Brenda Ladlay Davie passed away among family at the age of 91 on the afternoon of Saturday, June 15, in Seattle. She died of old age complicated by congestive heart failure.
Brenda was born on Guy Fawkes Day, Nov. 5, 1927, in England. She grew up in the village of East Molesey across the River Thames from Hampton Court Palace, the fourth of five siblings born to Arthur and Annie Davie (neé Ladlay).
The family survived the Great Slump and World War II largely unscathed, and Brenda told many a tale about living as a teenager during the Blitz on London. After the war she trained as a nursery nurse, which led her to become a children’s nanny. She worked in London for a few years before answering an ad for a nanny position in the United States.
She was hired immediately and left London for Chicago aboard the Queen Mary. She told her father she would be gone for one year. It was true, she was gone for one year, and then 60 more.
Babies were Brenda’s joy. Over the years she cared for over 100 children — orphans in Scotland, the children she was nanny to in London, her adopted family in the USA and countless foster babies.
She loved them all with a selfless abandon to which they responded in kind. If a life can be measured by the joy and the love that was given, Brenda touched infinity. She was also an amazing quilter and maker of beautiful temari balls.
She was preceded in death by her parents Arthur and Annie and siblings, Sybil, John and Rhoda.
She is survived by her brother Thomas and many nieces, nephews, grand-nieces and grand-nephews in England, and a profusion of children and grandchildren through her adopted family in the U.S.
A memorial celebration will be held at the Mercer Island United Methodist Church 1 p.m. July 6.
In lieu of flowers, Brenda would appreciate that donations be made to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.