Devoted mother of eight and home economics teacher, died Friday, September 13 in Roseville. She was 91. The youngest of five sisters, she grew up in Brenham, Texas, and graduated from the University of Texas in Austin. She married Charles Norton Brennecke at the Naval Academy in Annapolis in 1944 upon his graduation, and returned to Texas while he served in the Pacific theater. She raised her eight children in Austin, TX, Arlington, MA, Clayton, MO and St Paul, MN, moving as needed for Charles' career. When the youngest entered school, she turned to teaching, eventually earning her master's at the University of Minnesota and teaching in the St Paul school system. She was the home economics teacher at the St Paul Open School when it opened in 1971. Patti was a talented seamstress and tailored all of her clothes, from her ball gowns for teenage beauty pageants in Brenham, her wedding gown and trousseau, to her work outfits as a teacher. She also was an avid gardener, with a backyard of blooming flowers in the Crocus Hill neighborhood of St Paul. She is survived by seven of her children, including Jonathan Brennecke of Maplewood and Paul Brennecke (Martha) of Minneapolis, Patti Yaffe of St. Louis, MO, Charles Brennecke (Barbara) of Augusta, MO and Croatia, Cecilia Brennecke (Mark Hyman) of Baltimore, MD, Nancy Hartley (Paul) of Dallas, TX, and Greg Brennecke (Tamara) of Seattle WA; as well as fourteen grandchildren, including David Yaffe (Lee Engfer) of Minneapolis, and eleven great-grandchildren. Patti's husband Charles died in 2009, and her daughter Mary in 2001. Patti will be inurned next to her husband at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, DC. A memorial service and luncheon will be held at Macalester-Plymouth Church in St. Paul on Saturday, October 26 at noon. Memorial contributions may be made to the Macalester-Plymouth United Church, 1658 Lincoln Ave, St. Paul 55105.
Published in Pioneer Press on Sept. 16, 2013