Brenda Aikens, Lenoir City mayor’s wife, dies after leukemia battle
Lydia X. McCoy of the Knoxville News Sentinel
Brenda Aikens, the wife of Lenoir City Mayor Tony Aikens, was known for her smile and her laugh.
"In general, she was always happy," said Loudon County Sheriff Tim Guider, and Brenda Aikens' first cousin. "She had that laugh about her. I don't have it but a few of us cousins do; it was just … a contagious laugh. She was just always in a good mood."
On Monday, after a four-year battle with leukemia, Mrs. Aikens, 64, died at Vanderbilt Medical Center in Nashville surrounded by her family.
"With her courageous battle with leukemia, she was an example to all of us," said LaVonne Barbour, who works in the mayor's office and is a close family friend. "Brenda was a role model to all of us and I would hope if I was battling like what she's going through that I could still be as strong and courageous and have my faith in God like Brenda has shown."
Family and friends noted Mrs. Aiken's strong faith and how active she was with her church, Highland Park Baptist Church. She'd been a member of the church since 1965, said Pastor Eddie Click. She taught a Sunday school class at the church, and as a drama team director she had written and directed several productions.
"She was a great source of encouragement to all who knew her and showed great faith through her illness, never complaining, always keeping her faith in the Lord," Click said.
"She was an example of a godly woman through her strong faith in the Lord, showing us that God's grace is always more than sufficient, no matter what you go through. She will be missed by all who knew her and was touched by her."
As the first lady of Lenoir City, Mrs. Aikens was known for being present at a number of events and supporting her husband, who is also the deputy chief for the Loudon County Sheriff's Office.
"I'd say she is the backbone of the mayor," Guider said. "She's just a good woman to have at your side. … She was very quiet but you felt her presence."
Barbour added Mrs. Aikens was just a great lady.
"She'll be greatly missed," she said. "Everyone's going to miss her and it's a big loss to Lenoir City. It's a big loss that's going to leave a void."