Obituary for Brenda Wilkins
Brenda Mumford Wilkins, of Greenbank, WA died October 6, 2017. She was 82.
Brenda was born April 9, 1935 in London, England to Violet (Horton) and Henry Mumford. Brenda’s parents ran a “sweet shop” near the Woolwich ferry and Brenda could be found most days after school weighing out and selling all kinds of candies to the local commuters.
As was common for the time and place, Brenda finished school at 16 and went right to work, generally at jobs where she could use her natural mathematical skills and precise drawing ability.
Brenda loved to go out dancing. It was a dance at the Ritz Hotel ballroom where Brenda met Donald Wilkins. They were married October 16, 1954 and emigrated to Toronto, Canada the same day.
By the mid 1960s, Brenda and Don had settled in Palo Alto, California and were busy with their two children and running a small business. Brenda also supported Don’s love of community theater. While Don acted or directed plays, Brenda was quietly in the background, often using her artistic ability to create and paint sets for shows. She was also very involved with the Palo Alto Art Club, now the Pacific Art League.
Don and Brenda retired to Whidbey Island in 1997, where they were both active in the Whidbey Playhouse and Whidbey Island Center for the Arts.
Brenda had a great love of animals, and could never walk past a dog without petting it. She loved to read, visit with friends, garden, talk politics or true crime, discuss her latest “binge” on Netflix and spend time with her grandchildren. Brenda never gave up hope that a Trader Joes would come to Whidbey Island, so that she would never have to go “off island” again.
Brenda was predeceased by her husband Don in 2015. She is survived by her son John of Everett, her daughter Kimberley and son-in-law Robert Haskitt of Snoqualmie and grandchildren Chris Wilkins, Tristan Wilkins and Hayley, Griffin and Gemma Haskitt. She also leaves her lifelong friend Betty Batchen, of London, England, her wonderful Meerkerk Neighborhood friends and many others who appreciated her easy laugh, thoughtfulness and perfect cup of tea.
There will be a private memorial at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Brenda’s name to WAIF (Whidbey Animals Improvement Foundation), PO Box 1108, Coupeville, WA 98239-1108.