Brenna Clausen


Image of Brenna Clausen

Brenna Clausen

Brenna was born Yoo Ran Sung in Busan, South Korea on September 5, 1984 and adopted the USA in March of 1985, 36 years ago. It was love at first sight for her and her new family. Her home by Seattle’s Green Lake was filled with joy and discovery. She named the family dog “Bubba” and the ducks in the park were “dudge”, her first words.

Shortly she welcomed her sister, also from Korea, into the family and they stole the hearts of all around them. Always precocious, at three years old she led the pledge of allegiance for the July 4th, 1988 Naturalization Ceremony at Seattle Center.

Brenna graduated from Roosevelt High School and Washington State University – working for the Seattle Parks Department for her entire professional career. Most recently she was the coordinator of the International District/Chinatown Community Center in Seattle and referred to herself as a “lifer”. She was realizing her passion as a proud Asian American by working for underserved populations. Brenna was the 2017 National Recreation and Park Ethnic Minority Society Young Professional Recipient. Her coworkers and friends were part of her family.

She loved preparing and sharing Korean food, baking banana bread for her Pops, wearing flip-flops, had a keen mind for the practical things in life, reveled in an extensive holiday season, wielded her colorful vocabulary, delighted in Las Vegas, and loved the color purple.  Brenna was fascinated by Greek mythology, longing to visit Greece – an unfulfilled dream.

Much to her profound surprise, Brenna died in her sleep on March 23, 2021 after managing a heart condition for three years.  She left behind an array of treasured family, friends, fans, and her beloved cat Kiki.

She was unable to take along her sassy sunglasses, her nose stud, her art canvas nails, her secret tattoo, a cup of Café Du Monde chicory coffee, a diet coke, a bit of weed, a shot of Crown Royal, her car with the thump thump base, some Korean sushi, a Panda token, some Mardi Gras beads, her Seahawks gear or her brand-new refrigerator. She left her radiant smile for us.

Brenna would quote Tupac Shakur “…so no matter how hard it gets, stick your chest out, keep ya head up…. and handle it.”

She is survived by her parents Cherie and Robert, her sister Kira, and lifelong supporters Janel, Dolly and Dick Duck.

Remembrances can be made to the International District/Chinatown Community Center in Seattle through the following link:


17 Responses to “Brenna Clausen”

  • Kerry Smith says:

    Bob and Cherie,

    I am so very sorry to hear of your family’s loss. I remember your joy when the girls arrived and how much you loved and cherished your daughters, as well as what a star Breanna was at that naturalization ceremony.


  • Ida Hsiang says:

    B *AliBi ~My ride or die and road dog for life. How strange it is that you’ve gone on. Almost 20 years of memories, laughter, debauchery, and growth. Even in the down times and weird times, you always had my back. From day one, you were a day one. You always always had it together, even when you didn’t lol From WWU to Meadowbrook, from Northgate and To The West! I can’t even mention half the crazy, dumb, fun antics and straight shenanigans on here but you know how we do. 20 years deep; I’ve definitely lost a piece of myself and nothing will be the same. I love you always and forever. I lost a real one. Seattle lost a real one. Love you always, B

  • Deanna & John Eubank says:

    Much love from the Texas family. We were privileged to be able to have fun with and get to know Brenna on the 2012 cruise and at the 2019 wedding! We lost a rare gem… hugs to each of you.

  • Alma Plancich says:

    Dear Bob and Cherie,
    I am deeply sorry for the loss of your beloved daughter. How very sad to loss someone so young and vibrant. This is a huge loss to her family, friends, and community. I remember Brenna and her sister leading the Pledge at the Naturalization Ceremony many years ago. Much love and prayers, Alma Plancich

  • Margaret L Petersen says:

    So sorry to hear about your precious little girl passing. I remember how thrilled you two were when you
    adopted the girls. Cherish the memories.

  • Margaret L Petersen says:

    Best Wishes

  • Sharon Mauze says:

    My sincerest condolences to Brenna’s family. My heart goes out to you. Brenna was a genuine bright star. She was always welcoming to me when I visited her center. She was always willing to work the extra task with me to strengthen the Parks ARC relationship. I respected, appreciated, and admired Brenna greatly. I know she is greatly missed. Rest high on the mountain, Brenna.

