OBITUARY

Brenda Lynne Saraphanian

July 8, 1949November 19, 2020
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Brenda Lynne Saraphanian, born July 8 1949, daughter of John and Alice Perger, big sister to Dennis. Brenda was known to her closest family as Bunny or sometimes Bun. Mother to 3 sons Vaughn, Kevin and Steve, Grandmother to Jake, Amanda, Rachel, Alexis, Noah, Claire, Ella and Ava and Great Grandmother to Ryann, Jack, Luke and Macy, Mother in law to Cheryl and Patrizia and Grandmother in law to Drew and Leah. Brenda passed away late Thursday night on November 19, 2020 at the Juravinski Centre in Hamilton, after a life-long battle against many and all odds, a life of defying everyone who told her she couldn’t do it. She never quit, she never gave up, she passed away doing what she has been doing her whole life, battling another obstacle put in front of her and doing it her way. She was loved more than she knew and will be missed more than she will ever know, but she will never be forgotten.

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Memories

Brenda Lynne Saraphanian

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Alexis Saraphanian

November 29, 2020

Wise and Kind

Grandmothers come in dozens of shapes, bunches of wrinkles, languages, clothes, skins, and stages of degeneration. But they all have exactly the same love in the middle.

Grandmothers are very good at picking up the pieces of something shattered beyond all mending - and mending it.

Grandmothers are done with getting ahead and making a home and giving the kids a start in life. Grandmas have sorted out what is important and what is not. Grandmas give you a sense of proportion.

Dear Grandma, I wish I had your gentle smile, and your kind hands. And most of all I wish I had your strength.

Rachel Saraphanian

November 29, 2020

To Our Dearest Grandma

Sometimes we don't know how to deal
With situations in life that can't seem real
Grandma you will be forever here
With loving thoughts of you my dear

Grandma is now in a better place
This is what we all must face
We will say goodbye but just for today
You're simply just going away

You made us laugh, you made us think
Your infectious laughter, you're subtle wink
You loved us all, we felt in our hearts
You're now our angel, and you gave us smarts

We will always love you... so much to say...
Live is endless, you're free today
When I look to the sky, I will see your sweet face
Love is endless, your memories we embrace

We love you grandma, you will be forever in our minds
In our hearts and in our memories

I love you forever grandma,

Love your sunshine,
Rachel

Debi Anderson

November 25, 2020

It sounds like your mom was an incredibly strong lady who was loved by so many. What a beautiful legacy she is leaving behind ❤️ Thinking of you, and sending my sincere sympathies to you and your family

Joanne Housego/Zaraliakos

November 25, 2020

First of all I am so sorry for your loss. Hugs to you and all of your family. I have many many fond memories of your mom. I used to save my allowance each week and go to my corner store and buy plastic bugs. I used to put them in the cereal box and when she poured it out for me it would come flying out of the box. She would scream pretty loud but then always smile at me after. I never knew if she really was scared of bugs or if she was trying to pretend my gag worked. Your mom was a memorable part of my life and so were all of you. I hope you find peace and know that she is still living in all of you. Each of of your possess her strength and determination to get done what needs to get done. She was a brave women who will be missed but fondly remembered. Take care all, hugs

Jeff Sherriff

November 25, 2020

Our condolences. So many great memories.
Brenda always allowed Kevin and Steve to have way too many friends over on Saturday nights. She was always very patient with our foolish and outrageous behaviour. Brenda was always welcoming to us and greeted us with a big smile.
She made Reno Ave felt like a second home.
On her own she turned 3 boys into exceptional men. Brenda will be missed but always in our memories. Rest in peace Brenda.

Patricia Golden

November 22, 2020

My deepest condolences to you all. Your mom was an amazing mother who raised 3 incredible boys on her own. She was stronge and loving at the same time. She will be missed greatly but will always be in your hearts.Rest in peace Brenda.

