Brenda Dianne Reed Causey

brenda causey

February 19, 1949 ~ May 2, 2023

Born in: Asheville, NC
Resided in: Weaverville, NC

Brenda Dianne Reed Causey, age 74, of Weaverville, passed away on May 2, 2023 at the end of a grueling battle with Alzheimer’s disease.

Brenda was born February 19, 1949, in Asheville, NC, to the late J. H. Reed and Lena Brown. Among her ancestors were William Brittain, a Revolutionary War veteran who helped organize the newly established Buncombe County in 1792; J. Henry Reed, High Sheriff of Buncombe County during the infamous Will Harris murders of 1906; and Fred and Clyde Reed who donated their house for the first Asheville Orthopedic Hospital during the polio epidemic. Montford’s Reed Creek Greenway was also named for her family, who donated the property along Broadway Street where two of their homes once stood. She grew up nearby, and as a child, the construction site of the future UNC-Asheville was one of her favorite places to play outside.

She graduated with honors from Lee Edwards High School in 1966, and from the Memorial Mission Hospital School of Nursing in 1969. Following her graduation, she began her career in the pediatric unit at Mission and joined the nursing faculty at Asheville-Buncombe Technical College as an instructor in 1976. In 1980, she received her bachelor’s degree in nursing from Western Carolina University, where she was honored in the 1979-80 edition of Who’s Who Among Students in American Colleges & Universities and inducted into the WCU Nurses Honor Society in 1983. She went on to earn her master’s degree in nursing from UNC-Charlotte in 1992, and in 1997, she was appointed as chair of the A-B Tech nursing department. In 2002, she was invited to Chicago to participate as an item writer for the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX), and was honored by The Great 100, a statewide organization recognizing excellence among North Carolina RNs.

Over the course of her 36-year career at A-B Tech, Brenda earned a reputation as an instructor who expected excellence and an administrator whose primary goal was always to instill the highest possible standards of care in her students. Her dedication to quality and her spirit of collaboration opened doors within the community to students for educational opportunities. She is remembered by many in nursing with love, admiration, and utmost respect. Her commitment to excellence has had a profound and lasting impact on the careers of multiple generations of WNC nurses, and through them, she has indirectly touched the lives of their many patients as well.
Her dedication to nursing education and the success of her students extended beyond A-B Tech. Through her work with the Foundation of Nursing Excellence, she was instrumental in the 2010 collaboration between WCU and A-B Tech to increase baccalaureate-prepared nurses in WNC known as RIBN. RIBN has grown throughout the state, with many community colleges and universities adopting the model. RIBN is one of many legacies that she has left the nursing profession.

In addition to her talents as a nurse and educator, Brenda was also an incredibly gifted cook and seamstress, an avid reader and traveler, de facto family photographer, and a staunch LGBTQIA+ ally. She was a member of St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church, where she served on the parish council and family life commission and taught 6th grade catechism. She believed wholeheartedly in the power of education and cared deeply about the well-being of all whom she encountered.

Brenda was preceded in death by her husband of 55 years, Mike Causey, who passed away in January 2023; her brother-in-law, Ismail Akbay, of Athens, AL; and several well-loved canine companions who were blessed to share a home with her. She is survived by daughter Becca Kingston and grandchild Noah Kingston of Weaverville, NC; sisters, Betty (Wiley) Willingham of Asheville, NC and Linda Akbay of Athens, AL; and nephews Reed (Jennifer) Tunstill and Ryan Tunstill of Athens, AL, as well as grandnieces Marlee Reed and Lilly Grace, and grandnephew Cash, also of Alabama.

She passed away peacefully at Emerald Ridge Rehab & Care Center, where she was cared for at the end of her life by some of her own former students, with additional support from CarePartners Hospice.

A Funeral Mass will be celebrated Saturday, July 29, 2023 at 11:00 am at St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church and will be officiated by the Rev. Fathers Dean Cesa and Morris Boyd. A reception and celebration of both Brenda and Mike’s lives will be held in the parish hall following the Mass.

Those wishing to make a memorial contribution are encouraged to consider the Alzheimer’s Association of WNC or the Pisgah Health Foundation’s Mission Belles Nursing Education Fund.


Funeral Mass: July 29, 2023 11:00 am

St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church
768 Asbury Road
Candler, NC 28715


Funeral Home Assisting The Family:

Groce Funeral Home - Patton Ave.
1401 Patton Ave.
Asheville, NC 28806


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Memories Timeline


  1. Many wonderful memories of Brenda, starting in 1966 when we entered MMH School of nursing. She was beautiful lady, great friend and a wonderful nurse/ instructor. Her big old smile always lite up the room. Loved her like a sister. Rest now Brenda, you and Mike are together again. You will be thought of often and missed greatly.

  2. Mrs Causey was one of my instructors at AB Tech in 1989. She was a wonderful teacher with great patience and an excellent ability to encourage her students. Her kindness will always be remembered. My condolences to her family and loved ones.

  3. I am so sorry for your loss. I worked closely with Brenda at A-B Tech and found her to be one of my favorite faculty colleagues. She ran a high quality program of which we were very proud.
    She was a true professional educator who exemplified the caring medical field. I remember her as a bright light at our college.
    Again, I send my sincere sympathy.

  4. I Was a former classmate of Brenda’s at MMH. I’m thrilled to hear of all her accomplishments!!! I remember her as a very good person. She lived well!

  5. I was a student of your mother way back in 1987 in AB Tech. She was an excellent instructor & I can still hear her quiet, soft spoken voice. I worked 29 years in local nursing/rehab center where the elderly was my favorite age group to work with. I am sorry for what your mother had to endure & her family too. Know she is in a much better place now where she is free of the Alzheimer’s disease. My sympathy to you & your family.

  6. I loved being Brenda’s colleague at A-B Tech, and am very sad to learn of her passing.

  7. I’ve known Brenda since first grade. Went on to finish nursing school with her. She was always kind, always humble. One of my favorite friends ever. Her memory and her example will live on in my heart.

  8. You might not remember me, I was the Director of Youth Ministry at St. Joan of Arc when you were in high school. This is where I was privileged to know and work with your amazing mom. Her support of my efforts as the DYM was both encouraging and fundamental to my tenacity! After reading her obituary, I now know why. My fondest memory of both your parent was as a guest in their home. At the time, your mom invited me to stay the night before carpooling to a Parish Council Retreat at the Jesuit Retreat House in Hot Springs. What made my time with them so special was their warmth and welcoming demeaner. I have never felt so comfortable or at ease. I remember enjoying our conversation that night, especially. I hope we can reconnect in July at your mom’s funeral Mass. Until then may my prayers for you be a conduit of grace and consolation.

  9. I am saddened to learn of Brenda’s illness and passing. She and I worked very closely together at A-B Tech and she was a wonderful partner in all she did there. I will never forget her wit, mind and care for others.

  10. Brenda was one of my LPN instructors in Nsg school in 83, and again later when I went back for my RN. I learned al lot form her. She always amazed me how smart she was. She came up to me after graduation from the RN program and said, “I’ll see you back here in a couple years as an instructor, right?” And I had to tell her no I don’t think so, I am soo done with school!! But she was one of the best instructors I ever had. And was just mentioning her to a friend of mine who then told me about her passing. I am sorry for your loss, but she lived a good life and helped and touched so many people. She left a good legacy!! Love to all her family!

  11. I was lucky enough to have been in the nursing program at AB Tech when Brenda was chair of the program . She was a great teacher will be missed by so many . My deepest sympathies to her family .

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