Penwell Turner Funeral Home - Shelby, Ohio

Brenda G. (Adkins) Highfield

Brenda G. Highfield, 65, of Willard (formerly of Shelby, OH) entered into the joyous presence of the Lord on Monday, March 22, 2021, after a courageous 19-month battle with liver and breast cancers.  She was in the presence of her loving family.  She was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, and daughter and deeply touched the lives of all who knew her.

Bren was born on September 25, 1955 in Shelby, Ohio to Reverend S.T. and Betty (Conley) Adkins.  She was a 1973 graduate of Shelby High School and Pioneer Joint Vocational School.  Bren enjoyed writing poems and children’s stories, in addition to crafts and tending to her flower gardens around her home.  Bren served as the Secretary at Hillside First Church of God in Mansfield for over 20 years and had a deep love for her church family there.  She was a devout Christian and was actively involved in the Children’s Church Ministry.

Bren had a strong passion for being an advocate for childhood cancer survivors.  Being a childhood cancer survivor herself, she followed the calling to help educate the medical community and other survivors about the late effects of cancer treatment in children.  She was one of the oldest Wilms Tumor childhood cancer survivors in the country.

Bren absolutely adored her family, and her grandchildren were her pride and joy.  She married the love of her life and high school sweetheart, Bernie Highfield, on October 27, 1973 and he survives her.  They have one daughter, Tina (Bruce) Hurst (Crestline, OH), and three grandchildren, Lexi, Kaelyn, and Izaiah Hurst. She is also survived by her father, Reverend S.T. Adkins (Shelby, OH), sisters Kathy (Dennis) Robey (New Carlisle, OH), Karen (Michael) Barnett (Shelby, OH) and many nieces, nephews, and extended family whom she loved dearly.  She was preceded in death by her sister and brother-in-law, Linda and Ronald Neeley, in 2017and 2007 consecutively, her mother, Betty Ruth (Conley) Adkins in 2019, and her infant niece, Ashlee Barnett in 1988.

A private funeral service will be held at Penwell Turner Funeral Home, 168 West Main Street, Shelby, for family and close friends with Pastor Glenn Phillips of Hillside First Church of God officiating.  Burial will follow in Oakland Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to Hillside First Church of God, 2369 Bowman St, Mansfield, OH 44903, or Stein Hospice, 1200 Sycamore Line, Sandusky, Ohio, 44870.

Appropriate ways to express sympathy may be done by leaving an online condolence on Bren’s obituary at or by leaving a comment on her post on the funeral home’s Facebook page,

Memories & Condolence

  1. George R Ramey says:

    So sorry to hear about Brenda…thoughts and prayers to all the family.

  2. Sherry Ramey says:

    Dear Reverend Adkins, Karen, Kathy and family. I am so sorry for the loss of your beautiful Brenda. I’ve know her since I was around 12 years old at Tiro Church. I have many memories of her at church and singing with your family. She sure was a fighter but now she is at peace with our Heavenly Father and her mom and others.
    I pray the Lord will comfort you all and hold you closely in this time of loss! Love you all ♥️
    Sherry Ramey

  3. Julie and Mike Austen says:

    Bernie and family-We are so sorry for your loss.

  4. Rev.Phil Yocum says:

    Sorry for your loss. Praying for family.

  5. Chantell Conley says:

    We are so sorry for your loss. May you all be blessed with comfort, strength and peace. Many Prayers and hugs! We love you all! Chantell and the Conley family.

  6. Rob Patton says:

    Sorry to hear, great and wonderful person, prayers to the family.

  7. Connie Sutton says:

    My prayers are with you all. Pastor S.T. and family. My thoughts and prayers are with you all. I will be praying for all of you

  8. Lawrence Frontz says:

    Bernie and family: so sorry for the loss of Brenda may the good Lord wrap his loving arms around your family and friends. She truly fought the good fight

  9. Maggie Bashoff says:

    Joe and family we are so sorry to hear about your loss, sending prayers to you and your family.

    Maggie Bashoff and Jeff Robinson

  10. Linda Stentz says:

    So sorry to hear of Bren death , May God wrap his loving and comforting around the whole family during this difficult time
    …Prayers and Hugs
    Linda Stentz

  11. Sue Wills says:

    My sincere condolences to the family. I adored Bren as well as the rest of the Adkins family. Prayers for the family it’s so hard to lose someone you love. Especially when they are fairly young. RIP

  12. Cathy Miller says:

    Bernie. Tina and Family, I am So Very Sorry for the Loss of Your Wife. Mom and Grandmother. Brenda was a Beautiful Woman. She always had a Smile and Would talk to me no matter where we saw each other. She Loved the Lord, and lived such a devoted Christian life. Loved her Family So Very Much! You All Will be in My Thoughts and Prayers at this time of Grieving. God Bless.

  13. Roger & Sandy Powers says:

    Bernie, we are so sorry to hear the passing of your wife. Our prayers are with you and your family.

