CAMDEN — Brenda Ruth Hume Akerman, 89, died on Friday, January 17, 2020 at Quarry Hill in Camden.
Born in Sherbrooke, Quebec on May 16, 1930, she was the wife of the late Robert Akerman, and daughter of the late John P. Hume and Edith E. (Holbrook) Houghton.
Brenda was a registered nurse, graduating from Royal Victoria Hospital School of Nursing, Montreal, Quebec, Canada in 1951. In 1976, Brenda earned a BA in Psychology and a BS in Social and Health services from Roger Williams College of Rhode Island.
Brenda emigrated to the US in 1965 with her family and worked as an RN in Redwood City, California and surrounding area. In 1970 she moved “back east” to join her mother and sister in New England where she single-handedly raised seven children while working full-time and continuing her own education.
A person of strong faith, Brenda happily joined churches of various denominations in the many areas she lived in, thriving in a community of devotion and service. Her lovely singing voice was a welcome addition to any choir or community chorus. Spiritually broad minded, she not only was accepting of, but interested in the rich and diverse traditions of our world, purveying the sense above all else, that God is love--a sense that guided her life's work, leisure, and adventures.
Brenda enjoyed working in social services, advocating for disadvantaged and marginalized peoples, most proudly as director of Sunrise, a multi-service, crisis intervention and referral center. In later years she became the director of volunteer services at two Massachusetts hospitals.
After retirement she built her dream log home in the mountains of Groton, New Hampshire, where she spent 25 adventurous years with her husband Bob. Nothing delighted her more than entertaining her grandchildren on her beloved Spectacle Pond where she provided a paddle boat, canoe, kayaks and sailboat!
She was an active member of the Union Congregational Church in Hebron and the United Methodist Church in Alexandria. She engaged wholeheartedly in her community, always showing up at fund raising dinners, social events and by serving others, including the Town of Groton. For a period of time, she wrote the Groton news column for the Record Enterprise, gathering the news of the week.
Brenda and Bob together volunteered at Meals on Wheels through the Bristol Senior Center. She loved to read to the school children at the old Hebron Village School. After receiving a diagnosis of cancer, Brenda realized the need for information and support within her community and in 2001, she founded the Newfound Area Cancer Support group that remained active for the next fifteen years, serving over 30 members.
Brenda loved the outdoors and would often plan an adventure into the countryside. With children and camping gear packed tightly into the car, off they would go into the hills of the Laurentians in Quebec, the redwood forests of California, or the White Mountains of New Hampshire! She also enjoyed the seashore of Rhode Island and Massachusetts and spending time on Prince Edward Island where she had a summer home.
Brenda spent her last three years at Quarry Hill in Camden, Maine, where she and her dear Kitty Lou were a welcome part of the community. Brenda was warm, fun loving and caring, always expressing her appreciation to others.
Her life will forever be cherished in the lives of her seven children: Jeff Black, (Janice), Sarah Kearney, (Thomas), Judy Hatt, (Greg), Deb Black (Steve Darrow), Gloria Flynn, (Dan) Jim McElreavy, (Mary Beth Van Keuren), and Dan McElreavy (Pamela); her fifteen grandchildren: John Black (Olivia), Christian Black, Kyle Rooney, Ryan Rooney, Hana Kearney, Greg Hatt, (Deb), Carley Hatt, Christopher Hatt, Albert (AJ) Reddy, Brenda Reddy, Meghan Flynn (Gene), Sarah Jean Flynn, Anna Flynn (Mike) Feral McElreavy, Graeme McElreavy, Autumn McElreavy, Angus Ryan, Dylan Ryan, Rhiannon McElreavy, Brighid McElreavy and nine great-grandchildren. She also leaves three step daughters Martha Flanders (Donald), Sandra Hutchins, Lucy Johnson (William); and many step grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
Her final resting place on Earth will be at the Elmwood Cemetery family grave site in Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada, with burial and service to be held in the Spring.
Condolences and memories may be shared with the family at www.longfuneralhomecamden.com.