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Our Team


The Brenny Funeral Chapel staff is a group of people committed to helping the members of the Brainerd Lakes Area community celebrate and pay tribute to their loved ones. Our diverse interests, experiences and backgrounds provide the families we serve many resources to help create fitting tributes, a comforting ear, or helpful hints as they navigate the many choices and decisions that apprise themselves following a death. Each member of the staff is dedicated to making the journey of the families we serve as peaceful as we can.

Our Brenny Family serves YOUR family as our own.

Our staff is comprised of dedicated and licensed professionals with the experience to answer all your questions regarding our services. Please feel free to contact any of our staff members at any time.

John Brenny

John Brenny

Owner/Funeral Director

Growing up on a farm, John learned the value of hard-work and integrity.  After many years of supporting his family through a construction business and chicken farming, John knew he needed to make a change in his life, and a difference in the lives of those around him.  He decided to become a funeral director so he went back to school and graduated from the University of Minnesota and since 2012 has been working for Brenny Family Funeral Chapel.  He achieved another goal in February of 2019 when he and his wife, Karolyn purchased the funeral chapels.  He is excited usher in a new era of compassionate care and excellent service.

John's family is most important to him and he enjoys the time he is able to spend with them - whether attending a Vikings game, boating on Perch Lake, or sitting around the bonfire. In the winter you can catch him relaxing while watching his favorite tv shows Judge Judy and Impractical Jokers. John is always willing to lend a hand and help out in any way that he can.


Telephone: 1-218-828-5051


Karolyn Brenny

Karolyn Brenny

Owner/After Care

Karolyn grew up in a family of eleven in St. Augusta, MN.  She did many construction & woodworking with her Dad. Karolyn was taught at a young age how to work hard and about family values. 

Karolyn married John Brenny in 1990. They had their four children Kortney, Wayde, Alexander, and Vanessa. For many years they lived on their family farm near Gilman MN (The century farm that John grew up on ). John and Karolyn have always worked together in Various adventures in life . In 2019 together they purchased the Brenny Family Funeral Chapels to embark on their next life adventure together along with their son Alexander. 

Karolyn has her own business - Karolyn's Integrated Healing Hands, where she does various types of alternative healing and makes her own KIHH products.Her passion is to help people heal emotionally and mentally. This passion to help people heal is what she brings to the Brenny Family Team. With her gifts and Love for people, she helps clients through the grieving process with our After Care Services . 

In Karolyn's Free time she Loves being with family. Family is such an important part of her life. She loves cooking and entertaining  for her family and friends, going out on the pontoon, fishing, & being in the sunshine. In the summer her and John go for walks and bike rides together. She enjoys her time with John, their children, Granddaughter Dalia and their new Grand baby that is due in August of 2019. Karolyn is very into health and is always studying up on what else could her her family, friends and clients. 


Alexander Brenny

Alexander Brenny

Funeral Director Intern/PreNeed Counselor

Alex's interest in funeral service started after his dad began working for Brenny Family Funeral Chapel in 2012. Alex was eager to follow in the path of providing excellent service and care to the families in the Brainerd Lakes Area.  He started by obtaining his insurance license and working with families preplanning and prefunding their funeral services.  In 2017, he began attending Des Moines Area Community College for Mortuary Science.  He will be a licensed Funeral Director as soon as his internship hours are complete.

Eager to make Brenny Family Funeral Chapel the leader in funeral care, he enjoys learning about the new products, services and trends that provide families with the most options while keeping costs economical. 

Alex enjoys researching current events and staying in shape by working out at CrossFit Grow.  A member of BNI, he likes meeting new people in the area.  He and his fiancée, Rachel are looking forward to making the Brainerd Lakes Area their home.


Telephone: 1-218-828-5051

Email: alex@brenny.com


Joseph Brenny

Joseph Brenny

Retired

Joe owned and operated the Brenny Funeral Chapels for more than 46 years before selling to John and Karolyn Brenny in 2019.  He is now looking forward to retirement - spending time on the lake, on the deer stand and spoiling his two little grandsons in Florida.

Joe began his career in funeral service as a young boy watching his dad serve families in the Little Falls Area.  After completing high school and obtaining is Mortuary Science Degree, Joe bought the Belling and Huff Funeral Homes in Staples and expanded over his 46 years in funeral care to have chapels in Baxter/Brainerd, Crosslake, Pequot Lakes, and Randall.  During his career, he estimates he has served more than 12,500 families.  And the best part for him has always been when a family comes to him a year, ten years or even 25 years later and remembers the kindness and professionalism his showed their family.

Email: 


Rhonda (Mareck) Harting

Rhonda (Mareck) Harting

Administrative/PreNeed Advisor/Funeral Director in Training

Rhonda Mareck Harting joined the staff in 2003. She has had a number of responsibilities over the years including PrePlanning Advisor, Director of Operations, and Funeral Director (In Training). She attended St. Cloud State University and earned a degree in Mass Communications; she is a licensed insurance agent as well as a notary; and anticipates becoming a licensed Funeral Director during the summer of 2019.  Helping create meaningful services for the families she serves is the number reason Rhonda feels blessed to have fallen into this career and gained the trust of so many families.

At home, Rhonda is busy with a growing family.  Rhonda is married to Jed Harting.  Together they have Rhett (3) and Rhya (1) as well as Jed's two older daughters, Lili (15) and Miranda (9). In her spare time she enjoys getting a round in on the golf course, sharing a glass of wine and good food with friends, hitting the lakes during the summer months, and cuddling in to watch a new movie or devour a book from her must read list.  

