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SIMMONDS, Brenda Frances (nee Barr)

August 23, 1958 – June 1, 2018

Brenda passed away in Calgary surrounded by her loving family following a brief and courageous battle with cancer.

Brenda lit up the world with her infectious laugh, quick wit, story telling and boundless love for all. These are all traits she inherited from her loving mother Margaret and her late father Christopher.

Rob Simmonds fell in love with Brenda after seeing her cut up the rug on the dance floor at a May Day Party in 1981. Brenda used the phrase “Be still my beating heart” which captured Rob. They enjoyed 35 years of a beautiful life together, started a family of three daughters, Andrea (Missy), Courtney (Scott), Kendall (Brendan) a son Reid.

Brenda loved being a mom and loved being a grandmother to Courtney’s children, Georgia and Bennett. ‘Brenders’ as the kids like to call her often said her home was chaotic but it really wasn’t. There were always muffins made, a fireplace on and the latest music blasting in the background. Brenda encouraged and supported each of her children’s unique talents going from art shows, to the soccer pitch, to the hockey rink and back again. She had a great fondness for the mountains, skiing in the winter and hiking in the summer. She was an avid reader and warm and engaging hostess.

Her boundless energy gave her plenty of time to spend with her extended family and her multitude of close friends. She will be profoundly missed by her mother Peggy, brother David Barr (Debbie) and sister Pam Stordy (Ted); nieces and nephews; Allison, Ryan, Grace and Kate along with many aunts, uncles and cousins.

Brenda was a great friend to many. She had a huge heart and was always there to share a laugh or a tear, more often a laugh. Brenda was always the absolute funniest woman in the room. Those who were lucky enough to know Brenda will forever miss her and never forget all the goodness, story telling, energy and light she brought into this world.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Southern Alberta Institute of Urology at Rockyview Hospital, Calgary, AB, or the Charity of your choice.

Funeral Services will be celebrated at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church (5340 – 4th Street S.W., Calgary, AB) on Monday, June 11, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. Reception to follow at the church. Condolences may be forwarded through www.mcinnisandholloway.com.

In living memory of Brenda Simmonds, a tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES, Park Memorial, 5008 ELBOW DRIVE S.W. Calgary, AB, T2S 2L5, Telephone: 403-243-8200.

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Condolence Messages

  1. Jane O'Brien :

    We lost a whole spectrum of colour! Brenda, you were the the most colourful light amongst the Barr blood!!!! You made us laugh! I am in shock.

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  2. Janet and Rick Matthews :

    Dear Rob, Andrea, Courtney, Kendall, Reid, Aunt Peggy, Dave, Pam, grandchildren and spouses – we are so very sorry for your loss – Brenda was such a bright spark in this world who lived every moment to the fullest. She was so passionate about life and her family and will be sorely missed by all who knew her. Her laugh I can hear as I write this. Our love and thoughts to you all, Janet and Rick

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  3. Greg Ranson and all the Ranson family :

    Rob, Andrea, Courtney, Kendall, Reid, Mrs Barr, Dave, Pam and all family members – we are so saddened and shocked by the passing of Brenda. Our memories of her growing up together in Edmonton are ones of laughter, energy and friendship. My own personal memories are numerous but her dressing me up in female clothes to be paraded out as a freshman in front of the entire Louis St Laurent school assembly definetly ranks as the best. I can still hear her laughter from that day, a spirit she held throughout her lifetime. Our family share in your sorrow and send our love to all of you in this difficult time.

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  4. Catherine Moffat :

    Dear Barr Family;

    We are deeply saddened with the sudden loss of Brenda. What a ball of energy as well as a gentle soul who cared deeply for her family. I know that mom and dad had a special bond with Brenda that was enduring. We feel grateful to have known this vivacious human being and know that her spirit is in good company with the Barr’s who have passed before her.

    With love, Catherine and Rudy

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  5. I am so sorry to hear about Brenda. I cannot tell you how much I miss her. Every morning I was greeted to “what’s happening Spitfire”! She was such a terrific help to me and everyone in the office adored her. I often raced out of the office and left my phone behind. I would frantically turn my car around and there would be Brenda, standing on the sidewalk holding my phone in the air. I called her Radar. We had great talks and I was very lucky to have her so closely in my life for the last year and half. Rob, Kendall, Reid and Andrea – she loved all of you so very much. Her crazy, wild and happy soul will be with you always.

