Brenda Jean Starke, 66, of Cooperstown, ND, finished her struggle with cancer and went to her heavenly home September 13, 2020. She was surrounded by family at the Sanford Medical Center.
Brenda was born July 14, 1954, the second daughter of Clarence and Juli Ann Sandvik. She attended and graduated from Cooperstown High School in 1972. She was baptized and confirmed in her faith at Trinity Lutheran Church.
When Brenda was young, she was an energetic and musical girl. She was always drawn to people, a social person who always had a song on her lips. She loved singing, playing the piano, and performing. She was kind from an early age, nice to everyone in her path, with many friends. If you were in the room, Brenda was sure to visit with you. She grew to love activities that were people centric, and she had a carefree side which led her to travel after college, water ski, and dance to music whenever it played.
Brenda and Clint, her husband of 35 years, were married in 1985, having finished college at UND and earning her teaching degree in Special Education. Over the years, Brenda influenced the lives of many of her students, but more than that, she was a teacher and mother to her six children and her three grandchildren. Being a mother was a calling for Brenda. She gave freely of her love and encouragement. She was patient, thoughtful, and always present in our lives. The home she nurtured was full of life. Music was a staple in her household, continuing to play piano at home and at her church and passing on this love which lives in her children. She is reflected in all of us.
Clint and Brenda moved to Cooperstown in 1987 and began attending Zion Lutheran Church with their young children. They were both active in the church and contributed to the music throughout the years. Brenda was devoted to her husband, lifting him up whenever she had opportunity. She loved to laugh, and they had no shortage of joyful moments. They were comfortable in crowds of family and friends, and content in the peaceful company of just each other. She grounded her family and was a presence of calm amid life’s storms. Her faith and her marriage steadied her, and she committed to them fully.
She will be missed, always loved, remembered with joy, and has left a lasting mark with those who love her.
Brenda is survived by her parents, Clarence and Juli Ann Sandvik, her sister Kitty Hare, husband Clint Starke and their 6 children Joshua, Tyler, Megan, Alyssa, Hillary, Audra, and their families. She is preceded in death by her son-in-law Adam Henry.
Visitation will be held Friday, Sept 18 from 4 to 7 p.m. with a prayer service at 6 p.m. at Cooperstown Funeral Chapel, Cooperstown, ND. A celebration of Brenda's life will be held Saturday, Sept 19 at 1 p.m. at Zion Lutheran Church, Cooperstown, ND. In lieu of flowers, we ask that you instead donate in Brenda’s honor to the Sanford Roger Maris Cancer Center at sanfordhealthfoundation.org or the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society at lls.org.
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