


Emily Catherine Brainard

have a memory or condolence to add?

Robert Karabelnik

September 15, 2019

My Emily, I could have never imagined that I would someday say goodbye to my girlfriend, my love, my sunshine. The 614 days in which our lives were intertwined werent nearly enough, we had so many plans and promises that will never be fulfilled. My heart is broken beyond repair. I did my very best to show you how amazing life can be, and how beautiful this earth truly is with all of its adventures at our fingertips. I will forever question why it wasnt enough and what could have been if we had more time. I pray you have finally found the peace that you could not find here with us.

Christine Mullin

September 11, 2019

Please accept my condolences, I cannot imagine what you are going through. May God wrap his arms around you all and help guide you through this time of grief. I first met Emily in the rooms of recovery and I am grateful to have gotten to know her over the years. With deepest sympathy, Christine Mullin