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY

Biography

I’ve spent a lot of time looking through pictures of our Mom, from when she was a child, a teenager, a young beautiful woman, a young mother, grandmother and even great grandmother.
Everyone knows most of her story already, we might not know every detail but we know the path of highs and lows that led her to who she was. Looking through the pictures I saw parts of her life I’ve never thought about before, periods of her life I’ve never seen, what life looked like before all of us. Back when she was completely healthy, at times when she was just… happy. I never actually realized how beautiful she was.
She faced so many obstacles in her life, she was married at a fairly young age and gave birth to two sons, Vaughn at age 20 and Kevin at age 23. But a couple years later the man she thought was the one, left her alone and a single mother of two young children. With the exception of her immediate family she was all but shunned and left to face the world alone, she also had 1 other person who never gave up on her, we called her “Fat Grandma”. She loved our mom and never stopped looking out for her. Mom was very close to her and never forgot the kindness she showed and the way she made her feel about herself. In fact, she was so important to her that to this day she kept a letter from her from 1982, almost 40 years and it’s only fitting that she continues to keep that letter with her always.
Over the next few years she met someone else, she fell in love again and was blessed with a third son at the age of 27. But in this relationship, she was faced with more challenges and she found herself having to fight for her and our futures. Through it all she found the courage to protect us her children, she gave us everything she was capable of, and tried to shield us from the ugliness of the world that was around us.
When we were all young, she was mainly a stay at home Mom, but she found something that she was passionate about and she excelled at, taking care of others and their children. There were two kids in particular to me, that she bonded with and that stand out the most Jessie and Maggie. She loved those kids like they were her own and those families loved her right back. To the point that several years later when those children grew up, they reached out to her and wanted to see her again. I remember how happy and proud she was at that moment.
Of course children grow up, and the three of us got older, but we never stopped needing her to be there for us. At the age 39, she became a Grandmother. I believe Vaughn was around 18 at the time and Cheryl was around 16 when Jake was born. Still in school and trying to make their own futures, Mom was determined to be there as much as possible, so Cheryl moved in and our small family began to grow.
She continued to try to make our lives better, she made the difficult decision to move from our downtown home on Fairleigh Ave up the mountain to the house on Reno Ave, a house she would continue to call home to this day. She was a single mother with little help, but she found a way to purchase a bigger and nicer home in a much nicer area paving a path for all of us to have a better life and a better future. We never really made things easy on her, I know during that time I know I didn’t, but it didn’t stop her from loving us and doing what needed to be done.
We were getting old enough to stay home alone and care for ourselves, so she started working and she became an office administrator for a real estate office. Whatever she did, she did it fully and gave it her all. She worked her butt off and that company loved her, I actually remember her considering becoming a real estate agent, which would have been tough since she was deathly afraid of driving. About then she was challenged again and she lost sight in her one eye. It was devastating for her, but she never let it stop her. She found ways of continuing to work. The company loved her so much they allowed her to keep working, she brought in special equipment with help from the CNIB. About 10 years later she lost the sight in her other eye and unfortunately it became too much to keep working.
She didn’t let it stop her at home, she researched more and got more equipment which allowed her to keep on living independently at home doing things her way. To this day I’m amazed by her and how she was able to continue living the life she did through all of that.
I said she was a fighter and she would never give up, and she never did. The problems didn’t stop, eventually her health started to deteriorate and she’d spend the next 20+ years in hospitals fighting with doctors who told her one thing and she’d tell them differently. She would tell them until they would agree with her and honestly, she was often right. She spent countless hours watching Dr. Oz and The DOCTORS that she would always try to educate us about our health and being our own health advocate. I swear it would have been her dream to be a guest host on The Doctors.
She would ended up losing function of her kidneys, so she spent countless hours in taxis, so much so, that she got to know a lot of them and started becoming friends with some of them. She would always talk about how much taxi drivers knew from all the people they drive around all day. She also spent years in dialysis units, Patrizia and I would hear from people we knew at the hospital about a woman with the same last name that would brag about her family non-stop. Obviously with our last name it was easy to put it together. She would get to know her nurses and they would get to know her really well. They would also know if she didn’t like them or if they were doing something wrong. She taught me that just because it’s someone’s job and they’re supposed to be right about something, it doesn’t mean they are right. I think it was a goal of hers to prove people wrong and she became really good at it.
Finally, she was rewarded with a successful kidney transplant. It was a scary but happy time for her. What she didn’t know at the time was part of the price of receiving the organ, was going to be a life of daily medication which later she would find was going to be the cause of her biggest fight and she was eventually diagnosed with cancer. She never gave up. She had been hit with everything up to this point but she still had fight in her and so she fought, and you better believe she won that fight. She was able to enjoy a few more years before this last year, just as she always said it would happen, the Cancer returned and even though she knew it would keep coming back she wasn’t going to just give up and she didn’t. She fought until the end.
We’re all here today wearing words on our masks, all describing the things we saw in her or words that had a special meaning for us. Brave, Strong, Fighter… Sunshine, Full Circle, Sentimental… She was Loving and she was Loved, she was Welcoming and she was Courageous, and she definitely is and forever will be Irreplaceable. With all that, we’re really just scratching the surface of who she was, she was so much more, and now she is our Angel and I know she is finally At Peace now with Dennis, Grandma and especially Grandpa who meant so much to her, he was her true Hero. She lived through it all, and she earned everything we are saying and feeling about her today. I know they weren’t all good times, there was good and some bad, …but life is full of good and bad moments and even in the worst of moments she helped make us all who we are today.
Finding pictures of her wasn’t easy, when we looked back at our own pictures, I found that she was always behind the camera taking the pictures rarely wanting to be in them. The saying “that a picture is worth a thousand words” means more to me today because that’s how I went back and saw her life and it made me appreciate it even more. When I got past the pictures of her thumbs it was amazing how organized she, I was afraid to touch her pictures because I thought I would mess it all up and she would be mad at me… so we left them in exactly the order she had them in.




