November 8, 1950 – November 6, 2020
Jennifer Brantley was born November 8th, 1950 in New Smyrna Beach, Florida and was survived by 4 children: Kathryn Franco; Eric Melanson; Jennalee Turner; and Cortney Kirkland. She is also survived by fifteen grandchildren, 3 great-grandchildren, 6 sisters, 4 brothers and her step mother. She was preceded in death by her father, Herman Brantley, mother, Dorothy Bethel, and brother, Owen Brantley. She passed away, held by her children, on November 6th, 2020 in Houston, Texas where she lived for more than 40 years.
Born and raised in New Smyrna Beach, surrounded by her siblings and raised predominantly by her grandmother until the age of 4 or 5, Jennifer had a special bond with her family that continued into adulthood. Later in life, her mother and some siblings returned to their native home of Alaska and Jennifer, by extension, fell in love with its nature and terrain. While Jennifer never believed that any place could match the beauty of the ocean in Florida, she moved with her children to Texas and surrendered that the majestic beauty of Texas wildflowers rivaled that of the sandy beaches and clear blue ocean she had grown to love.
Jennifer was a mother before all else; she devoted her life to loving her children, and eventually her grandchildren with just as much enthusiasm. She valued character and morality, kindness and love, strength and independence, and most of all, faith and grace. Jennifer modeled these traits for her children through warmth and unconditional positive regard. She never missed a chance to proclaim her love to her children and her grandchildren, and to let them know how truly special they are.
Jennifer could always be found singing, everything from Elvis and the Righteous Brothers tunes, to children’s songs like her grandchildren’s favorite Skidamarink, as well as melodies she had created, such as bye-oh-baby. She sang to her heart’s content and those around her often sang along. She loved spending an early morning dancing around the kitchen with a grandchild’s feet on her own as they swayed together hand in hand.
Known as Miss Jennifer to close friends and Jenny to family, she was most widely known as Grammie from her grandchildren, to the children in her Sunday School class, to the dozens and dozens of children she helped raise in her home as a childcare provider for more than thirty years. Grammie’s house was a place that was free to play in, to make a mess in, and somewhere to find two arms that wanted nothing more than to hold you. There was always something delicious on the stove, a soap opera on television, and a lap to snuggle in. She leaves behind a legacy of children who have grown into adults who know what it is to be nurtured, to be loved, and to be truly cared about. In every child she cared for she instilled an excitement for music and dancing, a curiosity in cooking, an appreciation for kindness and manners, and a love for Jesus Christ.
Jennifer was active in church, heading the food pantry program that fed hundreds of people in times of need as well as leading a Sunday School etiquette class that taught children how to be more like Christ. By her friends, she was known as someone who always listened and gave sound advice. Her favorite bible verse was Exodus 14:14, “The Lord will fight for you, all you need is to be still.” This is the mentality she took through any struggle she found in life, the unshakeable faith that God would fight on her behalf and on behalf of those she loved.
Saturday, November 21, 2020
Saturday, November 21, 2020
November 14, 2020
My friend of many years.We shared our secrets our joy, laughter and opinions of witch we had many! Over our china tea cups we soothed our troubles , discussed world affairs and laughed a lot, a few Texas style, "Bless their hearts" thrown in. A more caring and loving friend 💗 one could never have I will miss her always.
November 13, 2020
"This sure is a BIG train" - Remember that? Jennifer made plans with me to visit her brother in Wisconsin...but it had to be a surprise. So it was set up for her to fly into Green Bay Wisconsin...I would have Owen at the Gr. Bay Railroad Museum grounds. Owen and I were up in a very large locomotive-looking at all the gauges and stuff...she came up the steps and stood beside him. He said "This sure is a BIG train, isn't it?" She replied "YES", he looked up and saw her and hugs and tears followed! I witnessed the beautiful bond they shared. Sending my very deepest sympathy, Aunt Janine
November 9, 2020
My favorite memories of Jennifer were of times spent in my backyard just answering questions (she asked the best questions) and sharing thoughts and laughter with her and the Lord. After we moved away I always loved seeing Jennifer's facebook posts as she loved the beach and sunrises and sunsets and beautiful things from a more simple time. She loved the Lord and He really loves her. She is a woman of faith who gave to others and though I miss her now, I know we will have eternity to share. My prayers and love are with all the family. May you have great peace knowing she is in the arms of her Savior!