Brenda Ellison

- October 9, 2023

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Brenda K. Ellison, of Luray, VA, on October 9, 2023. She was born to Helen P. (Powers) and Charles D. Ellison in the heart of Illinois.She was a beloved wife, sister, aunt, and stepmother known for her kindness, compassion, and unwavering love for family and friends. She touched the lives of everyone she met with her warmth, generosity, and sense of humor.Brenda graduated from the University of Illinois with a degree in Food and Nutrition in 1979. She subsequently obtained a master’s degree in Business Administration from Augusta State University in 1982 and graduated from The Army War College in 2007.In her professional life, Brenda started her career managing the Walnut Room at Marshall Fields department store in Chicago and later achieved great success as both an Army officer and entrepreneur. She retired from the Army as a Colonel in 2014 after 30 years of active-duty service as an Army Dietitian. Key assignments she held while on active duty include: Deputy Corps Chief Army Medical Specialist Corps (AMSC) and Chief Health Service Division/ Branch Chief AMSC. She will be remembered as a visionary change agent; conceptualizing, operationalizing and embedding programs like “Iron Majors” and assistant corps chiefs within the OTSG.After her retirement from the military Brenda was able to pursue her passion of becoming a small business owner, creating businesses including the Peaceful Properties vacation rental in the Shenandoah Valley area, Longview Goldens where she bred golden retrievers, and she helped establish the Page County Equine Connection, a business that is bringing horse interest and events back to Page County. Brenda and Mike also fulfilled their lifetime dream of owning their own farm with horses (at one time a total of ten horses) and chickens. Brenda immersed herself in the horses, becoming an advanced horse rider, developing a high level of knowledge on equine care and tack.She greatly enjoyed breeding her beloved golden retriever Bellah Kaye, sharing the joy and love of her pups with their new owners. She was also an adept baker and loved to can and preserve, winning multiple first place ribbons at the local county fair and a second place in the Virginia State Fair for her salsa.Singing was Brenda’s greatest joy. After vocal training in college, she participated in multiple church choirs, musicals and most recently in the local audition group Main Street Singers as well as the Community Choir of Page County. Brenda was an excellent soprano with a wonderful vibrato and her voice will be greatly missed.She is survived by her loving husband of 26 years, Howard (Mike) Kimes; her brothers, Steve (Denise) Ellison, Greg (Amy) Ellison, Tim (Brandi) Teel, and Kyle (Rebecca) Ellison; her sisters, Debbie Teel and Erin (Nate) Dorn; Mike’s children, whom she loved as her own, Mara, Andrew, Benjamin, Katie and Kelly; numerous nieces and nephews; and 11 grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her mother, Helen Teel; her father, Charles Ellison; and a brother, David.A memorial service will be held on October 18, 2023, at the Luray United Methodist Church, 1 West Main Street, Luray, VA 22835. Brenda’s good friend the Rev. Nikki Butler will be officiating the service with the Rev. Erich D. Bennett. Viewing will be held at the church beginning at 12:30 p.m. with the Memorial Service at 2 p.m. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Central Virginia Horse Rescue or the Lucky Dog Animal Rescue (Arlington, VA) in Brenda’s memory.Brenda will be deeply missed by all who knew her, but her legacy of love, kindness, and determination will live on in the hearts of those she left behind.Please join us in celebrating Brenda’s life and sharing cherished memories at the memorial service.