KATY MAGAZINE NEWS
July 19, 2020
By Natalie Cook Clark
Katy mom Brandi Wills fell victim earlier this month to a murder-suicide incident. Her family, work associates, and the community now mourn her loss. She impacted many lives, and was well-known in the real estate industry.
Mom Who Made an Impact
Brandi Wills (48), a Katy mom of four, died July 12 at a Katy Fort Bend County home during a murder-suicide incident. Her life touched many, and her family, colleagues, and the Katy community continue to mourn a life well-lived through strength and love for her children.
Brandi was born on June 1, 1972 in Houston. She is survived by her children Ashton (22) and Lauren Peebles (21) from her first marriage, and Alissa (11) and Jacob Wills (9) from her second marriage. (Pictured below: Brandi and daughter Lauren.)
“I want to do everything in my power to preserve the goodness of my mother,” says Ashton Peebles, Brandi’s oldest son.
Ashton recently graduated from the University of Texas and works for JP Morgan in Austin. He has since returned to Katy to care for Brandi’s youngest children.
“Brandi spent the majority of her life raising her children,” says Ashton. “We were her purpose. She loved fiercely.”
Dedicated, Working Mom
Ashton said his mom built a family everywhere she went.
“After dedicating her life to raising her children - she kick-started phase two of her life. She began working at Century 21 when we moved to Katy in 2008 and built a strong family there as well.”
Later, Brandi moved to Frontier Title where she only added to her “family” and continued to serve the people and businesses of Katy through her work.
“In hindsight, I’m blown away by what she did,” says Ashton. “When I wanted her to relax, she was crushing it at work.”
(Pictured Left: Brandi and daughter Lauren."
Touched Many Lives
Being an escrow officer, working in both commercial, residential, and lender business, Brandi had the opportunity to impact many families in the Katy area.
“You touch so many people’s lives when you’re in real estate. We’re counselors, punching bags,” says agent and friend Keri Burdette. “All those emotions. Not everyone can do this job. She did wonderful, incredible. She was such an impactful person.”
Over her nearly ten year career, Brandi worked at Century 21 and Frontier Title in both their Katy and most recently, Fulshear offices. Wherever she worked, she made an impact, and co-workers became family - a family that is mourning and doing what they can to help her children during this time.
Co-workers Setting Up Fund for Brandi's Children
Brandi didn’t have a lot of benefits. Her Century 21 and Frontier Title families are working to set up a trust to support her children’s’ education. Until then there is a Go Fund Me page for anyone who feels called to give.
Ashton and her children appreciate the outpouring of support they have experienced from family, their mother’s co-workers, and the community.
“She was a hard worker, fun to be around. It’s so hard knowing that she’s gone. It just doesn’t seem real,” says Burdette.
"She defined and encompassed the overall definition of a determined and successful woman who could do it all," says Burdette. "A successful woman who could do it all and was able to balance both family and success."
Served Her Community
Brandi loved her Katy community and worked to help those impacted by Hurricane Harvey. She understood that being in her line of work was more than business but helping people.
Now, Brandi's kids are being strong and preserving her legacy.
“They (Brandi’s younger children) have absolutely amazed me with their strength,” says Ashton.
“My mom went through hardships but she always pulled through and made the best of everything. That was just her,” says Ashton.
Celebration of Life to be Announced
The Wills family plans to honor Brandi, but not with a funeral. A celebration of life, honoring the way she lived, will be scheduled in about three weeks. Many services have been experiencing delays during the pandemic.
But the family also wishes to remember and honor her themselves first.
“We are going on a family beach vacation that we’ve had planned. The kids will be with family and grandparents. She would want us to all be together,” says Ashton. (Pictured: Brandi, Alissa, and Jacob.)
In addition to her children, Brandi leaves behind an expansive family. Her father was James "Jim" Landry, her mother was Pamela "Pam" Kelly (who passed away in 2007). She had brothers, sisters, cousins, and was loved by all.
“They say it takes a village, we have an army,” says Ashton.
Brandi and eldest son, Ashton.
Ashton is currently going through legal proceedings, with the support from his family, to take custody of both Alissa and Jacob.
“I played a part in raising them. When they were in preschool, I was in high school. And I want to continue to do just that,” says Ashton.
Katy will not forget Brandi Wills.
“She was a bastion of strength,” says Ashton. “She was just full of love, unity, and strength. She would always push through and she did it for us. For her kids.”