Anna Jane Brashear
February 2, 2002 - October 31, 2010
In The News
In The Schools
09:40 AM CST on Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Courtesy of Denton Record Chronicle

Wilson Elementary School

Fundraiser tonight to benefit Brashear family
Wilson Elementary School will host a dinner fundraiser tonight at La Milpa Mexican Restaurant to benefit the Brashear Family Fund.

Anna Brashear was a Wilson third-grader who recently died after being diagnosed with acute myelogenous leukemia.

La Milpa will donate a portion of all sales made from 4 to 9 p.m. toward the fund, helping the Brashear family offset Anna’s medical and hospital bills.

$4,000 raised for girl’s family
Schools sponsor fundraisers after 8-year-old’s death
12:08 AM CST on Saturday, December 11, 2010
By Britney Tabor / Staff Writer DRC

Two schools have raised more than $4,000 for the family of a Woodrow Wilson Elementary School student who died of leukemia.

On Dec. 4, Wilson and Newton Rayzor elementaries held fundraisers for the Anna Brashear Family Fund, which will help offset medical expenses for the third-grader who succumbed to acute myelogenous leukemia on Oct. 31. Anna was 8 years old.

“I didn’t grow up here in Denton or in Texas … but to come to a larger town with outpouring support for you and your little girl is just overwhelming,” said Joanna Brashear, Anna’s mother, whose family moved to Denton four years ago from High Point, N.C. “It’s hard to put into words how grateful we are. I’m just amazed by the friends we do have. I’m just amazed by their compassion.”

Wilson Elementary — where Anna Brashear attended school as a dual-language student — collected $2,687 from its tamale dinner sale.

More than 300 plates were purchased at the event, said Patsy Sanchez, a fourth-grade dual-language teacher at Wilson and sponsor of the school’s Folklorico Ballet, which hosted the event. Anna was a folklorico dancer last year and had been a kindergarten student of Sanchez’s.

Many donations came from people who didn’t wish to purchase a plate but simply wanted to support the cause, Sanchez said.

“We were pleased with the results and efforts of our entire community, and would like to thank them dearly,” she said in an e-mail. “We appreciate everyone who volunteered and/or donated time and food.”

Newton Rayzor, whose third annual 5K/1-Mile Santa Fun Run/Walk drew more than 280 runners, donated $1,350 — half of the event’s proceeds — to the Brashear family. The rest of the proceeds went toward a science camp for Newton Rayzor fifth-graders.  Among the runners at the Dec. 4 run/walk was Anna’s father, Bobby, who placed second in his age division.

Carlos Ramirez, Newton Rayzor principal, said he appreciated the community support for the schools’ efforts. The Denton school district is a family, he said, and it was wonderful to see it come together with the community to help one of its own.

Knowing that a school that Anna never attended extended itself to help the Brashears was humbling, Joanna Brashear said.

She remembered her daughter on Friday as a vibrant child who concerned herself with the well-being of others before her own.

She said Anna always saw the silver lining in situations and even after her diagnosis Oct. 19, following a doctor’s visit for a nosebleed; it never occurred to Anna that something was wrong. Anna’s leukemia was an aggressive kind with only a 50 percent survival rate, her mother said.

She said she often walks into her backyard and can envision Anna playing on the family swing, a favorite pastime.

“At times, it seems like she’s just at school and in the evenings, it seems like, ‘Oh, she’s at a friend’s house.’ Sometimes it just doesn’t seem real,” Joanna Brashear said.

Amy, Anna’s younger sister, also brings the family a sense of joy, Joanna Brashear said, often emulating mannerisms and sayings of her older sister, whom she looked up to. The family was blessed with Anna, her mother said, and she hopes that people remember her for the sweet girl she was.

“She didn’t live with any disappointments. Everything was still very positive and she was just a positive kid,” Joanna Brashear said. “She was just vibrant and goofy and beautiful, and gosh, she just had such a caring heart.”

Soon after Anna’s diagnosis, family friends launched a website for Anna so friends could stay in contact with her as she underwent treatments. The site still remains active. For information on upcoming events to assist the Brashear family, visit

Elementary schools to raise funds for family
11:55 PM CST on Thursday, December 2, 2010
By Britney Tabor / Staff Writer

Two Denton elementary schools will partner Saturday to assist the family of a local 8-year-old girl who recently died after being diagnosed with leukemia.