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  6. Bethany Lukevich :

    I only worked with Brenda for a short time at RE/MAX but she truly brought joy to every day that I knew her. There aren’t words to describe what a truly wonderful person she was. She will be dearly missed. Sending love and prayers to her family.

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  7. Mike Curtin and Bonnie Dean :

    We are experiencing the deepest of sorrow in learning that Brenda has died. Please know that our prayers and thoughts are with you at this difficult time. Brenda brought a passion to life that was unmatched and will be very much missed.

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  8. Kathy and Dennis Bathory :

    Brenda, Brenders dear où dear friend, we will forever miss your dedeicsted home making and tireless mothering, no none sense perspective, spiced with your laughter and vibrantly shared they dance and love of life and friends.
    To Rob, Andrea, Kendall, Courtney and Scott, Reid, and Oam, and the rest of the family we send our love and strength and sincere condolences.

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  9. Ruth Storey :

    Dear Robert and family, My heartfelt sympathy goes out to the whole family at the loss of such a wonderful wife and mother. Our thoughts and prayers are hugging all of you at this loss. With sincere sympathy, Ruth and Ted Storey and family.

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  10. Kristin Poch :

    Brenda, what a beautiful soul and giver of laughter. I have so many memories of her. The two that keep coming to mind are when Kendall and I were planning our trip to Europe and my parents and I came over for a bon voyage dinner. We were so excited and nervous going on our adventure but Brenders put us at ease with a few laughs and words of wisdom. The second was for Robs birthday when she literally took down half of your back fence to get the bus into the back yard. It was so funny backing the bus in there and she was so excited to surprise Rob and so happy to support me in my entrepreneurial goals. I am so blessed to know the Simmonds family and Brenders will be so deeply missed, I know she will be present in our hearts forever. I send my love and support to the whole family. Xoxo Love Kristin

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  11. taylor farquharson :

    Dear Rob, Andrea, Courtney, Kendall, & Reid
    You are in my thoughts and prayers. I have such wonderful memories of Brenda; her joy of life, her laugh, her ability to see the good in everyone and everything. She had the unique ability to make you feel special and cared for. She lived life to the max everyday and we are all better people to have been part of her world. I will miss her. taylor

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  12. Dave Wharton :

    Rob, Andrea, Courtney, Kendall, & Reid
    My family and I want to express my deepest sympathies to your entire family for the devastating loss of your wife and mom. There was no one that brought as much energy to everyone and everything as Brenda did. Her spirit for life was infectious and could light up any room with her humor and laughter. In the many events that our families attended together, I can honestly say I don’t remember what the event was but I certainly remember the fun when Brenda was in attendance! I have pictures of her doing the “Worm” at a wedding reception, her best Groucho Marx with a giant cigar in hand and the list can continue. We have lost a great light, a great friend and you have lost a wonderful wife and mother.
    Our hearts broken for your loss.
    Dave, Kelsey & Caitlin Wharton

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  13. Nancy Connolly :

    I met Brenda in Oakridge when I was new to Calgary 32 years ago. She welcomed our family into her home with such warmth and enthusiasm. She had the best laugh in the world! I am in shock to learn of her death. She will live on forever in the wonderful memories you have of such an exceptional wife mother daughter sister and friend.

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  14. Courtney – I missed your name – I am thinking of you all!

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  15. Jan and John Cook :

    Dear Rob, Andrea, Courtney, Kendall, Reid and family,
    While we only got to know Brenda in the last couple of years in Kimberley, no words can express the sadness we felt after hearing of her passing. Brenda was such a genuine and caring person who spontaneously shared her sense of fun and lived her life joyfully!! We will always be grateful for her convincing us (very last minute!) to join her and Rob for a helicopter hiking trip to Talus Lodge last August. We will forever cherish the memories and time spent with her that very memorable week-end. She will be terribly missed!! We send our love and heartfelt prayers to all she loved for a peace, that in time, will surpass all understanding.

