Mary "Karene" Brenton-Ryan, 93


Mary “Karene” Brenton-Ryan passed away at 83 in Blair, Neb., on March 15, 2024.

A memorial service to celebrate her life will take place at 10:00 a.m. on Monday July 8, 2024 at the First United Methodist Church in Blair, Neb. Following the service and burial at the Blair Cemetery there will be a luncheon at the church.

Karene was born in Creston, Iowa, on Oct. 16, 1940, to the late Marvin W. and Margaret L. (Taylor) Carlson and grew up on farms around Sciola and Guss, Iowa, near Villisca. She was preceded in death by her first husband Bernard A. Brenton (1939-1983), and second husband Raymond Ryan (1937-2013), and his son Bob and daughter Renee Lampman.

She graduated from Villisca High School in 1958 and earned her LPN degree from Omaha Metropolitan CC in 1994 at age 53. Karene held several jobs in the Blair community, co-owned and operated Kiddie Kare Korner daycare in Blair for many years, and retired as a medical assistant at an OB/GYN clinic. 

She loved to cook for the holidays and get-togethers for family and friends, was a lifelong avid crafter, collector of bells and lamb figures, and was actively involved in many Blair community organizations, including the Optimist Club and Teammates High School Mentoring program. 

Karene was a devoted supporter and member of the First United Methodist Church for nearly 55 years, serving on many committees. She developed and ran the first Fellowship Hour gathering in the church basement following each service offering coffee and cookies; organized the church’s Senior Moments gatherings; participated in Bible Study groups; and established the Building Blocks Boutique program at the church that promoted healthy lifestyles for pregnant women and those with young children. Her work with that program was recognized in 2004 by the Points of Light Award given by Governor Johanns of Nebraska.

She is survived by son Bennett (Jackie) Brenton, PhD, grandchildren Brooks, Kassie, and Brett, and great-grandchildren Braxton and Cora; son Barrett (Blythe) Brenton, PhD, and grandchild Clara; stepson Ronald (Julie) Ryan, JCL, and grandchildren Jacob and Daniel; and step-son-in-law Ben Lampman,  grandchildren Cierra, Ben Robert, Rose, and Sharolyn Lampman. She is also survived by her brother Marvin P. Carlson, PhD and many nephews and nieces.

In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts can be sent to the Blair First United Methodist Church.

Services by Campbell Aman Funeral Home, Blair, NE.