Oxley-Heard Funeral Home has been serving the community since 1931.
Brenda J. Vurnakes

Brenda J. Vurnakes

August 27, 1948 - April 13, 2018     Age: 69

Brenda J. Vurnakes, age 69, of Fernandina Beach, FL passed away on Friday, April 13, 2018 at Lakes Crossing in Kingsland, GA.

Born August, 27, 1948 in Jacksonville, FL she was a daughter of late John E. and Helen (Kolasa) Holmes.

Brenda married her husband Robert “Terry” Vurnakes in March of 1968. They made their home in Jacksonville until moving to Fernandina Beach in 1982.  It was in Fernandina both their sons, Alex and Jeff would grow up and graduate from high school.  Alex and Jeff fondly remember their mother as being “Always Happy”.

Brenda spent her working career as a teacher.  She taught for a few years in Jacksonville but spent most of her career in Fernandina Beach where she taught for 28 years at Southside Elementary School, before retiring in 2010.  She was beloved by both co-workers and friends.

Brenda was active in the American Business Women’s Association for many years.  She was a charter member of the local Eight Flags Chapter.

She and her husband enjoyed spending time with friends and family, travelling in their motor home, and were avid Gator fans. 

She is preceded in death by her beloved husband, “Terry” Vurnakes in 2017.

She leaves behind her sons, Alex (Joni) Vurnakes of Fernandina Beach, FL,  Jeff (Darlene) Vurnakes of Woodbine, GA; brother, Mark (Pam) Holmes of Jesup, GA, sister, Annette (Jake) Hewett of Jacksonville, FL; grandchildren, Matthew, Jacob, Dalton, Colby, Adriane and Brodie.

Services will be at 6:00 pm on Monday, April 23, 2018 in the Burgess Chapel of Oxley-Heard Funeral Home.

Those desiring may make contributions, in her memory, to Georgia Hospice Care, 777 Glouchester St., Suite 303, Brunswick, GA  31520.

9 Condolences

  • Marie Sullivan Posted April 14, 2018 10:40 am

    Kerri, We are praying for your grandmother and your family.

  • Dianne Febles Posted April 14, 2018 11:06 am

    I have fond memories of our teaching days at Southside Elementary. Brenda was the first teacher for many, many kindergarten students and made a real difference in their success in school. My deepest sympathies to her family.

  • Buddy & Jackie Murrah Posted April 14, 2018 7:43 pm

    Our dear friend, Brenda, blessed so many lives including ours. Your memory will not be forgotten!

  • Carl and Barbara Anderson Posted April 15, 2018 7:27 am

    My deepest sympathies to her family.

  • Gail Cook Posted April 16, 2018 11:44 am

    I was so sorry to read this. Brenda always had a smile on her face when I visited Southside. She taught all of her students with such love that each was made to feel special. Hold onto each memory that you have and celebrate the special times you shared. I will be praying that God grant you peace and comfort at this time

  • Nicole Kinser Posted April 19, 2018 8:48 am

    I just wanted to reach out with my deepest sympathies to Brenda’s family and friends, and also to share how this woman made such a difference in my life and I’m sure many, many others. Although I couldn’t fully appreciate it at the time (I was 5) Mrs. Vurnakes instilled such a love for reading and learning in me that stuck through my whole life. It’s probably why I got involved in early childhood education myself. My mother, who passed in 1999, even wrote a letter to the News Leader in 1991 or 1992 to acknowledge what a special and dedicated educator Mrs. V was. Just truly a gem and I feel so blessed that she was my first teacher. What a high standard she set. Very sad to learn of her passing but what a legacy she leaves.

  • Maureen Borge and Kaity Myers Posted April 19, 2018 7:29 pm

    So very sorry for your loss. Our condolences go out to you and your family. Just know that she is in a happier place

  • Maureen Borge and Kaity Myers Posted April 19, 2018 7:32 pm

    We are so very sorry for your loss. Our condolences go out to you and your. Family. Just know that she is in a better place. And free of pain.

  • Mary Brown Posted April 24, 2018 7:13 pm

    Dearest Alex and Jeff: We are so sorry for your lose. Our family spent 14 years as your neighbors. They were great years. Your mom introduced me to amaretto colattas. She also helped Claire to improve her handwriting when they were both at Holy Rosary. We all got to swim in your pool including Kay as a toddler. All our love, the Brown family

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