110 W. New York Ave.
DeLand, FL 32720
Services set for 2 p.m. Saturday, March 2, at St. Barnabas Episcopal Church
By Pat Andrews
posted Feb 26, 2013 - 6:01:22pm
DeLand lost one its leading artists Feb. 24 when Brenda (Gunderson) Star died peacefully at her home.
Services are scheduled for 2 p.m. Saturday, March 2, at St. Barnabas Episcopal Church in DeLand. A reception will follow in the church's Canterbury House.
Friend Laura Stewart said Star had fought a valiant battle against ovarian cancer for the past two years or so, and was doing well.
"We had lunch the Saturday before, at Santorini's," Stewart said. "She was her happy, wonderful self."
Star's family said she died of a heart attack, only days after receiving positive results from her oncologist.
Stewart described her friend as creative, and one "who put a lot of care and a lot of thought into her art. She was a complete true artist. Her whole life was a work of art."
Although Star was "very, very dignified, but private," she was also a very warm person, and she had a "wicked sense of humor, very lively and naughty," Stewart said.
"Star" was the professional name she used, and that's how she was known to many people. Brenda Olson was born and raised in South Dakota; she later became Brenda Gunderson, and Brenda Star, the artist.
Star attended the University of South Dakota, where she studied with Native American artist Oscar Howe, and graduated with a bachelor's degree in art.
Star lived, painted and sculpted in DeLand for the last 40 years of her life. She taught art at Brenda Star Art Studio and Gallery in DeLand. Star also taught art to people of all ages at the Museum of Florida Art, nursing homes and community centers.
Star's artist statement reads, "My paintings and sculpture depict the expression of my intuitive sense of form, color, light and movement in relationship to healing energy. It is my way of communicating our connection to the universe, our oneness with all."
While Star was well-known as a portrait artist, her whimsical nature was expressed in various forms of art.
Among her commercial works are the Gibbs building mural and ink drawings of DeLand historical sites, which are sold as postcards and are still available at various shops. She illustrated books, also.
Star leaves behind two sisters, Karen Olson Lovelien and her husband, Fred, of Mancos, Colo., and Gretchen Olson Gardner and her husband, Chuck, of Quartz Hill, Calif. Also mourning Star are five nieces and nephews and 12 great-nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks for donations to the Brenda Star Memorial Fund, which can be made at any Wells Fargo Bank; note account number 2713516611 on the memo line.
Star's sisters said they are grateful to Star's "Florida Family" whom Star loved, and who loved her in return. They said they want to thank Star's oncologist Dr. Kelly Molpus and his staff in Daytona Beach, who took excellent care of Star.
Lankford Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
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