Cyrilla Mary Brake was born on April 27, 1937, to Stephen and Anna Fritz in Covington, Kentucky, the 8th child of 11, and died peacefully with family by her side on February 10, 2022, at the Carmel Home in Owensboro, Kentucky. Cyril lived a lifetime of service to others. She grew up in a house full of children and good times and always loved to share stories about their home and growing up in her Covington neighborhood. Upon graduation from Notre Dame Academy, she entered the Sisters of Notre Dame Convent where she spent 8 years serving vulnerable children and orphans. After leaving the convent, she reconnected with her high school sweetheart and best friend's brother, Nicholas William Brake. They were married on May 7, 1966, at St. John's Catholic Church in Covington.
Nick and Cyril spent 45 years together until Nick's death in 2011. Together, they raised their two sons, Nick and Greg. Big Nick and Cyril were devoted to one another and to their family.
Cyril had a heart of compassion for those in distress. She served on St. Agnes Bereavement Committee and as a Eucharistic Minister to the home-bound and elderly, delivering flowers to them on holidays. When her mother, Anna Fritz, became too ill to live alone, Nick and Cyril opened their home to her and were her caregivers until her death. Cyril had a nurturing touch for the ill, lonely, and vulnerable.
Her extensive volunteer work included Redwood Guild, Diocesan Children's Home, St. Agnes Parish Council, and Hospice. She was an advocate for the elderly, infirmed or bereaved, as well as refugees and underserved. Besides her compassion, she was known for her quick and dry wit, Christmas cookies, planning Fritz Family Reunions, and her years of service as the St. Agnes School Cafeteria Manager. Cyril was a Cub Scout Den Mother and a member of The Garden Club, active in the curation of roses.
After Big Nick died, Cyril moved to St. Charles Assisted Living Community where she lived until her health declined and she needed full-time care. In 2017, she moved to Owensboro Kentucky's Carmel Home. While living in the infirmary, she enjoyed "working" with the staff and serving her fellow residents. The Carmelite Sisters and the Carmel Home staff brought deep comfort to her and made the last years of her life one of connection and community.
She was preceded in death by her parents, her devoted husband Nick, brothers Joe, Len, and Steve Fritz and her sisters, Sister Mary Kathlyn, SND, Sister Ann Adele, SND, Sister Stephanie, SND, Jule Schwartz, and Mary Jo Hawley.
Her survivors include her sons and their wives Nick and Candance Brake of Owensboro, Kentucky and Greg and Tina Brake of Issaquah, Washington; her grandchildren, Anna Caroline Brake of Washington, DC, Nicholas Castlen Brake of Bowling Green, Kentucky, Charlie Brake and Olivia Brake of Issaquah, brothers Lou (Anna Louise) Fritz and Larry (Pat) Fritz; her sister-in-law Mary Ann (Bob) Goettke; and Donna (Bernie) Wessels, her niece whom she considered a daughter; and a host of other nieces and nephews and their families, whom she loved dearly.
The Brake Family wishes to publicly thank the Carmelite Sisters and the staff of the Carmel Home Infirmary who touched our family as they ministered to Cyrilla's physical, emotional, and spiritual needs and to Donna Wessels who fulfilled that role for several years before Cyril moved to Owensboro.
Visitation for Mrs. Brake will be from 1:30 until 3:30 Wednesday at The Carmel Home in Owensboro and from 9:30 until 11:30 Friday at St. Agnes Catholic Church in Ft. Wright, KY. The Mass of Christian Burial will be at 11:30 Friday with interment to follow in St. John's Cemetery in Ft. Mitchell, KY. Glenn Funeral Home and Crematory is entrusted with local arrangements. The visitation and funeral mass will be under the direction of Linnemann Funeral Homes. Expressions of sympathy may take the form of contributions to Diocesan Catholic Children's Home, PO Box 1700, Ft. Mitchell, KY 41017-0007; Sisters of Notre Dame 1601 Dixie Hwy, Park Hills, KY 41011; or The Carmel Home, 2501 Old Hartford Rd., Owensboro, KY 42303-1339.
Memories and messages of condolence may be shared with the family of Cyrilla Mary Brake at www.glenncares.com.
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