  • John Merner says:

    Dear Bob and Cherie,
    I am so sorry to hear about your profound loss. Knowing that the depth of your grief can be measured by the height of your love, I can only imagine your sadness. I remember you as such loving and dedicated parents. Bless you and your family.

  • Marilyn Dale Bennett says:

    Dear, Dear Cherie, Bob and Kira: Evamarii shared your incredibly heartbreaking news with me via email. We are so, so sorry for your great loss. I remember Brenna so well as a child; when Trevor was born 3 years later, Peter and I decided they should marry, she was so dear, sparkly and beautiful. Your tribute to her is among the most true and moving I have ever read; I feel I knew Brenna as a young woman, and the diet Coke, Crown Royal, and Hawks gear confirm that we love her. And we’ve never stopped thinking of you all. Holding you in our hearts; Marilyn, Peter and Trevor

  • Randall Broom says:

    Dear Bob, Cherie and Kira-

    I am so sorry to hear this news. Brenna was a such a lovely person. I was her dentist but she’s the one who made my smile bright whenever she came in to the office. She didn’t like coming in but toughed it out and always made me laugh. We will miss her.

    Blessings to you all.

    Randall Broom and staff

  • David and Jeanne Markley says:

    Bob, Cherie, and Kira,
    We are so sad to hear of your loss. While Brenna’s life was marked by the dates of her birth and death (September 5, 1984 – March 23, 2021) it is the ‘dash’ between those dates that truly distinguishes her life – a life full of a loving family, close friends, special times, good food, significant achievements, a valued career and colleagues, and lots of happy times. We hope all these memories will help comfort you. David and Jeanne

  • David & Rebecca Gilbertson says:

    Dear Bob, Cherie and Kira,

    What a true joy Brenna was to work with. She came to work ready each day ready to give her best – and she did with compassion and grace. She served the City of Seattle and Parks and Recreation with great integrity, steadfast perseverance and extraordinary resilience. Thank you for raising such a beautiful soul and sharing your daughter with us. She will be greatly missed by all. Holding you in our prayers. David and Rebecca

  • Val says:

    Cherie, Bob and Kira, oh how I wish I could write this in a bright purple pen! Like others who’ve written here, and those who’ve known Brenna, it’s words like ‘joy, laughter, sparkling and radiant’ that best describe her dazzling spirit. And ‘real,’ of course. Loved that about Brenna. I especially treasure the after school and Kathy’s Place days when Brenna took such good care of Breezy and, in later years, Emma. I can hear them laughing, or singing loudly and enthusiastically and usually off key… or just being big (and little) goofballs. Breeze and Em were simply content to be in Brenna’s company. But then, weren’t we all? She was so easy and so accepting that way. Brenna drew from her own deep and nourishing well, fed by her steadfast family and a home full of love. Cherie, you were always a maternal role model for me. I cherish those many years over coffee when we would help each other through our particular parenting trials. Even then, Brenna always made us laugh. The Griffith family will carry Brenna and her dazzling spirit with us always. Remembering the first time we saw that small brown girl with the radiant smile in her red wagon and holding you, Bob and Kira in our hearts during these hard, dark days. Godspeed Brenna, you go with such love.

  • Joy Williams says:

    A Beautiful Person who will always be remembered for her Honesty and Greatness.
    RIP Brenna Gone but never Forgotten.
    Joy Williams

  • Dan and Sandy Kraus says:

    Dear Cherie, Bob and Kira,

    Brenna might not be with us now, but she will always will be in our hearts and minds. And how can we forget the fun our girls had when they were young. Her memory should always be a joy to all who knew her. May her memory be a blessing.

    Love and kisses always,
    Sandy and Dan

  • Don & Midori Liu says:

    We interacted with Brenna at the Chinese Community Center where we conducted exercise and Tai Chi classes once a week. Brenna was such a joy to be with and such a caring and kind hearted person. She will be so sorely missed. She left us much too soon. Rest In Peace Brenna

  • Rachel Greenspan says:

    I was so shocked and sad to learn today of Brenna’s passing. Brenna hired me 3 years ago to teach piano lessons at the International District Community Center. She was always very supportive and kind. Her hard working and joyful nature contributed to make the center a comfortable place for all the children and adults to visit and participate. She was particularly helpful to me and my piano students in setting up recitals in the big room, sometimes pitching in to move around chairs and sound equipment herself. She was a great colleague and a wonderful person. I’ll miss her and I will pray for her Eternal Happiness. Sincerely, Rachel Greenspan

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