In Memory

Brenda Taylor (Steil)

Brenda Taylor (Steil)

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03/29/19 01:48 PM #1    

Deborah (Debbie) Uttley (Meriwether)

The friendships of childhood are the purest kind.  There is pretend play but no pretense.   There is competition but more comradery.  Arguments end with apology and solemn agreement to be best friends forever.   The memories of those days are as vivid as the moments of yesterday.  The grief in losing such a friend is jagged and sharp.

Brenda and I met on the school bus when we were in the third grade.  At Wainwright elementary we were in the same class in fourth, fifth, and sixth grades.  We “ran for classes” together at Black Jr. High so that we could have the same teachers for every subject.  We were together as often as our parents would allow, so much so that some people thought we were sisters. 

Brenda loved Elvis, her dachshund named Duchess, and softball. She was a great player and was more than once awarded MVP of the game.  We played flag football with the boys in the neighborhood and they called her Bob Hayes (a 60’s track star and Dallas Cowboy) because if she got the ball, they couldn’t catch her.

We really didn’t have that much in common.  I wasn’t much of an Elvis fan, much preferring the Beatles. She was athletic and I was clumsy.  She was fearless and I was apprehensive.  She was spunky and I was timid.   She once talked me into one of those scary carnival rides at the fair at Northline mall. I was so terrified I cried real tears and she screamed with delight.  I wasn’t surprised years later when I learned that she had gone skydiving and loved every minute. 

We were different but we made a good pair. When our friend Kathy moved in across the street, we became the three musketeers and where one went, we all went.  If we weren’t together, we were talking on the phone. Later, Brenda and I liked boys who were friends so we could double date.

Life got in the way of our togetherness when Kathy moved to North Carolina, I chose the Guard, and Brenda chose sports and surfing.  I went off to college and Brenda met her awesome man, Rick Steil, and married young. She stayed in the Houston area and I moved to the other end of Texas. 

Living near each other once again allowed us to spend some precious time together before her illness.  She talked about her children and her grandchildren who were her pride and joy. We reminisced and laughed at things we remembered.  I will treasure those moments almost as much as the years of our youth.

Brenda Gayle Taylor Steil, my dear, kind, and loyal friend, I’ll love you forever and miss you always.  Until we meet again….


03/30/19 07:15 AM #2    

Gayle Gardner (Erskine)

Beautifully written Debbie.  I remember meeting all 3 of you at Black Jr. High in the auditorium for a school assembly and count all of you as my childhood friends.  Brenda and I shared the name Gayle (spelled the same way) and that was an immediate bond.  Brenda had spunk, a smile to remember, was a great athlete, but most of all was kind and loyal!  She took the time to teach me some things I wanted to learn and I have never forgotten it.  Childhood memories stay the same forever and freeze the person in time.  Even though I moved away, I called Brenda for the 40th reunion as she was one of the people I wanted to see.  We talked on the phone but she said she could not come because of her health. I had no idea.  I am thankful for the time we shared, the memories, and for her rich and happy life with a beautiful family and loving husband.  She has joined the Church Triumphant and we shall be together once more someday.  


03/31/19 12:31 PM #3    

Bob Holland

 Gayle and Debbie, you ladies composed beautiful tributes to honor Brenda.  I did not know Brenda that well early on, but did spend some time with her in high school because of her closeness to Tim Garcia and  Debbie Uttley,   From what I recall about her, you gals were  spot on with your comments..  We all seem to make friends easy early in life, but most go by the wayside and only a select few remain lifelong pals.  That is true friendship.  The kind you can seem never to drift away from no matter how long you've been out of contact.   I'm  blessed with having a network of lifelong friends but also have  lost way too many  over the years.   It just let's you know how every day's a blessing.  RIP Brenda and prayers for her family and friends.

03/31/19 07:33 PM #4    

Kim Bracher

What beautiful tributes were written for Brenda from Gayle and’s amazing how many of us went to Sinclair, Wainwright, Black and Waltrip together.  I still remember everyone as they were and we were all fabulous!  Our lives have had many different chapters and it feels like those that have left us have left too soon.  My heartfelt sympathy for Brenda’s family.  I’m grateful to this site for the thin thread it provides in keeping us connected, in some small way.

04/01/19 12:09 PM #5    

David Lasater

Since the notice on this website of Brenda's passing last week, I have had several of the same reflections that are more personally and beautifully expressed through Debbie's, Gayle's, Bob's, and Kim's notes. Having had the same school paths, I simply want to note here that beginning with the Wainwright years, and especially when matters turned to athletism, you wanted Brenda Taylor on your team! She could kick the ball farther, throw the ball harder, and run the bases faster than most (if not all) of the boys in the early years.  And, as a class of encouraging and competitive-values friends, we were all better off with her as part of our growing-up experiences and part of our team at-large.  In the attached photo of Miss Kohler's class, Brenda is in the middle, on the third row, in the blue dress, between Debbie and Sharon (Autrey Boles) and standing just below Kim.  Godspeed, Brenda.

04/01/19 01:50 PM #6    

Karen Counseller (Knoche)

I was so saddened to hear about Brenda’s passing.  Reading all of the wonderful memories from you all have just flooded my mind with my own memories from Black and Waltrip and Brenda was very much a part.  From seeing her and Debbie walking down the hall together all the time, two tall dark beauties, to always trying to be on her team in PE like David said. She was always nice to me and everyone. I looked at all the pics on the funeral website and they really told a story of her love for her family!  And when she was with one of those adorable grand babies she was glowing! 

Rest In Peace Brenda, Waltrip class of 1970 loves you. 

Prayers for the family as I know her passing has left a huge hole in your lives. 

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