Obituary of Wanda C. Brent
Wanda Claire Crom Brent, youngest of six children of Frank Johnson Crom and Mildred Belle Evans Crom, was born August 31, 1926 in Laramie, Wyoming, and lived there with her parents and older brother, Howard, and sister, Jean. (Triplet) siblings, two boys and a girl died in infancy in 1924). While in Laramie her brother and sister brought home from school many contagious diseases, including chicken pox, measles, pink eye, and then she had toxic poisoning, which almost cost her life. The doctor advised that she be wrapped in Turkish towels rung out of ice water to reduce the extremely high fever. Ten days later she began to recover from the ordeal. She escaped diphtheria only by having been inoculated against it.
They moved to Pierce, CO when she was three years old for her father to help other family members in the harvest, then the family moved to Maryville, MO to her mother's parents, and then on to a farm of their own for a year, before returning to Colorado for health reasons, and her father worked with his father on the farm, where Wanda started to school. The first year she had measles again (slight that time), and the next year she had a bad case of whooping cough.
During the second grade Wanda and her mother went back to her mother's folks in MO for surgery for her mother, so Wanda attended school for three months before they returned to Pierce where she continued her schooling until the beginning of the sixth grade. At that time they moved to LaSalle, CO for fifteen months where her father managed a Shell Gas station, before returning to Pierce again. During their year in LaSalle she entered a library poster contest and received second highest award in Weld County. She was very active in vocal contests and other school activities, including many musical activities, continuing on through her high school years, and was Salutatorian of her class in 1944.
After graduation in May, 1944, she accepted a Civil Service position with War Foods Administration at Ft. Lupton, CO, dealing with 3500 Mexican laborers, who through a contract between the US government and Mexico, came to this area to help with producing agricultural foods during the war emergency of WWll. They were transported daily from the camp to farms needing labor, then back each evening.
In a few months Wanda transferred to the German Prisoner of War Camp west of Greeley, CO, where she was a clerk-typist in the Purchase and Contract Dept. This camp had between 3000 and 4000 German prisoners of war in addition to all the necessary military personnel and guard dogs. Many groups of the PWs, always under guard, were also hauled out or walked to farms that were needing field labor each day and returned to their quarters for the night. She continued to work there until the camp was disbanded in March, 1946, and then she enrolled at
Colorado State College of Education in Greeley, now UNC, shortly before entering RN nurses training in September, 1946, at St. Luke's Hospital in Denver. She thoroughly enjoyed her nursing experience for about two years, until she met and fell in love with her future husband, Kimel, and at the time the Hospital's policy did not allow married students into their Nursing Program, so Wanda chose to resign at the time (the Hospital immediately changed its policy) and married Kimel Klein Brent, who had recently returned (in May, 1946) from his duty in the U.S. Navy Seabees during WW11, including a year on Iwo Jima, on September 12, 1948 at the First United Methodist Church at Pierce, CO. The couple then lived in Denver for two years before moving to eastern Colorado north of Bovina to farm with his parents. (Many years later after a busy life on the farm (including the calving season, which became her special joy,) and after they had raised their family, Wanda was able to again return to the RN nursing program at Arapahoe Community College in Littleton, CO, and finally received her cherished RN Degree in June, 1981. After the couple moved back home to Arriba she then went to work in Limon. As the Charge Nurse at the Prairie View Nursing Center where both her mother and Kimel's mother were living as roommates. Her goal of nursing continued until she had to resign due to a medical issue, which involved an inoperable brain aneurysm. She was sent first to 'the University of California Medical Center, at San Francisco, CA, but being unable to be treated due to a lack of the medical team's training, returned to home in CO, then signed up to be an experimental participant in TN. (See a later paragraph.)
Kimel and Wanda were blessed with four sons-Balyn Keen, (passed in 2015), Terrell Baye, Ralph Dathan and Nelson Roger, and all four graduated from Arriba High School. The couple were also blessed in the late 1980s to make three short-term medical mission trips to Central America (Belize, El Salvador, and Honduras), with a Christian medical evangelistic group-Larry Jones Feed the Children, out of Oklahoma City, OK., where they provided medicines, surgical procedures and other medical treatment and services to the hundreds of needy ones--often in clinics in schools, on banana plantations, and even on top of a city dump for refugees, due to civil strife (in the city of San Salvador, El Salvador).
She received Christian baptism as a child, and gave her life to Christ at that time. She then publicly rededicated her life to the Lord by baptism again in 1973, and was a long-time member of the Arriba Bethel Church of the Brethren.
Wanda was blessed with musical talent, and was dedicated to sharing her musical abilities, including playing piano and organ for Bethel Church for over 50 years, as well as singing with various groups in the area. During the 1950-60s, she was asked by mothers in Arriba to give their children piano lessons, so once a week she would drive into Arriba, reserve a room in the American Legion Hall and give private lessons to eight or ten students in a day's time, thus giving them a little start in their musical future.
She was also busy through her life with many activities, including a busy family, church and school, and various musical community functions. She was challenged with and blessed through various illnesses and surgeries, including the diagnosis and repair of an inoperable central brain aneurysm in 1992. (The story goes that after her recovery her husband remarked that his wife was not losing any "marbles" in her later years-she had gained a couple platinum coils and three balloons. Being an old car enthusiast, he also said that it took 4 coils for a Model T Ford car to run.) Shortly after going to San Francisco, CA and returning home, she consented to be an experimental participant at the Baptist Memorial Hospital Research Center at Memphis, TN for a new experimental procedure, not even having been approved by the FDA yet, to treat her case. The procedure was centered at the tiny weakened artery in the middle of the brain where it was successfully closed with two electrically detachable platinum wires (smaller than a human hair) and coils and three balloons, and closing off the right internal carotid artery leading to the aneurysm in the center of the brain.
She also was interested in researching and preserving family history and maintaining albums of pictures, was a help-mate for her husband even in driving combines and trucks during harvests, and during calving seasons. In later years she also enjoyed working with her husband on collecting and painting old visible gas pumps, old vehicles and other artifacts, and continuing the ongoing involvement of family members!
The couple still enjoyed traveling in their later years, including family reunions in TN. and WWll Iwo Jima Survivors reunions in CA and later TX, and they celebrated their 71st wedding anniversary September 12, 2019.
She is survived by her loving husband, Kimel, sister-in-law Evelyn Barr, three sons--Terrell (Patty) Brent, Ralph (Dawn) Brent, Nelson (Carol) Brent, daughter in-law Linda Brent, seventeen blessed living grandchildren: Matthew, Terry, Jason, Abbie, Kimel H., Ephron, John, Kysor, Lexin, Braden, Theron, Benjamin, Laura, Caleb, Shilo, Alton, Emilie, and many special great-grandchildren: Kittley, Nayvee, Dawson, Dillon, Kason, Evan, Aviahnna, Dravin, Owen, Lillian, Tori, Alaina, Grady, Korbin, Braelyn, Miles, Memphis, Holliday, Brandon, Caliber, Noah, Declan, Sadie, Kaylynn, Sarah, Tessa, Charlotte, Rhett, Nyla Ann, Jenna, June, Roxy, Seth, Carson and Samuel. One niece Mallory, one nephew Michael Andersen, and cousins, and friends also survive.
She was preceded in death by her parents, brother Howard Crom, sister Jean Andersen, daughter-in-law Vicki Brent, son Balyn, one grandson Aaron, two great-grandsons, William and Jack, four sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law, and one niece, Lindy Ann.
Honoring Lives... Celebrating Memories