Rhonda is involved with Junior Achievement (teaching youngsters about how money works) and Pink Links Golf Tournament (benefits breast cancer survivors).  She is also very proud of  her friend for starting Smiles for Jake - focused on making every day a positive day for yourself and others.  So when you are out and about - make sure to wish someone a good day, give them a hug or high five - you never know what impact your smile may make. #wearealljake

Telephone: 218.828.5051

Cell Phone: 218.820.4373

Email: rhonda@brenny.com


Sue DeWolf

Sue DeWolf

Administrative Assistant

Since 2013, Sue DeWolf has been invaluable to Brenny Family Funeral Chapel.  The knowledge she gained working for years in the financial industry helped translate to skills that serve families well:  attention to detail, accuracy, and ability to meet deadlines.  Above and beyond those qualities, Sue most loves interacting and helping the families that choose to trust Brenny Family Funeral Chapel with their loved ones.  Hearing their stories - whether they make us cry or laugh, is truly a blessing.

Sue moved from our Staples office to the Baxter location in 2019. 

Sue is married to Rick DeWolf.  They have a home in East Gull Lake and operate a moving business, RDS Moving, as well.  At home they enjoy quiet time with their two pups - Minnie and Dozer, taking a ride on their motorcycle, or grabbing dinner with their friends.  Sue is quite the collector - some antiques, but mostly just shoes.  Lots and lots of shoes.

Email: sue@brenny.com


Mike Condon

Mike Condon

Funeral Director

Mike joined our staff on September 1, 2014. He brings with him over 39 years of experience and knowledge. Mike is married to Pauline and they have two sons and three grandchildren. Mike is very happy to be living in the Brainerd Lakes Area, so he can enjoy one of his favorite pastimes, golf, on the award winning courses we have in our area. He also enjoys working with computers and skiing.

Telephone: 1-218-828-5051

Email: mike@brenny.com


Steve Suer

Steve Suer

Celebrant

Steve Suer joined the Brenny team in 2010. Officiating at services, he is one of the kindest individuals you will ever meet. Steve served his country during Vietnam and truly understands the value of our veterans and their families. He and his wife Mary have four kids and grandchildren, along with their sweet little fur baby, Dolly.

Telephone: 1-218-828-5051


Kathee Stanwood

Kathee Stanwood

Funeral Director

Kathee graduated in 2005 from the University of Minnesota. She has worked full-time and part-time for the funeral home since then.  In 2017, she decided to go part-time to spend more time helping her husband's real estate business and free up her time to care of her grandchildren.

Prior to being in funeral service, Kathee and her family owned and operated The Cheese House in Brainerd...a gourmet deli and bakery. Kathee and her husband, Mike have three children, one granddaughter, and one grandson. Their family enjoys spending time together. Kathee is a great baker, excellent quilter, and a very compassionate person.

Telephone: 218.828.5051

Cell Phone: 218.820.8511

Email: kathee@brenny.com


Cindy Barnett

Cindy Barnett

Funeral Assistant

Cindy has been a member of the Pillager area her entire life. She has been working with the Brenny family for many years now. Cindy works visits, services and anything else we ask her to do. She has two daughters and six grandchildren. She and Arlo enjoy hunting, spending time with family, and playing cards. You will never see Cindy without seeing her sidekick, Clyde her puppy.


Wanda Biemert

Wanda Biemert

Funeral Assistant

Wanda has been a member of the community since birth and an excellent addition to our staff. Wanda is retired but enjoys coming in to help with visitations and luncheons. We also thank her for always decorating for the holidays. Wanda and her husband Gary live in Pillager where they enjoy spending time on the river with family and friends. Wanda is always ready for a good time and can find the best hats.

Telephone: 1-218-828-5051


Charley Andres

Charley Andres

Funeral Assistant

Charley has been on board since 2004. He is an excellent community member and funeral assistance for us in the Randall area where he has lived most of his life. Charley retired from Camp Ripley as Camp Commander and is always willing to lend a hand.

Charley and Mary live in Randall. They enjoy socializing with their friends and family. Charley also likes to hit the golf course whenever he is able.

Telephone: 1-218-828-5051


Gary Petersen

Gary Petersen

Funeral Assistant

Gary does whatever everybody else can't or won't do. He is a true jack of all trades and just a joy to have on staff. He is our handyman, transportation expert and funeral assistant. After retiring from Potlatch, this native Brainerdite wanted to keep busy and we are glad to have him around. Gary and his wife, Helen, live in Brainerd. They are members of St. Francis Catholic Church and enjoy spending time with their eight children, 14 grandchildren and their friends. We appreciate all the goodies he shares and his love of peanut butter and chocolate.

Telephone: 1-218-828-5051


Pat Huhta

Pat Huhta

Funeral Assistant

Pat Huhta has been a member of the Brenny Funeral Chapel team since 2011. Her experience in nursing and counseling makes her an excellent addition. She enjoys chatting with family members and funeral attendees while she ensures the cookies are soft and the coffee is hot.

Telephone: 1-218-828-5051


Bob Burns

Bob Burns

Funeral Assistant

Bob is a firecracker! After retiring from owning and operating a car dealership in Iowa, Bob's sense of leadership keeps us on our toes. He is always more than willing to step in and lend a helping hand. He and his wife Jan live in Nisswa and enjoy attending Lutheran Church of the Cross.


Ron Ommen

Ron Ommen

Funeral Assistant



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