FARGO — 56-year-old Brenda Potter of Moorhead, longtime local cyclist and athletic trainer to American Gold Gymnastics, suffered a sudden brain aneurysm while working-out Wednesday, Sept. 22. Family says it is something she cannot recover from, and plans are now being made for organ donation.
Talk about living out a life of joy and giving, Brenda Potter spent her days with so many separate friend communities. Cycling, pets, church and gymnastics. She is being remembered by her closest friends as someone with conviction, and a woman of great faith.
"She not only read the Bible, but studied the Bible and lived that," said Potter's friend Billy Iverson. She loved God and people, and she lived it so powerfully."
In the last 24 hours, people stood outside Essentia Health in Fargo in tears, remembering Acro Team moments with a woman so many athletes like Halie Harland called her second mom.
"There are thousands of kids who walk through the doors every day, and she touched every single kid, whether it was a recreational gymnastics kid or competitive acro," Halie Harland said. "She didn't care what team you were on, if you walked into her room, she welcomed you."
Halie Harland's mom, Chris Harland, helped organize the vigil, and was one of Potter's closest friends.
"It does show she loved God and she loved people and she walked that out everyday," Chris Harland said. "People were so important to her, through her faith, she loved well."
When Brenda Potter wasn't helping athletes in town or fawning over her beloved dogs, she was cycling, where she had yet another community of friends.
"Brenda was a friend to all, and not 'that friend to all,' but the friend to all who remembered you hurt your knee, or knew your birthday was coming up," said Tom Smith, owner of the Great Northern Bicycle Company.
Friends say Potter's pets just sit by the window waiting for her. They even brought her beloved dog, Ace, to her hospital room at Essentia, for one last visit.
So many who loved Brenda Potter find comfort knowing her faith and family were always a priority, and that efforts are being considered to keep her legacy of giving going, through organ donation.