Brenda Marie Zaeringer, a retired social worker for the Jefferson Parish School System for more than 20 years, died Feb. 11 after a brave battle against glioblastoma. She was 52. She was a resident of New Orleans. She was the youngest of four children and grew up in Metairie. She enjoyed many summers as a camper, then later, as a counselor at Camp Abbey in Covington. She served as an assistant director at Camp Abbey for three years. She was a natural with children. She was not a mother herself, but worked as a nursery volunteer at her church in her youth and always enjoyed babysitting. She loved her 11 nieces and nephews like her own. She was a graduate of Cabrini High School, where she worked on the school newspaper. She earned a Bachelor of Science from the University of New Orleans and a Master’s in Social Work from Tulane University. For most of her career, she was an early intervention specialist in the Jefferson Parish School System and a founding member of the Crisis Team. She had a great sense of humor and a quick wit. She would entertain her family and friends with her incredible power to recount a story and share a lesson at the same time. Even in the face of unknown and intense life trials, she always reminded others that all we can do is take life’s punches and big decisions as they come, one day at a time. “I just think that’s what our goals in life should be. … Let’s touch some lives and leave people a little bit better,” she would say. She took delight in sharing meals with good friends. After her retirement in 2014, she spent much of her free time helping with the care of elderly and ill family and friends. In the last three months of her life, her work colleagues (aka “her peeps”), other close friends, neighbors and her family came together as a community to care for Brenda. She was predeceased by her father Jerome Joseph Zaeringer. She will be dearly missed by her loving mother, Marilyn Carey Zaeringer; her sister, Mary Z. Bolner (Glenn); two brothers, Kevin Zaeringer (Sloan) and Steven Zaeringer (Wendy); her nieces and nephews, Hannah Bolner Tramuta (Joseph), Sarah Bolner Warner (William), Nathan Bolner, Celia, Connor, and Sophia Zaeringer, and Abigail, Joseph, Rachel, and Peter Zaeringer; her great-nephew, Oliver Warner. The family is forever grateful for the loving care displayed by all of Brenda’s “peeps,” friends, and family. Thanks to all of the healthcare providers and the sitters, and the Sister Servants of Mary who assisted in her care. If you would like to continue Brenda’s legacy of service to others, she would have appreciated donations to Camp Abbey Summer Camp or to Brens Joy, Inc., a non-profit set up by Brenda’s family. Visit brensjoy.org for more information. A memorial and celebration of her life will take place Friday March 2 at Camp Abbey, 77002 KC Camp Rd, in Covington starting at 10 a.m. A close friend, Rev. Peadar Dalton, will officiate the service.
A service summary is not available