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A TRAGIC DAY AS BRENDA J. CARON PASSES AWAY

BY: Mitch Beck, Howlings

When I first started to get involved with Hartford Wolf Pack 14 years ago, one of the very first people I met at the Hartford Civic Center, now the XL Center, was this bundle of joy, Brenda J. Caron.  She was so bright and friendly and warm. It took me back. I grew up in an environment that caused you to be skeptical of pretty much everything and everybody and here was this person giving me a hug, welcoming me to the arena and just so friendly and funny I didn’t know what to make of it.

Over the years as I first started writing and editing the Hartford Wolf Pack Fan Club newsletter, someone who I could ALWAYS count on to help me was Brenda. She was better than Google when it came to the Wolf Pack. If she didn’t know something I’d ask her, she’d almost always know where I could find out.

At almost every Fan Club event, I would sit with Brenda or at very least she would find me and have that BIG smile she had and have something nice to say about something I’d written or something going on that she was happy about. There are a lot of positive people out there

There are a lot of positive people out there. I just wasn’t used to being around them.

You couldn’t help but notice how thin she was. I just thought she might have had some sort of eating problem. It never occurred to me that she was actually sick until one day I worked up the nerve to ask her and she gave me all of the things she was dealing with. For her privacy’s sake, I’ll keep that out of the story.

When she would be in the hospital and could do so, she’d write to me on Facebook or send an email sometimes and it was NEVER ONCE about self-pity or her pain or anything like that. She was always concerned how my kids were doing or wanted to talk Wolf Pack hockey.

I would always kid her, “Where were you when I was single?” It was a joke between us for a long time. “She’d say funny things to me like, “I was right here,” or most times she would say, “Stop, you have a great family!”

I absolutely adored Brenda.

I haven’t seen her that much in the past couple of years because financial problems and my hockey coaching schedule have prohibited me from getting to as many games as I’d like. The last time I saw her, she said hello and high-fived me as I was going up to the press box. Her last words to me were, “Hey, how’s the kids? You look like you’re in a hurry…hey, we’ll catch up later.” I didn’t see her after that.

Well, I found out this morning that Brenda passed away.

Brenda NEVER was EVER anything but upbeat, friendly and funny. She had such a GREAT sense of humor, even when my endless jokes were bad, she’d always smile or chuckle…or laugh and say, “Stop.”

Brenda battled her health for as long as I’ve known her and having learned of her passing is one of the most INCREDIBLY sad moments of my life.

We didn’t get to spend as much time together as I would have liked because of the responsibilities that I had when I got to games, but this planet rarely sees people like Brenda and this is not just a loss for me, or her family or friends or for hockey or the Wolf Pack even. This is a loss for all of us because a special person has left us.

Going to see the Pack for me will NEVER be the same. I will miss her a great deal… RIP Brenda… You embodied everything that was good and I will miss you terribly…