BRENNER ELIZABETH R. MD (OB-GYN) died peacefully in her sleep on Wednesday, December 5, 2012, at her home with her adoring husband of 44 years, Alan, lying next to her and her three children and their spouses Brian (Valerie), Sarah Schwartz (Sheldon), and Anne Messman (David) nearby. Betsy is also survived by five grandchildren (Julianna, Isaac, Annika, Caleb, and Eli), and two brothers Robert (Joyce) and Charles Jr. (Allison). Betsy skipped her senior years of high school and college to go to medical school at the University of Maryland two years early. After graduation she did a four year residency at Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois. She moved to Grosse Pointe Park in 1975. Dr. Brenner's technical skills and great compassion for her patients quickly made her a beloved doctor. Sadly, in 1972 she contracted MS and her gradual decline in health caused her to prematurely retire in 1990. Betsy had a totally beautiful marriage and adored and was adored by her husband and children. For the last 23 years of her life Betsy was confined to a wheelchair, had difficulty talking, developed spasticity and dementia, and was legally blind. Yet everywhere she went she spread happiness with her infectious smile, kindness, and gentle wit. She never expressed a negative thought and she had a nearly supernatural aura of happiness and serenity that affected anyone in her presence. She was a role model of an enlightened person, and perhaps this contribution to the world even eclipsed her role as a wonderful doctor. A celebration of Betsy's life will be held at 11:00 a.m., Monday, December 10, at Rojo Restaurant, 24026 Jefferson Ave., St. Clair Shores, MI 48080. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to the National MS Society-MI Chapter, 21311 Civic Center Drive, Southfield, MI 48076, and indicating "In memory of Elizabeth Brenner". Arrangements entrusted to Simple Funerals (586) 777-0555.
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Dr. Brenner was my wonderful physician in 1982 when I was carrying my daughter. My doctor and I were pregnant at the same time! That was something unique! Even with her pregnancy and the MS that slowed her down at the time, she kept persevering and never complained. I often wondered how she did after that time and I guessed she must have had a wonderful husband and family. I feel so badly she had that illness, but want you to know I admired her and she was my best physician! Love to her family.
Dr. Brenner met my Mother when she was at "the old" Hutzel Hospital. When my Mother became ill at 48 with cancer, Dr. Brenner was her primary Dr. Her caring way, her honesty, and gentle smile and wit, made my Mother's year-long journey easier. Her kindness and honesty were the key to a gentler passing. She will always have a special place in my heart.
Dear Brenner Family, My heart goes out to each one of you at this time of such great sadness due to the loss of Betsy from your lives. She was an incredible gal and you are indeed fortunate to have had her as your wife, mother, grandmother, friend. There will remain a huge gap in all of you, but take comfort in many memories. My thoughts are with you; you have my deepest condolences. Ruth Bradfield
To the death of your beloved wife,mother,grandmother and sister;my deepest condolences ! She is finally free, no one should have to suffer as much as Liz had to suffer, no one. I was one of her last patients, a week prior to Liz having to close her praxis for good.Her M.S. had suddenly progressed so fast, even Liz could hardly believe it herself. I came as a patient for a second opinion. Liz literally protected me from disaster at that time. After that we talked a lot by phone. I think you could say we became friends.I took her to my home at one time and we went swimming in my pool. Needless to say it almost killed us both. Then Liz and you Mr.Brenner, invited me to your home for dinner.You Mr.Brenner had prepared it. I really can not remember what you prepared, all I can recall is those wonderful French Fries.To this day I remember those French Fries. I met the children on that day too. Left Michigan shortly after that time. I only wish I would have kept your phone number. Have thought of Liz and you for years. May you only remember the good days you had with Liz. GOD bless! Sigrid Whittenberg,D.C. Austin,Texas
Dear Alan and Brenner family, This has been a most heart-wrenching time for you as once again, for the hundred millionth time, the question is asked,"why does an angel like her suffer a sentence like hers"? We mere mortals will never understand it. But the one thing that is undoubtedly true is that she was blessed with you all to soften and make bearable the incomprehensible. Betsy was my friend and, as such, enriched my life deeply. Even with her 3 word capacity to form sentences she was one of the most eloquent people I have ever met. She will abide within me for the rest of my life.
Betsy delivered both of my sons. The week before the arrival of the second she joked, "I specialize in holiday babies." Sure enough, he was born on Valentine's Day. Through the years, she was a friend as well as my doctor. Once I even took my own insurance so I could keep her. "A little coffee, a little chocolate," she told me one day as she breezed into the room, "nothing nicer." Years later, I was visiting her at Beaumont and she was due to be released. My friend the hair stylist and I worked a little make-over magic to lift her spirits. That was a special day. Another time you all made me ice cream at your house. She has always remained in my heart; a woman of great intelligence and courage. Peace, my friend.
May God bless Dr. Brenner's family at this difficult time. I worked with Dr. Brenner at Bon Secours in Labor & Delivery. I loved her gentle nature. I learned from her, and have great memories of our years working side by side.
I am so sorry for your loss I fortunate to still have my mom! From what I can see she was a beautiful and courageous woman . Are prayers go out to you and your family
I remember Betsy from so many years ago at Trombly School when Brian and our son, Chris, were in school together. She was a lovely person it's apparent from the loving kindness written into her obituary that her family must have the same traits temperament. The words are heartfelt and touched my heart. Blessings to you all.
Thanks to the lovely, talented and caring Dr.Brenner, my daughter was born without brain damage. She was the only Dr. who dared to try and remove the umbellical chord from her neck during a horrific labor. She will forever be a hero in my eyes. Her calm, kind demeanor was a gift to all of us who were lucky enough to have known her.