Her Life

Early Years

Our mother was born Roanna O’Neal on January 3, 1946 in Ashland, Ohio.  She was the fourth of five children.  Her parents, Glenn and Phoebe O’Neal, a pastor and homemaker, moved through several pastorates in Ohio and Santa Barbara, finally settling in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Inglewood in the early 1950’s.  Roanna (Rannie)graduated from Brethren High School in 1963. She was an avid singer, and the “O’Neal Trio” was a sensation in churches throughout Southern California.  These years were interspersed with summer trips to Washington state to visit the extended maternal Schilperoort and paternal O’Neal families.  She spoke of these moments fondly, and her cousins remained close to her heart for life.


Roanna married Jim Brazeau at the age of 19.  Moving from Southern California to Syracuse, NY; Humboldt County, San Jose, and then back to Orange County, the couple brought two boys into the world: Michael Scott Brazeau in June 1971, and Brian James Brazeau in May 1974.  Although the marriage did not last, Roanna’s sons would become the lights of her life, and would motivate most of her major decisions moving forward.


Roanna finished her studies, earning a Master’s degree in Special Education.  She held various teaching positions in San Diego, Borrego Springs, and Orland.  Professionally, this was an extremely positive time for her.  However, she felt that the vacation visits with her boys were far from ideal, and she made the choice to be closer to them in Northern California.


A life that had seen many moves finally laid down roots next to her sons in Ukiah, California in 1983.  She taught for ten years in the Ukiah Unified School district, helping generations of young people access education.  At the same time, her relationship with her boys flourished, and it can be said that this was one of the happiest periods of her life.

Return to Southern California

When both sons left home, Roanna decided to return to her roots in Southern California.  She taught in the Riverside, Corona, and Lake Elsinore school districts, all while earning her Administrative Credential from the University of California at Riverside. This era saw the birth of her first four grandchildren, Nicolas (2000), Jessica (2002), Alexandre (2003), and Gavin (2008). 
She would embrace the role of grandmother with great joy and energy.

San Diego

Mom’s heart always remained tied to the beautiful weather and sea air of San Diego.  She moved back in 2009, and remained here until her passing.  Although she retired from full-time teaching, she continued to transmit her knowledge to future teachers through courses taught with Chapman and National Universities.  Observing student teachers, training them in the legislation of educational equity, and mentoring future professionals brought her immense satisfaction.   She continued to travel to see her grandchildren (whose ranks had grown with the birth ofHenry in 2017 and Madeleine in 2020) in Texas, Corona, New Jersey, and Paris.

In 2019, mom was diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy, a condition that originally affected her feet, limiting her mobility.  The neurological difficulties soon migrated to her legs, and finally began affecting her breathing in 2021.  After an extended hospital stay and many valiant efforts to discover ways to reverse the disease, Roanna Glynn passed peacefully, surrounded by her two loving sons, on April 1, 2021.  She will forever be remembered as a funny, lively, giving, intelligent, and loving human being, and will be greatly missed by her sons, daughters-in-law, grandchildren, and by all those who had the privilege of knowing her.