I had the privilege of talking to her last week somewhat candidly, actually she thought I was the doctor, so she didn’t know she was talking to me. She started telling me how proud she was of all three of her children, that she loved them so much and they were the best three children in the world. Just visiting her, feeding her, rubbing her back and telling her stories and just spending time talking to her… all of it was more than she ever expected, and it meant the world to her. For a minute she was almost embarrassed when she found out it was me, but she stopped herself and told me it is how she truly feels and everything she said about is what from her heart. She said she realized she was wrong when she said she didn’t want people around her, she realized that us being there was everything to her. For as long as I can remember she would say she wanted girls because her sons leave and they would never be there for her in the end, well we showed her that her sons were going to be there and weren’t going to forget her.

She also always said her life was her kids, but truly, her life became all about her grand kids and great grandchildren of course. When you look back at the pictures, you’ll see how much all of you meant to her and her biggest smiles were always when she was with all of you. Whether it was seeing your milestone moments like becoming a father, Birthdays, graduations, or Christmas’s get togethers, hockey tournaments, dance or piano recitals or even simple little things like just trying on clothes, going to the movies, dressing up, Ancaster fairs, or at home playing with dolls, playing duets on the piano, her love for puzzles, dancing to the latest hit songs or nights out at Kelsey's for wings and especially Mandarin or Red Lobster Birthday dinners…. It didn’t matter, she was her happiest to just be your Grandma and spending that time with all of you…. Jake, Rachel, Alexis, Amanda, Noah, Claire, Ella and Ava, and of course her great grandchildren…. in the end you were all her happiest moments and the reason she kept on fighting as long as she did because she wanted to see all of you grow and become the people you are today and the people you will be in the future. And she’s not done yet, I know she will continue to watch over you and you will continue to make her smile.

She was loved a lot more than she knew and will be missed way more than she will ever know, but she will never be forgotten, not by any of us.

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