  14. Veronica (Vicki) Hewitt says:

    I’m so sorry to hear this. She was always so happy. Prayers for guardian Angels to carry you thru this journey.
    Prayers to all families. She’s watching, she’s in Peace

  15. Jodi Messner says:

    My heart hurts for all of you and I understand the sadness you are going through. Praying for comfort in these difficult days ahead.
    My sympathies,

  16. Lynn Simms says:

    There are no words to say at this time. Just lean on the One and only Father may he give you the peace and comfort you need. My heart is breaking for you. Love and hugs coming your way.
    Lynn Simms

  17. Yvonne (Handshoe) Hall says:

    Saddened by Brenda’s passing and praying for all of the family.

  18. Greg Banks says:

    Bernie, Tina,Bruce and family I’m saddened to here of This passing of mom, wife, grandmother, freind! My heat felt condolences to you all thru this time. May God comfort you and bring you peace . You have my sympathy and love. She was a great lady and an inspiration to many.

  19. Margaret Blubaugh says:

    I would like to send my deepest symphathies and condolenses to Brendas whole family. I use to go to Tiro Baptist Church where I learned to know the Adkins family. I didnt know Brenda as well as the other girls but I did get acquainted with Brenda some what. She was a wonderful person inside and out. She always let her light shine for the Lord and the love for her dear family was plain to see. She put up a strong fight to beat this terrible disease but the Lord decided her work down here was done. So to Bernie, Tina and her grandchildren loving dad and sisters Kathy and Karen I send you all much love hugs and most of all your in my thoughts and continued prayers. Its wonderful to know she is now at peace and no longer in pain and she is now with her mama and sister Linda for all of eternity. And to know you will all be reunited one day is comforting its the seperation down here that is so hard. Sending you all many prayers of comfort peace and strength in the days to come. God Bless each and every one of you.

  20. Deb Sallee says:

    Tina and family , Your mom was a great lady and a wonderful witness of God’s love, grace and mercy . Praying for His peace and comfort during this difficult time. Love and prayers Deb & Ernie Sallee❤️❤️

  21. Marcia L Hall says:

    My prayers are with you all that God will comfort and keep you during this very difficult time.
    Marcia L Hall

  22. Donna and paul says:

    We are so sorry for your loss. So glad you and Paul worked together and that it me the opportunity to know Bren and your family. Great friends and good pizza. She was a great lady and we are definelty better people for have known her.

  23. Vivian Combs Watts says:

    My heart hurts from the earthly loss of our beloved Bren and I pray God will comfort and strengthen those who loved her even more than I. In the midst of the pain I keep thinking of the joyous, heavenly, family reunion that awaits those of us who remain.

  24. Vickie Ramey Rose says:

    S.T., Kathy, Karen. You are all in our thoughts and prayers. We do not remember a time not being around your family. Heaven just got sweeter. Love Jannie, Delores, Kathy and Vickie (the Ramey girls)

  25. Jim Sorenson says:

    My deepest sympathies on your loss. Good to know the Lord welcomes Brenda into Heaven!

  26. Wanda Hess says:

    Condolences to Kathy and Family.

  27. Hannah Hendrickson says:

    To Bernie, the Hursts and family: My heart hurts to hear of Brenda’s passing. She was another grandmother to me. I loved playing at her house, helping at garage sales, and eating all of her snacks with Lexi, Kaelyn, and Izaiah. Every time I pass their old house, a flood of amazing memories rush through my head that I cherish dearly. She was an amazing soul who touched so many. Bren taught me most of the bible stories I know in Bible School at Hillside. I think about how she is where she belongs in Heaven with the Lord and her loved ones watching over you all. My family and I’s love and prayers go out to you guys. We love you all so much!❤️

  28. Julie Craven-Bashore says:

    Karen and Family, So sorry for your loss. My prayers are with you and all your family now and in the days to follow. She is now with the Lord.

  29. Margie Taylor Remington says:

    Bernie and family, I am so sorry to hear of the passing of your wife.

  30. Kelly's Propane says:

    Bernie, Tina & Family, everyone here at Kelly’s Propane sends our condolences. You’ll be in our thoughts & prayers!

  31. Bobby and Sue Parrigan says:

    So sorry to read about Brenda in the paper. You guys were definitely the dream team. Praying for you and your family. The Parrigans

  32. Loretta Moore says:

    Preacher Adkins ,So Sorry for the loss of your daughter ..Sending Thoughts & Prayers to all of the Family ♥️

  33. Judy Hall-Goeppinger says:

    Adopted Dad, and the Entire Adkin’s family.
    It is with a heavy heart that I even wrote this.
    Brenda and I talked quite a bit. Her love and support was beyond wonderful.
    I’ve known Brenda since I was a little girl.
    No more pain and suffering. She’s singing Traveling Shoe’s with her sister Linda now.
    You all have my deepest sympathy.
    Love to all

  34. robert burky says:

    Bernie i am so sorry or your loss ,i dont know how i missed it in paper i am very sorry

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