Brenda Kay Burgess, age 69, died peacefully at home on April 17, 2020. Originally from Grafton, Ohio, Ms. Burgess lived for the past 17 years in Bryson City, North Carolina. She was employed with the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad (GSMR) for the past 16 years. A valued and beloved member of GSMR, she had the distinct achievement of being the first and only female Brakeman on the train. Ms. Burgess is preceded in death by her parents, Hollis and Fela Burgess, and her two elder brothers Wayne and Gary Burgess, all of Grafton, Ohio. She is survived by her children, Michael Goldsmith of Bryson City, North Carolina and Holly Salisbury of Phoenix, Arizona. A lifelong animal lover, Ms. Burgess requested memorial donations be made to PAWS Animal Shelter in Bryson City, North Carolina at pawsbrysoncity.org or PAWS P.O. Box 1814 Bryson City, NC 28713. A celebration of life service will be held for friends and family at a later date. An online registry is available at: www.appalachianfuneralservices.com Appalachian Funeral Services of Sylva, NC is serving the family.