Jewell Gross Brenneman Feb. 9, 1935 – Aug. 1, 2018

Jewell Gross Brenneman, age 83, passed away peacefully on August 1, 2018 in Bridgewater, Virginia. She was born in Harrisonburg, Virginia, on February 9, 1935 to James E. Gross and Elizabeth L. Histand Gross.
She is survived by her loving husband of 60 years (married on August 30, 1958), George R. Brenneman. Jewell was also survived by her daughter Martha Redstone and grandson Jack Redstone of California and her daughter and son-in-law Ava and Richard Spece and grandsons Henry and Harmon Spece of Virginia.
She was preceded in death by her older sister Grace Hockman of Harrisonburg, Virginia and her younger sister Hazel Whitehead of Lafayette, Colorado.
She had three degrees, a Bachelor of Arts in Music from James Madison University, a Master of Arts also from JMU, and a Master of Fine Arts from George Washington University. She was an artist in drawing, painting, and ceramics and, also played cello in a variety of capacities, including Albuquerque and Anchorage Symphonies, as well as piano and organ.
Jewell and George spent 23 years living in Alaska, in Bethel, a small town in Central Alaska and in Anchorage. Subsequently, they spent 30 years in the Baltimore, MD region.
Art and music were profoundly important in Jewell’s life and she was involved in the arts wherever she lived. At Charlestown Retirement Community, she was a founding member of the Fireside Art Committee which encouraged resident art activities and resulted in the creation of the Fireside Gallery to display resident work.
Jewell was a consummate teacher and taught at all levels in private and public education settings from desolate rural Alaska at Kilbuck Elementary School, Bethel Regional High School, and the Kuskokwim Community College, to the University of Alaska, to Myerberg Jewish Senior Center and Baltimore Clayworks. Throughout her life, she taught piano and art out of her home and studio to hundreds of children and adults.
Jewell had a strong faith and was a member of multiple church congregations throughout the years often playing piano and organ to support church activities at the Moravian Church in Bethel Alaska, Covenant Church in Anchorage, and the Anchorage Mennonite Fellowship. She was dedicated to the work and worship in her church, Unity Center of Christianity in Baltimore, MD where she served as a board member, provided indefatigable care and tending of the church grounds, and generated a host of friends.
Jewell’s greatest legacy is the number of people she taught and believed in and the number of lives she touched through unconditional love and faith in each person’s ability to find success, happiness, and growth. Even in her final days, she profoundly touched the lives of all those around her.
Above all else, she treated everyone with respect whether deserved or not, believed in those whom nobody else believed, inspired those who were in need, supported those who had fallen, and believed, to her core, that all people have the word “can” in them not letting anyone she touched believe they “couldn’t.” She will be forever missed and loved.
A celebration of life will take place at the Our Lady of Angels Chapel at 711 Maiden Choice Ln, Catonsville, MD 21228 at 1:00 on August 30, 2018. The Chapel is on the Charlestown Retirement Community campus. Immediately following the memorial will be a reception in the Fireside Gallery at Charlestown Retirement Community. In lieu of flowers, please send a contribution to Baltimore Clayworks at 5707 Smith Ave., Baltimore, MD 21209, 410-578-1919.