Brenda Turteltaub

Brenda Sue Turteltaub died Nov. 27 at Lake Amanor, California. She was 54.

Turteltaub was born in Waukon, Iowa on May 1, 1962 to Marcie and Edward (Jim) Opfer. She grew up in Waukon riding horses with her dad, waterskiing with her friends on the Mississippi River and making friends wherever she went -- a trait that followed her for the rest of her life.

She loved her big brother, Bob, and her two sisters, Sheryl (John) Prestemon and Linda (Jerry) Beck. She graduated from Waukon High School and went on to Iowa State University where she graduated in 1987 and met her future husband of 30 years, Ken Turteltaub.

The pair moved to Livermore, California in the spring of 1987, where Turteltaub began a long and very successful career in information technology at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory where she helped install the first ISDN phone system and later started its first desktop support organization that provided computer support for more than 1,000 people. Turteltaub eventually rose to the deputy associate director’s level for Computation and ended her career as a special adviser to the chief information officer of the National Nuclear Security Administration, U.S. Department of Energy, which she retired from in 2014.

Turteltaub and her husband Ken went on many wonderful adventures. She loved the outdoors, hiking, riding bicycles, skiing -- especially cross-country skiing -- and carriage driving with her horses. She loved to spend time with her pets and was very creative and passionate in all her endeavors, bringing her own special artistic flair to all she did. She enjoyed decorating and crafts, was generous to a fault and was a wonderful hostess to her many guests. She left an enduring effect on all she met.

Turteltaub is survived by her mother, Marcie Opfer; her sisters, Sheryl Prestemon and Linda Beck; her husband, Ken Turteltaub; her sister-in-law, Cynda Opfer; her nieces, Becky Gesing and Shari Prestemon; her nephews, Brad Prestemon and Troy Beck and her great-nieces and great-nephews. She was preceded in death by her father; her father-in-law, Edward Turteltaub; her mother-in-law, Midge Turteltaub; her brother, Bob Opfer; and her nephew, Merlin Gesing.

There will be a memorial at a date yet to be determined. In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory may be made to a local animal shelter.