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  16. jill+dean+jack bridges :

    Rob, Anj, Coco, Kendall and Reid,
    We have been shocked and deeply saddened by the sudden loss of Brenda. She was the life of every party and the most incredible dancer. We have all been so lucky to know such a genuine person with such a positive and fun loving spirit.

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  17. The best way to capture the essence of Brenda is to look at her Instagram account bambibarr. Her wonderful family photos and incredibly funny hashtags sum up the joy she gave to others and the enormous love of life and family she had. She is my inspiration and the grief I feel is overwhelming

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  18. Dear Rob,
    As you know I only met Brenda for the short lunch visit we had last year at your house before heading off on our ski trip. Sometimes we’re fortunate when meeting certain people for the first time that we can tell right away that they’re cut from special cloth, and I immediately sensed that Brenda was genuine, warm, gregarious, funny and a lover of life. I was so very saddened to receive the news. Sending our deepest sympathy and love.

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  19. Evelyn & Peter :

    Dear Rob, Andrea, Courtney, Kendall, Reid and family,
    We are so shocked and deeply saddened to hear about the passing of your sweet Brenda. We first knew Brenda when our kiddies were little and off to nursery school together. The words that first come to mind when we think of Brenda are “joie de vie”. She will always be remembered for her joy of life, laughter and vivacious spirit. Sending you strength during this difficult time and our love to you all.
    The Audretsch family (Peter, Evelyn, Angela, Lisa and Hilary)

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  20. Melissa Legault :

    I’m so very sorry to hear about Brenda’s passing, we connected quickly in the office where We both work. She was hilarious and we often joked about our bad shopping habits. I liked her very much and I can tell she was from a loving family, she was happy!!I will miss seeing her around the office. Love and peace to you all in this difficult time.

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  21. Debbie, Kelly, Kerry and Kelsey MacKay :

    We are still in disbelief as our wonderful neighbor and friend has suddenly left us. Brenda is going to be dearly missed by everyone fortunate enough to have known her. She had an optimistic outlook on everything, an inner light you felt through her laughter and kindness and love for her family. Our most heartfelt condolences to Rob, Andrea, Courtney, Kendal and Reid.

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  22. Georgia Forbes :

    Simmonds family,
    I always knew Nancy was talking to Brenda on the phone or had Brenda over because there was no time I heard my mom laugh harder/more. She was and always will be a sister to my mom and an aunt to us Forbes kids. Brenda filled the world with so much love and laughter, beaming happiness always. Thinking of you all and sending so much love during this very difficult time.

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  23. David & Wiz :

    Rob, Court, Kendall, Ange, & Reid- Our deepest condolences to you all. We will sorely miss Brenda’s loyal friendship, BIG personality, and wonderful love of life. She will be truly missed by our entire family.
    The Allen clan.

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  24. My sincere condolences to you, Rob, and your family. I met Brenda only a couple of times but my memories of her and you dancing up a storm are vivid.

    You obviously had great love for each other.

    …Greg Urton

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  25. David and Susan Holm :

    David and Susan Holm

    Rob and family: Brenda and her crew made university a laugh filled, spontaneous adventure with a little school thrown in on the side. Importantly, Brenda’s spirit came with a compassionate depth and the knowledge that your friend Brenda was always there for your support, regardless of circumstance. Brenda had many gifts and we are heartbroken by your loss. May her spirit sour.

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  26. Sarah Remmer :

    Rob, Andrea, Coco, Kendall and Reid, my thoughts and love are with you all during this heartbreaking time. Brenda was such bright light, and brought a smile to everyone’s face (if not a belly laugh!). Brenda was such a dear friend to my mom – she never laughed harder or smiled bigger than when she was on the phone with Brenda or having a backyard visit. Brenda’s laugh was contagious and her zest for life inspiring. I’ll forever treasure the beautiful wine rack Brenda made for Jon and I for our wedding – my most favourite piece of furniture. Love to you all from the Matthews and Remmers xoxo

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  27. Janell Shandro :

    To the Simmonds family,

    I had the pleasure of working bingos with Brenda for the Calgary Royals fundraisers. She was the funniest gal in the room!!! Those events were filled with much laughter as she would get the bingo crowd going…not an easy task due to a somewhat serious crowd trying to concentrate..but Brenda pulled it off and turned many a frown upside down! To many she was also their lucky charm and would only buy tickets from her. How could you ever forget Brenda, she was the life of those fundraisers!

