Brenda S. Ennenga-Cohen, 61, of Thousand Oaks, California died Thursday, January 21, 2016 at her home in Thousand Oaks, California. Funeral Services will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, January 30, 2016 at the United Methodist Church in Reinbeck, Iowa with Pastor Terry Plocher officiating. Burial will follow at the Rosehill Cemetery in Grundy Center, Iowa. A visitation will be held one hour prior to her service at the church. Engelkes-Abels Funeral Home has been entrusted with arrangements.
Brenda Sue Ennenga, daughter of Dale and Alice Tessau Ennenga was born on August 10, 1954 in Grundy Center, Iowa. She received her education in Grundy Center where she graduated from Grundy Center High School. Brenda attended Iowa State University where she earned her Bachelor's Degree in social services. Following her education, Brenda traveled to California to pursue a career in show business. While waiting for a break into show business she used her education to work in social services. During her social service career, Brenda provided independent living skill training to young adults, was a special education teacher, a rehabilitation counselor for injured employees, and a teacher's assistant in special education. Her last position was with Tri County Regional Center as a service coordinator for clients of the center. Brenda repeatedly was thanked by clients who crossed paths with her long after she had provided services to them for making a difference in their lives. In 1988, she met her future husband, Ben Cohen, while at work and on October 2, 1994 they were married in Burbank, California. To make sure Ben know how much she loved him she climbed with him during their courtship to the top of Cloud's Rest, a 10, 000 foot high peak in Yosemite National Park, to spend the night up there with him one summer day. The couple initially resided in Chatsworth, California and eventually moved to Thousand Oaks, California in 1998 where they have been residing in and at the same house for the past 16 years. The couple found the location of their home ironic in that Brenda had stopped at the gas station nearby to ask for directions to where she was staying after initially arriving in California and had driven right by it that day totally unaware that is where she would make her home and family. Brenda enjoyed all the benefits of living in Southern California, the endless summers, no snow, the opportunities to get close to show business, all the public attractions, the beaches, the mountains, being outdoors in the sun, traveling, dancing, shopping and dining. Brenda always had her hometown and friends in her heart while in California. She missed Grundy Center and returned to Iowa every year to spend time with family and friends. She loved her husband, was loved in return, and their relationship was greater than the sum of its parts. Being a mother to her daughter, Haley, was her greatest source of meaningfulness and fulfillment. She was proud of her daughter. Peacefully, with her family present, she passed away in her sleep.
Brenda is survived by her husband, Ben Cohen and her daughter, Haley Cohen both of Thousand Oaks, California. She was preceded in death by her parents.