With her loving husband Mick by her side, Brenda Gail Shaw (Shaffer) Machen passed away peacefully at home in Taft, Texas on May 16, 2023, to live eternal life with her Savior.
Brenda was born on April 6, 1947, in Lawrenceburg, Tennessee to Lawrence Virgil Shaw (August 20, 1917 - July 12, 1949) and Edna Earle Beard Shaw (December 25, 1914 - December 4, 2014). Eight years after her father passed unexpectedly in a boating accident, her mother Edna married John Solon Roberts (December 17, 1910 - November 5, 1995). Solon and Edna made a family with Brenda and her sister Connie, and they were all active members of Coleman Memorial United Methodist Church where she began her Christian walk in faith. She graduated from Lawrence County High School in 1965 followed by completing 2 years of college at Martin Jr. College before transferring to Middle Tennessee State University to obtain a bachelor's degree in Elementary Education in 1969. Later moving to Texas, she then completed her master’s program in Early Education at Corpus Christi State University and became a 3rd grade teacher at Tuloso Midway ISD. She went on to educate and influence her “kids” as she always called them for 25 years. Lovingly said by former students as well as fellow teachers, you could often hear her voice down the hall as she passionately taught a lesson. She met many of her lifelong friends while teaching who have continued to share a special bond.
Family was the focal point of Brenda’s life and you often found her making trips to Tennessee, Alabama, and all over the state of Texas to spend time with them. She shared her love of fishing with her kids and grandkids and anyone who would cast a pole with her. She was often found beachcombing the waterfront behind her home, finding her treasured shells, sea glass and driftwood. If she wasn’t in the water, painting watercolors of tranquil ocean scenes or flowering gardens was another hobby that she found peace in. One of her love languages was to make sure you never went hungry when you were at her house, whether it be a family Tennessee casserole, her famous pico salsa, a spicy shrimp boil or just a delicious dessert, she knew her way around the kitchen. Brenda loved to find a bargain and always knew just where to look, and she got so excited when she helped anyone else find one too!
Although there are too many memories and attributes to list, she will always be remembered for her joyful and contagious laugh, her bright smile, and her ability to let you know you were loved and special to her. Brenda had a beautiful heart and often wrote inspirational letters and notes where she was a witness to her faith and wisdom to family and friends that will be cherished. Brenda and Mick made Grace United Methodist in Corpus Christi Texas their church home over 40 years ago where Brenda was a leader and volunteer in church activities and was always adored for her welcoming demeanor. She truly lived one of her favorite passages in the bible… “Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you, I lift up my soul” Psalm 143:8.
The family would like to extend their heartfelt gratitude and love to Brenda’s multitude of dear and steadfast friends who have been beside her and Mick over the years as well as during her last months, which include her church family, Mike and Pat Olsen, Donna and John Kilgore, Gayle Jurica, Sue Bernsen, Ruthie King, Judy Shurley, Zule and Joe Moncada, and Margaret and Mitch Meinecke. Additionally, family friend and owner Jeff Hunt with Devoted Healthcare and Hospice along with their staff, nurse Macy and CNA Latoya are so appreciated for their care. A special thank you to Sanjuana “Sassy” Banda, Brenda’s daily loving caregiver who treated her with honor, love and like family.
Brenda is survived by her devoted and loving husband of 43 years Mickey Joe Machen who she affectionately called “my Mickey Joe”; her children, Perry Shaffer (Wendy Shaffer, College Station, TX), Brian Shaffer (Kendra Shaffer, Summertown, TN) Amanda Elledge (Andy Elledge, Florence, AL.), Joshua Machen (Tiffany Machen, Corpus Christi, TX.), Tricia Machen (DFW, TX.) and Trevor Machen (Jennifer Machen, DFW,TX.); her 13 grandchildren (in order of age) Presley Gobbell, Madison Shaffer, Allison Shaffer, Haley Lawhon, Jon Frank Gobbell, Chloe Nash (Austin Nash), Colton Shaffer, Jozie Shaffer, Abbie Jo Shaffer, Aubree Machen, Elijah Shaffer, Jolee Machen, and Destin Machen; great grandchild Grayson Stewart and another great grandson expected July 2023; sister Connie Hixson (Larry Hixson, Chattanooga, TN.); nieces, nephews, and her dear friends.
A Memorial Service will be held at Grace United Methodist Church, 14521 Northwest Blvd, Corpus Christi, Texas on Thursday May 25, 2023, at 4:00 pm. For those who may not be able to attend, you may watch the service remotely on Grace United Methodist Church Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/CCGRACEUMC and click the “Watch Now” button on the top of the page. In lieu of flowers, you may donate in Brenda’s name to the American Cancer Society, Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation or to Grace United Methodist Church.
Details regarding a Celebration of Life (with burial to follow) in Lawrenceburg Tennessee will be provided at a later date.