Brenda Phillips Fishel, 80, went to be with her Lord on Tuesday, May 23, 2023.
She passed peacefully at home, surrounded by family. She was born Sept. 11, 1942 in Rowan County, NC.
Brenda was an influential woman in many ways to many people. Her unwavering Christian faith was her guiding light through life, and she showed that unconditional love everyday - serving and caring for others in the most genuine and meaningful of ways.
She graduated from East Rowan High School in 1960 and went on to earn her degree in X-Ray Technology from Bowman Gray School of Medicine in 1963. She worked as the surgical assistant to a local ophthalmologist, Dr. Holt, for several years, eventually leaving to focus on her children being there for them however she could.
On February 6th, 1965 she married the love of her life, Phil, in Granite Quarry, NC. Together they established Windmill Acres Farm, raising Polled Hereford cattle. Later, their children and grandchildren would show cattle under the Windmill Acres name at many local, regional, and national shows around the country.
Together, she and Phil moved to Forsyth County and began what would become a lifetime of community involvement and leadership. She was actively involved in whatever her two children, Andie and Neil, were. 4-H projects, little league ball, showing cattle, volunteering with VBS, and PTA were just some of the many hats she wore to make sure she was actively involved in the lives of her children. Another pillar of Brenda’s life was her church, Advent Moravian in Winston-Salem. There, she served as the President of the Women’s Fellowship and as the Head Diener for several years. Somehow, she still found time to maintain a monthly bridge game with her club for over 40 years. An avid sports fan, especially for her NC State Wolfpack, she and Phil cheered them on together in every event at every opportunity. Later in life, she found new joy in her work at Mrs. Hanes Moravian Cookie Factory. She enjoyed gardening, and canning and was known for her baking and cake decorating. Brenda and Phil were also blessed with friendship. They were part of a special group of lifelong friends who took numerous trips, enjoyed countless meals, and did as many memorable and fun-filled things together as they could.
Of all the roles she played, “Mom” was by far the most important. She is known as the matriarch of the family, even among her extended family. Nieces and nephews would spend summers on the farm, Andie and Neil’s school friends would sleep over, and eventually grandchildren and their friends would come and stay as well. If you were in her house, you were home and you were family. She was a true caretaker. Cuts and scrapes were treated with professional skill and kissed for good measure. Her cooking could feed armies and satisfy the pickiest of critics. There was never a shortage of puzzles, crafts, music, games, hugs, or laughter. Her morals, values, faith, and selfless love influenced all she knew and shaped the lives and futures of her family.
She was preceded in death by her beloved Husband of 57 years, Phil Fishel Jr., Parents, Everette and Mary Phillips and Granddaughter, Olivia Fishel. She is survived by Daughter, Andie Carpenter (Wes) of Winston-Salem, Son, Neil Fishel (Karen) of Kernersville, NC, Granddaughters Clara (Joshua) of Wallburg, Granddaughter, Melanie of Barnardsville, NC, Grandson, Wesley of Kernersville, NC, Great-Granddaughter, Elizabeth of Wallburg, NC, Sisters, Carol Hall and Jayne Thompson, Salisbury, Brother, Frank Phillips, Troutman and Brother, Mike Phillips, Linwood and Sister-In-Law Marilyn Fishel of Richmond, VA.
A Celebration of Life will be Wed. May 31 at 6:00 pm at Advent Moravian Church with Rev. Dr. Tim Sapp officiating. The family will receive friends from 4:00 to 6:00 pm in the Advent Fellowship Center.
Memorials may be sent to Advent Moravian Church 1514 W Clemmonsville Rd, Winston-Salem, NC 27127 or Sunnyside Ministries 319 Haled St, Winston-Salem, NC 27127.