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Joseph F Brennan
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Birth: Jun. 30, 1928
Death: Feb. 15, 2010

Joseph F. Brennan, 81, funeral director, rowing coach

Joseph F. Brennan, 81, of Fairmount, a funeral director and rowing coach, died of a brain aneurysm Monday at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.

Mr. Brennan attended St. Francis Xavier Elementary School in Fairmount, where he met his future wife, Claire Muldowney, in first grade. He graduated from Roman Catholic High School and from Howard E. Dolan College of Mortuary Science in Philadelphia.

During the Korean War, he served in a combat unit in Korea. He later was transferred to a unit identifying the remains of U.S. soldiers killed in action, and assisted a pathologist who was studying fatal wounds.

The research they did on wounds to the torso led to the design of a flak vest that was worn by soldiers in Vietnam, said Mr. Brennan's daughter Claire Sereni.

After his discharge as a sergeant, he worked for funeral homes while earning a bachelor's degree from St. Joseph's University.

In 1959, Mr. Brennan established the Joseph F. Brennan Funeral Home in Fairmount. As a volunteer for the Lions Eye Bank, he harvested corneas from deceased donors for living recipients. He considered his involvement in the program to be the most valuable work he did in his 60-year career as a funeral director, said another daughter, Judith Thompson.

After closing his funeral home in 1989, Mr. Brennan continued to work as a funeral director. In 2001, he became president of Oliver H. Bair Funeral Homes Inc. Though he retired as president in 2007, he continued to be supervisor of the Oliver H. Bair Funeral Home in Upper Darby.

Mr. Brennan was a member of his high school rowing team, and later won trophies rowing for the Fairmount Rowing Association. In 1956, he became the first rowing-team coach at Monsignor Bonner High School. He later coached crew at St. Joseph's Preparatory School, Mount St. Joseph Academy, and St. Joseph's University. In the 1950s, he helped found the Manny Flick Regatta, a high school rowing competition on the Schuylkill.

In the 1960s, Mr. Brennan, a lifelong resident of Fairmount, was founding president of the Fairmount Parents, Business, and Neighbors Association. He was also active with Model Cities, a federal program to renew urban neighborhoods.

He and his wife had a summer home in Ocean City, N.J., for 35 years and enjoyed spending time at the Shore with their children and grandchildren.

In addition to his wife of 57 years and daughters, Mr. Brennan is survived by four grandchildren.

A Funeral Mass will be at 11:30 a.m. Friday at St. Francis Xavier Roman Catholic Church, 24th and Green Streets. Friends may call from 9:30 a.m. Burial will be in West Laurel Hill Cemetery, Bala Cynwyd.

Donations may be made to Lions Eye Bank of Delaware Valley, 401 N. Third St., Philadelphia 19123. 
West Laurel Hill Cemetery
Bala Cynwyd
Montgomery County
Pennsylvania, USA
Maintained by: Jim (Dr. Mo) Moshinskie,...
Originally Created by: Lizann
Record added: Feb 20, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 48373756
Joseph F Brennan
Added by: Jim (Dr. Mo) Moshinskie, PhD, CPT
Joseph F Brennan
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Dean Hirst
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Mr. Joseph F. Brennan is to be honored not only for his many contributions to the community, but also to the funeral service profession.
- Jim (Dr. Mo) Moshinskie, PhD, CPT
 Added: Feb. 21, 2010

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