The Valdez Star - Serving Prince William Sound and Copper River Basin

Obituary: Sr. Marie Brent


December 6, 2017

Sister Marie Ann Brent, SHF, died peacefully and suddenly at the Motherhouse of the Sisters of the Holy Family in Fremont, California on November 22, at the age of 83.

She was born on November 18, 1934, in Oakland and entered the Sisters of the Holy Family from St. Andrew's Parish there on January 6, 1953, at the age of 18.

Sister Marie Ann served in day homes and religious education in parishes in southern California, the Bay Area and Texas until the early 1970s when she went to Alaska to help out in summer religious education programs. The rest is history! The Alaska tourism commission has a saying, "Once you come to Alaska, you never go all the way home." This was certainly true of Sister Marie Ann.

She served in Southeastern Alaska, in Sitka and in the smallest missions and villages in the scattered islands. She also served in the remote Aleutian Islands, far western Alaska, and most recently as pastoral administrator of the parish in Valdez. In addition to pastoral and liturgical activities, she was also deeply involved in emergency medical service and chaplaincies with first responders.

Sister Marie - as she graciously called by all in Valdez - had a career in the Last Frontier that spanned 44 years; her Alaska adventure ended in 2014 after serving 21 years in Valdez.

Sister Marie's first stop in Alaska was Sitka in 1972. During her time there, she became a trained EMT. She took that skill to Juneau, Dillingham, and Dutch Harbor, where in 1984 she earned the title Alaska EMS Educator of the Year. She's also a trained pilot and flew to bush communities.

During her time in Valdez, Archbishop Roger Schwietz presented her with the Pro Ecclesia et Pontific Medal from Pope Benedict XVI.

In 2014, Sister's medical and physical conditions forced her to return to California where she could receive the care she needed among her Sisters of the Holy Family.

A Mass of Resurrection will be celebrated on Wednesday, December 6, at 6:00 p.m. at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church.

A reception will follow in the Parish Hall.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be sent to the Sisters of the Holy Family, PO Box 3248, Fremont, CA 94539.


Reader Comments

Marie writes:

My deepest condolence for the loss of your dear loved one. ‘May, our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loves us and gave everlasting comfort and good hope, comfort your heart and make you firm’ in your grief and recovery. 2 Thessalonians 2: 16,17


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