    My sincere condolence.

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  28. Cathy & Paul Cochrane :

    Dearest Rob, Andrea, Courtney, Kendall and Reid,
    We are absolutely crushed at this tragic turn of events and want you to know that our most heartfelt love and sympathy is with each and every one of you. Our universe has lost a most outstanding individual who brought such incredible joy into the lives of so many. Brenda’s generosity of spirit touched the lives of so many and I simply can’t imagine not hearing her usual greeting on the phone saying, “Cath, what’s going on?!!” We will treasure the memories of times we had together at Wheeler, dinners around the table in Oakridge and Elboya and the all too seldom moments in between. A brilliant light in our world has faded but will truly never go out as Brenda will live on in our hearts until the end of time. With all our love, Cathy & Paul Cochrane

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  29. Sue McEachern & family :

    Dear Rob, Ange, Court, Kendall, Reid & the rest of the Barr/Simonds family
    I really don’t know what to say to you all except know that all my thoughts & prayers are with you all during this very difficult time.
    Brenda was an amazing wife, mother & grandmother (I do want to know what they called her as I’m sure she had a special name) that was full of life. So fun, funny & was always game for almost anything (I have pictures :)). Such a huge support to all in many ways. In the hood, the schools, the sports – she made things happen & most of all everyone had a fabulous time if Brenda was involved in any way.
    The world has lost one of the best & she will be greatly missed not just by family but everyone who knew her.
    Hugs to you all

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  30. Brenda was a loyal, loving friend to my sister Nancy for as long as I can remember. Their friendship spanned cities, and decades. To Brenda’s family; Chris and I are so sorry for your loss. In honour of Brenda’s loving devotion to all of her children’s activities and sports, we have made a donation to Kidsport in Brenda’s name.

    Lane Sims

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  31. jane Kapitza :

    Dear Rob, Andrea, Courtney, Kendall and Reid, I was so sad and sorry to hear about Brenda. You are right she was so full of life she will be dearly missed. My deepest sympathies to you all.

    Jane Kapitza

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  32. Jennifer Laughy :

    Dear Rob and family,
    I had the pleasure of knowing you both through Chris and Diana. I have always admired Brenda’s energy and personable nature. Even though I did not know her well, I knew that she was a kind and genuine soul. Gord and I are sending our deepest sympathies to you all.

    Jen & Gord Laughy

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  33. Cheryl de Leeuw :

    Dearest Brenda, You brought so much joy to our lives! The world’s kindest, funniest, most dependable neighbour. A loving second Mom to Yukon as him and Reid grew up running from our backyard to yours. We came to each other’s rescue more times than I can remember. We got in trouble with teachers together, enjoyed hikes and skis and bikes and dog walks, BBQs and parties and coffee around our kitchen tables. And more recently quiet (or noisy) dinners with our hubbies. I am a better person having known you and we will all miss you terribly.
    Much love from Cheryl, Gerry, Nata and Yukon. Our hearts go out to you Rob, Ange, Courtney, Kendall, Reid and Peggy. XOXO

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  34. Cynthia Simmons :

    I am so profoundly sorry for your loss. I know that her memory will be a blessing.

    Cynthia Simmons

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  35. Betty Ann & Darryl Price :

    Dear Rob and family -It is impossible to comprehend your loss, please know that you are in our thoughts, and we send our love and strength to all of you.

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  36. Dear Rob, Andrea, Courtney, Kendall and Reid,
    I was certainly saddened to learn of the recent passing of your wife and mother. I will always remember Brenda’s upbeat, positive disposition at Nellie McClung. May memories of happier times console and comfort all of you at this very difficult time.
    With my sincere sympathy,
    Ross Ferby

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  37. Leanne and Colin Johancsik :

    Colin and I are heartbroken to hear this sudden and horrible news. I will always remember Brenda as one of those people that even though you might not see her very often she would remember what was going on in your life and really listen to what you had to say. She was a very special person, and we are better for having known her.
    Sending all of our love to you.

