Brenda Bush Gruenewald, 70, of Georgiana, went home to be with the Lord Nov. 16, 2020. She was born Nov. 6, 1950, the daughter of the late Otis and Adell Bush. She was the youngest of thirteen siblings.
Brenda graduated from Georgiana High School in 1969 and Troy State University in 1973, ultimately attaining a Master’s degree in education. On Aug. 5, 1973, she married her high school sweetheart and the love of her life, the late Mark Stuart Gruenewald.
Brenda’s passions in life centered around family, friends, faith and education. She was a member of the First United Methodist Church of Georgiana but also attended services at First Baptist and Mount Pleasant Baptist Churches; joyfully serving in the choirs of all three.
A lifelong educator, she taught sixth grade at R.L. Austin Elementary and Georgiana High School for almost 30 years, retiring in 2002. In 1995, she was honored to be named Butler County’s Teacher of the Year and was a finalist for the Alabama Teacher of the Year Award. Recently, Georgiana School dedicated a nature “Trail of Encouragement” to be built in her honor.
Brenda was a loving wife, dedicated mother of two and Nanny of three grandchildren. She enjoyed spending time with them at home, working in her yard and instilling within them her love of community service. Brenda had thousands of friends and former students and communicated with them often through her gift of letter writing.
She is survived by her daughter and son-in-law, Monica Gruenewald-Pate and Jimmy Pate of Chandler, Ariz.; son and daughter-in-law, Michael Gruenewald and Diane Gruenewald of Hendersonville, Tenn.; grandchildren, Mariah Pate-Pierce of Birmingham and Maddy and Jayce Pate of Chandler, Ariz. and siblings, Marion Newsome of Georgiana, Margaret Braden, Pauline Szabo and Gene Bush of Greenville, Wendell Bush of Red Level and a host of family and friends.
Visitation was held at Johnson Funeral Home in Georgiana on Thursday, Nov. 19, from 5 – 8 p.m. The Celebration of Life was held at the First Baptist Church of Georgiana. Visitation was held from 12 – 2 p.m. with funeral services commencing at 2 p.m. A grave-side service followed at New Home Cemetery in Georgiana.
Pallbearers were Jayce Pate, Tyler Pierce, Scott Cooper, Chris Hall, Kenny Newsome, and Steve Newsome.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests the following:
Donations to the Georgiana School for the Trail of Encouragement being built in her honor. Make checks payable to Georgiana School, 866 South US Hwy 31, Georgiana, AL 36033.
Donations can also be made to a church of your choice or to the Three Arts Club of Georgiana for the Rose Memorial Library.