Shirley Lee Brennan, 78, passed peacefully into the arms of her Savior on May 23 at Pondera Medical Center Extended Care in Conrad.

A memorial service will be held June 14 at the Hamilton Assembly of God, 601 W. Main St. in Hamilton at 11 a.m. A reception will follow. Officiating the memorial is Shirley’s son, Pastor Paul Arends of Kalispell.

Shirley was born Nov. 20, 1935 in Hampton, Va., to Frank and Cora Gardner.

She married Kenneth Arends in 1953 and moved to southern California where they raised their five children: Paul (Margie) Arends of Kalispell, Christine White of Paradise, Calif., Linda Arends of Conrad, Rebecca (Jerry) Epps of Tennessee and David (Jane) Arends of Conrad.

Ken lost a battle with cancer in 1993 after 40 years of marriage.  Shirley married John Brennan on May 20, 1994.

Besides tenderly caring for her children and grandchildren, Shirley was a multi-talented woman. She was an accomplished pianist and vocalist who wrote and recorded some of her own music. She was an avid oil and watercolor artist and was particularly good at portrait painting.  All her children not only have her artwork hanging on their walls but share in her talent for singing. She also wrote an autobiography based on her lifetime of journal writing.

Together with her husband John, Shirley remodeled and landscaped each home they lived in to give it a beautiful country charm.

More important to Shirley than her accomplishments was her strong commitment to her Christian faith.  She often led Bible studies and shared her faith to anyone who would listen. She came alongside her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren to encourage them in their walk with Christ. She and John went on a mission trip to the Ukraine in 1998.

Shirley and John also shared a love of singing. When a piano wasn’t available, John would bring out his guitar and the two of them would serenade in harmony to any crowd from the dozens of songs in their repertoire.

She leaves behind her five children, twelve grandchildren, several step-grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren. Shirley was preceded in death by her parents and two half sisters.


Memorial donations can be made to the charity of your choice. Funeral arrangements are being made by Daly-Leach Chapel, Hamilton.