Brenda L. Schmidt, Age 59, passed away on Saturday, April 21, 2018 at her home in Milwaukee after declining admission to the hospital so she could be at home with her trusted black coated retrievers, Shadow and Ruby, until the end. Brenda was born to Glen and Joyce Wilcox on August 6, 1958 in Whitehall, WI becoming the apple of Daddy’s eye. After moving to Neillsville in 1963, Brenda attended Neillsville Public Schools. While a teenager, Brenda worked an entire summer as a volunteer at Northern Colony Center for the Developmentally Disabled in Chippewa Falls, WI. This tremendously inspiring experience kindled a life-long commitment to altruism; hence, she was a generous supporter of numerous charities, philanthropies and animal shelters. Brenda graduated with honors from Neillsville High School in 1976. She then followed in her mother’s footsteps and attended Nursing School at UW-Eau Claire, graduating with honors in 1980. Brenda began her nursing career in Marshfield where she met and married Douglas Foster on August 11, 1984 and took up residence in Milwaukee. Widowed in 1988, Brenda is survived by her step-son, Conan, and step-daughter, Dinara. Passionate about those she worked for, Brenda dedicated almost 30 years to Zablocki VA Center until her retirement in 2016. She often spoke of the deep respect she held for our veterans and was honored and humbled to care for them both as a floor nurse and department head. Compassionate about those she worked with, she volunteered to work holidays--every holiday--to allow co-workers with small children to be home to celebrate with their families as family was very important to her, especially on special occasions. A horrible joke teller, she never-the-less loved us all more than we deserved, understood us better than we knew, accepted our quirks and idiosyncrasies unconditionally, and brought us to our knees with her keen observations and wry humor. An avid reader, Brenda often interrupted a good book to root around in her flower garden or cook a tasty meal. She will be deeply missed by libraries, garden centers, hungry friends and family. In September of 2001, Brenda was united in holy matrimony to long-time companion, love of her life, and soulmate, Donny Schmidt, at their cabin in Northern Wisconsin. Married by her confirmation pastor and spiritual advisor, she remained a good ELCA Lutheran her entire life. Brenda and Donny enjoyed their adventures at the cottage and truly cherished their time together. Widowed again in 2011, Brenda is survived by step-daughter, Erin, and the grandchildren Brenda deeply loved. Brenda is further survived by her adored siblings Dennis Wilcox of Eau Claire and Michelle (Cliff Hendrick) Wilcox of Onalaska. Brenda is also survived by niece, Christina (Ricky) Scoville, and their 3 children of Onalaska; Sarah (DJ) Cooper, and their 7 children of Eau Claire; nephew, Daniel Wilcox, and his son of Eau Claire; their mother, Lori Wilcox Ferrer of St Paul, MN and numerous aunts, uncles and cousins. Her parents, Glen and Joyce, preceded her in death. A Celebration of Life service will be held at Calvary Lutheran Church, 213 Hill Street, Neillsville, WI on May 12 th , 2018 at 11:00 am with lunch to follow.All memorial gifts will be distributed to the Milwaukee Homeless Veterans Initative, the Humane Society, or the charity of your choice. Online Condolences may be made at www.geschefh.com. The Gesche Funeral Home is assisting Brenda's family with funeral arrangements.