After living her life her way for 74 years, Brenda K. Benner of Millerstown passed away on April 13,
2023, at Lewistown Hospital. Brenda was born in Juniata County on March 27, 1949, and was the
daughter of the late David and Clarice (Fisher) Kerstetter.
The greatest love of Brenda’s life was her family. For more than 51 years, she was the loving wife of
Glenn F. Benner who survives. She is also survived by her beloved daughters and sons-in-law: Heather
and Peter Brummer and Erin and Benjamin Warner, all of Millerstown. Her pride and joy were her
grandchildren: Ethan and Ella Brummer and Abigail and Madeline Warner. In addition to her immediate
family, she is also survived by her sister and brother-in-law, Aneta and Jack VanHorn as well as many
cousins, nieces, nephews, in-laws, and friends who became family.
Education was at the forefront of Brenda’s life. She was the first in her family to graduate from college
at Shippensburg University with a degree in Elementary Education. She continued her professional
development at Shippensburg earning a Master’s Degree and certifications as a Reading Specialist,
Technology in Education, and Principal/Administration. She began her teaching career at Harrisburg
School District, but she spent more than 30 years at Greenwood School District. Never wanting to be
bored, she taught all but one grade level in elementary school. She instilled a love of science, but also a
never-ending list of life lessons in the hundreds of students’ lives that she touched.
Brenda and Glenn started their married life in Reedsville, PA, but quickly moved to Millerstown and
settled in at the Benner family farm in 1976. Following her husband’s lead, she developed a passion for
agriculture that she has helped to pass on to her family and in the many organizations she supported.
She served as an organizational leader for the Perry County 4-H Livestock Club, a founding member of
the Perry County Agricultural Land Preservation Board, and a member of the Greenwood FFA Alumni.
She was honored to be named an Honorary Keystone Degree recipient by the Pennsylvania FFA
Brenda started her life of public service as the first female Greenwood Township Supervisor for many
years. After retiring from teaching, she became the Field Representative in New Bloomfield for Senator
Jake Corman and provided him with expertise in the areas of education and agriculture. She then
became the first female Perry County Commissioner, serving as Chairman, and the President of SEDA-
COG. Bringing healthcare opportunities to Perry County was another passion and she served as co-
founder and chairman of the Perry County Health Coalition, a member of the Mental Health/Intellectual
Developmental Disabilities Advisory Board, and the Pennsylvania State Emergency Food Assistance
Advisory Committee. She was named a Champion for Better Health by the Partnership for Better Health
Foundation and the Rural Health Leader of the Year Award to recognize her efforts. She also served as
chairman of the Central PA Energy Consortium Board of Directors, a member of the Workforce
Investment Local Official’s Board, CREDC Board of Directors, the Loysville Youth Development Center
Advisory Committee, the Perry County Council of Republican Women, the Perry County Chamber of
Commerce, and a member of the Perry County 2020 Bicentennial Committee.
The community organizations that she supported throughout her life and especially as she served as
County Commissioner are too long to mention. She attended and supported fundraisers for local fire
companies and other organizations throughout the county tirelessly. She was also a member of the
New Bloomfield Lions Club, the Wings of Kindness Board of Directors, and many more throughout her
life. She was named the R. Franklin Campbell Community Service Award winner by the Perry County
Chamber of Commerce and the Perry County Literacy Council Champion Award winner.
Retirement did not suit Brenda well. Until four weeks ago, which was her last day on the job, she served
as the Deputy Director of Planning and Community Development in Juniata County. She also helped her
daughter’s family at Brummer’s Happy Breeze Farm Market to pass her time.
Throughout her life, Brenda practiced her faith growing up in the Mt. Zion United Methodist Church and
then later attended Turkey Valley United Methodist Church, New Harvest Community Church, and most
recently East Salem United Methodist Church. She taught Sunday School, and Vacation Bible School,
and participated in many other ministries throughout her life. She shared her angelic singing voice
particularly enjoying hymns.
Brenda fought cancer for 34 years, spending many of those years in remission and living her life to the
fullest. Her family would like to send their sincere appreciation to Dr. Ricardo Carter and his amazing
staff in the office as well as the loving nursing staff on the fifth floor at Lewistown Hospital for allowing
her to fight her cancer battle her way right to the end.
A memorial celebration will be held for Brenda on Sunday, April 23, 2023, at New Harvest Community
Church in Millerstown, PA. There will be a visitation with her family beginning at 2:00 with the service at
4:00. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be sent to the Greenwood FFA Alumni, 405 East
Sunbury Street, Millerstown, PA 17062, or the Wings of Kindness Foundation, P.O. Box 225,
Thompsontown, PA 17094.
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