Toni Ann Brend
February 16, 2020
Toni Ann Brend passed away peacefully in Coos Bay, Oregon on Feb. 16, 2020 of complications related to treatment of Stage IV cancer, with her children by her side.
Toni Ann was born and raised in Coos Bay. Her roots are well established in the Bay Area with generations of Coquille Tribal ancestors raised here. She grew up near her cousin Linda Anderson-Robertson. They supported each other through tough times and laughed together for 75 years.
Attending Englewood grade school and Marshfield High, she had many friends who she kept in touch with throughout her life. Always a caregiver, she earned her nursing degree from Southwestern Oregon Community College and worked at the local hospital for many years.
On Feb. 14, 1965, Toni Ann married David LaFevre. Their precious red-headed beauty, Shelley Dawn, was born on March 4, 1967. Scott Jason was born on Feb. 1, 1970. Another red-head, Scott insisted on having his place in the family. After some serious consideration, Shelley agreed to let him stay.
David and Toni Ann went their separate ways and after a short time of being a single mother, Toni Ann met and married her life partner, Orlin Brend.
They moved to Ketchikan, Alaska, in 1991. She worked at the Ketchikan General Hospital and was Regional Manager for Home and Community Based Service. There, she earned another degree from the University of Alaska.
With Shelley and Scott grown and on their own, she returned to her home state, living in Ashland for a while, then moving back to Coos Bay.
Pressured to help the Tribe plan for the future, Toni Ann moved back to Coos Bay and ran for Tribal Council. She was elected and served her tribe for 17 years. She took her responsibilities seriously and had a desire and drive to learn and serve. She took multiple financial, and budgeting workshops as well as leadership and cultural trainings. She was on a myriad of tribal committees and State committees appointed by the Governor, and had an active involvement with the Coos History Museum.
A natural cultural mentor, she taught beading and basketry, including 10 years at Camp Ta Nae, introducing the younger children to their creativity and assisting the older children with the cultural artistry of her tribe.
In her spare time she made beautiful jewelry and baskets for family and friends. Much of her work has been showcased with honors at museums and cultural centers.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Orlin, who passed away in Nov. 2019; her parents, Tony and Joyce Tanner; and brother, Kenneth Tanner.
Her children, Shelley Estes and husband Malcolm and Scott LeFevre and his wife Rachel will ever miss her, as will her grandchildren Quinn Claypoole and Marisa Ervin (Blake).
A tribute was planned for Toni Ann and Orlin, it has been postponed due to unforeseen circumstances for a later date to be determined. If desired, friends may still make contributions to Doctors without Borders www.doctorswithoutborders.org or Dogs for the Deaf www.dogsforbetterlives.org.