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  38. Katy Anderson :

    I first met Brenda on my doorstep. She lived up the street and had seen that our daughter was about the same age as Andrea and Courtenay so she called on me to see if we (kids and grown-ups) could be friends. And my doorstep lit up that day as did every room that Brenda entered. Brenda’s ability to make friends and engage people was legendary. She was also kind, intelligent and capable of deep insight. I really enjoyed talking to her about all sorts of things, from books to education to world events and, of course, families. Nothing was more important to Brenda than her family and that love will stay with you forever. I am so sorry for your loss.

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  39. Ralph Strother :

    Her smile lit our lives and her joy filled every gathering. If life is measured by the depth of the love of family and friends; then Brenda’s life is infinite. We can never really find words in these moments that can fill such a void. Brenda is a gift to us all and she serves as the best we can be. I wish I could ease your loss. I can only offer my deepest sympathy. My enduring thanks for having Brenda’s spirit in our lives and all our love to your entire family. Ralph

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  40. Allan Zivot :

    Dear Rob and family, my sincerest condolences on the passing of Brenda, who I was fortunate enough to meet at the U of A. sometime ago, which seems like yesterday when thinking about Brenda. Brenda was such a caring, loving person but equally as important, she was always the “go to ” fun person. Over the more recent years, I always loved meeting up with Brenda as she always was so enthusiastic about her family and her great life, and was equally interested in others! Brenda will be sorely missed! Allan Zivot

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  41. Morgan Hamel :

    Rob, Andrea, Court, Kendall and Reid,

    While I feel like words are not enough in situations, sometimes they’re what we have. So I want to use them to share a couple of my strongest memories/impressions of “Bren”.

    The first relates to her use of my name, and the names of anyone else she spoke to. “MORGS!” she would say, each time upon seeing me. And then ask some thoughtful (and usually humorous) question about my life. I know she did this for my mom (“NANCE!”) and others as well. It made me feel as if she really ‘saw’ me. And I loved it. It’s something I am going to try to do more of, in my own life, to honour her.

    Next, her dancing. Could we just TALK about her dancing?! I have the most vivid memory of her dancing, at the Kimber condo, to “Call Me Maybe”. You kids know the one. The way she put her hand to her ear like a phone, and violently shook her arms to the beat? I remember thinking “Now THERE is a woman who loves her life.” And she did. She loved it, and you. And all of those things will carry on.

    With so much love for all of you.

    Morgan

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  42. daintrie hanrahan (nee Hunter) :

    I have just heard about Brenda’s passing. Although I met her many years ago – she had a way with her that was unforgettable. Full of life, positive – Reading her Obituary and the comments of others highlights the sparkling impact she had on those she met. My thoughts are with you all today.

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  43. Megan Al Jeanette John :

    Rob & Family
    No words can express how sorry we were to hear of Brenda’s passing. She was a wonderful gal full of life. She was a ray of sunshine and a whirling dervish all in one. We are so happy to have had her in our lives for the time that we had. We will miss her. You have our deepest sympathy.

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  44. Julie Koloff :

    Kendall and the Simmonds Family,
    I am so sorry to hear of your loss. Wishing you strength and peace.

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  45. Rite Schultz :

    I am so sorry for your loss. Brenda was one of the ‘Nellie’ moms; I remember her fun spirit and great laugh. My sincerest condolences on your loss.

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  46. Sue McCallum :

    Dear Rob and family,
    I am so sorry to hear of your terrible loss. It was just brought to my attention and I want you to know that my thoughts and prayers are with you at this sad time. My deepest condolences.

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  47. Kim Stechyshyn :

    Dear Rob and family,
    We are shocked and saddened to hear of your loss. Brenda was one of the ‘good one’s.’
    So kind and funny. We always knew when Brenda was in the arena or at the bar by that distinctive laugh. Our thoughts are with you at this time.
    Kim, Mike and John Stechyshyn

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  48. Geza, Tracey & Everett Nemeth :

    Rob & family,
    We are so sad to hear of Brenda’s passing. Memories of time spent with Brenda always bring smiles to our faces.
    Our sincerest condolences.

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