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Carolyn A Brandom

September 23, 1929 ~ July 26, 2019 (age 89)
Carolyn A. Brandom of Las Vegas passed away peacefully at home on July 26, 2019. Born in Hamden, North Dakota on September 23, 1929, Carol moved to Chicago, Il. at an early age. A 52-year resident of Las Vegas, Carol worked at several different jobs over the years after raising her four children. A world-traveler later in life, Carol always wanted to learn as much as she could about the world. She is survived by her children: Candi Faust, Stephanie Keller, Victoria (Rudy) Lanier, Christina (Gary) Sessa, eight grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. Carol was preceded in death by her husband, Benedict M. Brandom.

In lieu of flowers, please donate to your local hospice or the charity of your choice. www.bunkersmortuary.com/tributes



Eulogy

Good morning. I am Gary Sessa, Carolyn Brandom's son-in-law. On behalf of myself and my wife, Chrissy, my sisters-in-law, Candi, Steph, Vicki and our families, I would like to thank all of you for attending this morning as we celebrate Carol. Carol wasn't an over religious person, but she was a spiritual one. We will try to honor that today.

There is a saying that goes "Thus out of small beginnings greater things have been produced". That describes the life of Carolyn Brandom. Carol was born in 1929 in Hamden, North Dakota at the beginning of the Great Depression. She moved to Chicago at an early age, married Benedict Brandom, had 4 daughters, moved to Las Vegas and raised her family. She lost her husband, worked several jobs including Dillards, Centel, the US Postal Service and the Flamingo Hilton. She then retired and spent most of the last 20 years of her life as a world traveler. She was also a grandmother and great-grandmother several times over. When I looked back over it, I saw that she lived an amazing and full life.

I only knew her the last 26 years but I was always in awe of her. She has always been a fighter. She has always wanted to do everything for herself. I would help her out when I could in her later years, but even then, she would have rather done everything herself. Whether it was making investments, taking care of her yard or writing out checks, as long as she could do it, she was going to, no matter what. As she got older and I would go and pick her up for holidays and dinners, she and I became good friends. She was very opinionated and never at a loss for words. She and I would always have something to talk about. Most of the time it was politics but it was also how things were in the school district or in the city or world in general. Sometimes she would just call me on the phone so that she had someone to talk to. I never minded listening to her.

As much of a good friend as she became to me, she was also a good parent to me. The other day she was telling one of her caregivers about my job as a theatre teacher. She told the caregiver that she had saved all of the programs from all of the plays of mine she had attended over the years. I asked her if that were true and she emphatically said "yes" and told me where they were. I have only found a few of them so far, but I have no doubt that they are in the house somewhere. That's the kind of parent she was to me. Always coming to my performances and supporting me in what I did. When she was younger, she would always take all of us out for dinner after the show was over with. But that was how she was. She would often take all of us out for dinner at one time or another. My dad passed away in 2011. When Father's Day came around that year, Carol decided that she was going to take us out for Father's Day. She knew I liked Outback and made sure that we went there every year after that.

Family was important to her. During Christmas we had a big family gathering at her house for several years, and even though it rotated houses over the years, she always wanted all of her children and grandchildren to be together. During the summer we had to go up to Mt. Charleston for the 4th of July. Every year we would have to go up there to the picnic area and have a get-together. It was always a hassle, especially when we would have to move tables 2-3 times because of where the sun was or something wasn't right about this table or that table; and then of course we had to go on our hike up to Little Falls. It didn't matter if we wanted to go or not, she wanted to and that was that. She would also make sure that she and her daughters got together for dinner for each girl's birthday. They would go out to Ricardo's where Carol always had her margarita and when there was a Ricardo's restaurant in the Meadows Mall, they would go walking around the mall afterwards. Later, they would meet at different restaurants depending on whose birthday it was, but that didn't matter, as long as they were all together. And no one else was allowed. A few times I was the designated driver for her and my wife, but that didn't matter, I still wasn't allowed to be with them. They went into the restaurant and had their party. I was relegated to the bar to eat and watch a movie on my computer, alone.

Carol believed in helping others. She gave to many charities in her life. They would always send her calendars and other gifts as their way of thanking her for supporting their causes. She would often write letters to the newspaper and elected officials expressing her opinion about certain issues. She was not someone they could ignore.

As I said, she traveled the last part of her life. She went all over the world, took all kinds of photos and learned so much about the world. The other day we were talking about the 50th anniversary of the Moon landing. She told me that she wished she could have learned more about it.

Even as much as she learned, she always wished that she could learn more.

Some other things about Carol:

She always wanted to be surrounded by beautiful things. If you ever saw her dressed to go anywhere or what her home looked like, you know that to be true. We tried to get her to have a microwave on her counter in the kitchen a couple of months ago. We thought it would be easier for her to make her dinners. She refused. Why? It wouldn't go with her kitchen to have it there.

She could be hard, but she always wanted everyone want to be the best versions of themselves.

She loved Diet Coke.

As a young girl she would often pick clovers and give them to the Cubs players outside of Wrigley Field. The other day, we were watching the Cubs game and Lucero, her caregiver, mentioned my friend Dan who is our insurance agent. Carol's mind drifted back to watching the Cubs and she thought Lucero had said "Stan". The next thing I knew Carol and I were talking about Stan "The Man" Musial who played for St. Louis. I asked her if she had ever seen him play and she told me all about him.

When I began contacting people after she passed away, they started describing her to me. I can't think of a better tribute to her than to share some of those words with you, today.

An amazing lady.
Carol was very beautiful.
I always remembered her smile and her kindness.
Always one of my favorite people.
She has meant so much to me.
I will always remember her kind smile and soft-spoken ladylike manner.
I'll always remember the spectacular Halloween costumes you sewed for your girls. We were wearing sheets with eye holes cut in them- they were fairy princesses.
She was a lovely lady and a cherished part of my childhood.
She was a wonderful lady.
Beautiful inside and out.
I always liked to see how she dressed when she came in to my salon.
She was very with it.
She is so beautiful. I love her.
She was nice, caring, considerate, generous, gentle, giving, kind, loving, funny, understanding, sincere, honest, easy going and a fighter.

One of Carol's neighbors said that a person lived a good life if they are remembered by family and friends. I'm glad all of you are here and thankful for those that said such nice things but were unable to attend.


As I said she was a spiritual person, the quote on the memorial card is a Pueblo prayer.

I also have two poems to read. One is by Dylan Thomas, the other by William Shakespeare.


Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night -

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning, they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like; meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my mother, there on that sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage; against the dying of the light.


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