Brenda Joyce McMurray (née Goodman) was born on Monday January 19, 1948 to the union of Quitman and Rosa Goodman (Shaw) in Knoxville, Tennessee. The family relocated to Wisconsin where Brenda grew into a beautiful caring, young woman while completing her education, before starting her family. Brenda married Worley “Lil bro” McMurray on Thursday November 2, 1967. To this union Troy (July 1968 - October 1968), Rosa (1971), Danielle (1974) and Tareem (1977) McMurray were born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Brenda worked 20+ years in various senior leadership levels across multiple retail organizations before retiring in 2010. Before and during retirement, Brenda was an integral part of her family, most notably in her children and grandchildren lives, instilling in them her desire to help others thrive during good and challenging times, being a listening ear while dropping a few nuggets of advice (always with a smile), stepping in to lead (or follow) and telling the story of how her faith in God guided decisions in her life. Brenda’s confidence was not found in what she had ever done for others but what God had done through and for her.
Worley and Brenda relocated to Charlotte, North Carolina in 2015 to continue their retirement and the many joys of living in a new state. While residing in North Carolina, Brenda was diagnosed with Lymphoma cancer during the spring of 2021 and as she did all her life, believed God remained in control and made no mistakes. Brenda believed that peace wasn’t found in the absence of the storm but instead in the presence of God. Brenda stood firmly on the word of God and never doubted God would, in His own time and way, make her whole. On Wednesday, August 25th 2021, God did just that. God called Brenda home to heaven and she was awaiting His sweet call. Brenda peacefully transitioned from labor to reward at 5:27 AM ET when she no doubt heard Him say “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”.
Brenda leaves many who loved her greatly and who will miss her commanding presence here on earth while cherishing her lasting sweet memory, including but not limited to her loving mother Rosa Davis, her husband of 53 years Worley McMurray, daughters Rosa Dionne White (Bryant), Danielle Lewis (Kineith) and son Albair Tareem McMurray Sr. (Kesha). Brenda also leaves her beloved grandchildren Keirra Royale Simone Lewis, Kineith Maynard Lewis III, Kealie Dionne White, Albair Tareem McMurray Jr., Keyana Donya Sandra White and Kennedy Corday McMurray. Brenda also had 3 special nieces and a nephew with whom she shared a special bond: Lisa Reid (Green), Sherri Edwards (Green), Shellisa Multrie (McMurray) and Vernon Kendrick. The newest source of pure unspeakable joy to Brenda’s life was her great-grandson Caleb who she enjoyed talking to via FaceTime, shopping for and sharing stories/pictures to all she came in contact with.
Brenda shared a special bond with her big sister and confidant Audrey Green (Goodman), who was consistently ever present throughout her life, with a heightened presence while Brenda went through her health journey during the summer of 2021. They enjoyed sharing recipes, talking politics, shopping, and most notably sharing loving stories of their children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren life events and accomplishments. Brenda also shared an unbreakable bond with Cynthia Henry (Vann) , her best friend of 60+ years. Brenda and Cynthia’s relationship started at 21st Street School as a childhood friendship at the young age of 11 in Milwaukee, and blossomed into a lasting legacy of sisterhood built on love, support, compassion and many laughs.
Brenda is further survived by siblings Sharon Mumford (Anthony), Gloria Brewer (Jerome), Beverly Hardin, Donald Goodman and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, uncles, aunts, friends and in-laws.
Preceding her in passing was her son, Troy McMurray, who passed away at the young age of 3 months in 1968 of pneumonia. In addition to her beloved Troy, Brenda’s father Quitman Goodman (1981), and brothers Royal Ronald Goodman (1993) and Jerry Goodman (2020) proceeded her in death. Brenda held a special bond with both her brothers, Ronnie and Jerry, throughout their lives and a source of great support and comfort in their final days.
To say that Brenda impacted many during her time on earth would be an understatement. Her mantra was that she was strong when she needed to be and in every season, true peace was only found by drawing near to God. If you want the peace of God, you must first have peace with God.
As you read this obituary today, she’d want to remind you that whatever you are going through, to take a moment right now to pause and reflect on God’s peace and loving mercy for all who call on Him.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27 NIV
Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7