Proceeds from events at Woodrow Wilson and Newton Rayzor elementary schools will go to the family of Anna Brashear, who was in the third grade at Wilson Elementary.

Beginning at 11 a.m., the Woodrow Wilson Elementary Folklorico Ballet will serve a tamale dinner to offset the Brashear family’s medical costs. Anna was a dancer with the group during the 2009-10 school year.

Folklorico Ballet members will hand out tamale dinners until 2 p.m. at Wilson Elementary, located at 1306 E. Windsor Drive. The meals will include four tamales, rice, charro beans and homemade salsa. Tamale options will include chicken, pork and jalapeno and bean.

Advance tickets cost $8, and tickets will be $10 on the day of the event. All proceeds from the event are being donated to the Anna Brashear Family Fund. For more information about the sale, visit or call 940-369-4500.

Patsy Sanchez, a fourth-grade dual-language teacher at Wilson and sponsor of the Folklorico Ballet, said members of her group have wanted to show their support for the Brashear family but weren’t sure how to do it.

Sanchez said Anna’s mother, Joanna Brashear, has in recent years been active in volunteering and assisting teachers in any way she could, and now the Wilson community wants to give back.

“We appreciate everything that the family has done for us, so when we heard Anna was sick, it broke our hearts,” Sanchez said. “I just want them to know that we’re here for them, not only financially … but [they’re] still part of our Wilson family.”

“I’m just grateful for the generosity that the community has shown in making this a successful fundraiser,” she said. “I know the family is grateful, also.”

Anna was diagnosed with acute myelogenous leukemia Oct. 19 and died Oct. 31.

Sanchez remembered her former dancer Thursday as a student who was involved in the school dual-language program and who was also an avid gymnast. Sanchez said that she had looked forward to having Anna in her class next year.

At nearby Newton Rayzor Elementary School, Principal Carlos Ramirez said he’d heard Anna’s story through the grapevine and decided his school would help in the fundraising efforts. On Saturday, Newton Rayzor will partner with Wilson Elementary to host its third annual 5K/1-Mile Santa Fun Run/Walk. Teachers, parents and administrators have agreed, Ramirez said, to donate 50 percent of the event’s proceeds to the Brashear family. The rest will go to a science camp for Newton Rayzor fifth-graders.

Ramirez said Newton Rayzor students are encouraged to take action in showing compassion to the people of their community, and giving back to the Brashear family is a good way to do that.

Event registration will begin at 6:30 a.m., followed by the 1-mile run at 7:30 a.m., the 5K race at 8 a.m. and the awards ceremony and door prize drawing at 9 a.m. Registration, which includes a T-shirt, costs $10 for the 1-mile run and $15 for the 5K. Discounts are available for participating students.

Ramirez said that he expects more than 100 students, including those from other Denton elementary schools, to participate in the event.

Anna Jane Brashear
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Courtesy of Denton Record Chronicle

Anna Jane Brashear, 8, of Denton passed away Sunday, October 31, 2010 at Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth. She was born February 2, 2002 in San Antonio to Robert and Joanna Holyfield Brashear. She was in the 3rd grade at Woodrow Wilson Elementary School, a gymnast at Denton Gymnastics Academy, and a Ballet Folklorico de Woodrow Wilson dancer.

Visitation will be Wednesday, November 3, 2010 from 6 – 8 p.m. at DeBerry Funeral Directors. Funeral service will be Thursday, November 4, 2010 at 10:30 a.m. in the chapel of DeBerry Funeral Directors with Rev. Jim Wilkins officiating.Burial will follow at Roselawn Memorial Park in Denton.

She is survived by her parents, Bobby and Joanna Brashear of Denton; sister, Amy Marie Brashear of Denton; grandparents, Danny and Linda Holyfield and Ron and Dorcas Brashear; great grandfather, Bob Menzel; aunts, Wanda Holyfield and Amy Bowman and uncle, Brian Brashear.

If you wish to visit Anna Brashear’s web site, the address is