John E. Brennan

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John E. Brennan, 84 "Wings", of Charleston, SC, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, February 18, 2014. Born in Greenwich, Connecticut on June 23, 1929 to John and Clara Brennan, he was raised by his maternal grandmother, Emma Fox Hanrahan. He graduated from Dobbs Ferry High School and then spent a year as a post graduate at North Tarrytown High School where he met and proposed to Nancy Bushel, his loving wife of sixty one years. John joined the U.S. Marine Corps in October 1950, and after serving in the Korean War, he was awarded the Purple Heart and the Korean Service and Campaign Medals. During his early years in the Marine Corps, he served on the Rifle and Pistol team where he maintained an Expert status, served sea duty on the USS Newport News, and was a Drill Instructor for the Naval Aviation Officer Candidates in Pensacola, Florida. He served in the Vietnam War, where he ran the Sniper School and received the Vietnam Service and Campaign Medals and the Naval Commendation Medal with Combat "V". Upon returning from the war, he spent the rest of his career at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, SC. At Parris Island, he served a second tour as a Drill Instructor and then was selected and promoted to Warrant Officer after which he was best known as the Range Officer for "Charlie" line on the Rifle Range. In September 1969, he was designated a Marine Gunner (One of a Chosen Few!), and in September 1974, he retired with 24 years of Honorable Service as a CWO3. Although retired, he lived by, "Once a Marine, always a Marine!" Semper Fi! But, John was not finished. In his second career, he developed, implemented, and managed security programs for numerous residential plantations in Beaufort and Hilton Head, SC. While working in his security roles, he attained his Associate degree in Criminal Justice and went on to study at Armstrong University in Savannah, GA. Even after John retired the second time, he provided consultation services to the plantations for security related issues. From his early years when he was catcher for the Brooklyn Dodgers farm team, he always loved sports and officiated any chance he could. He served as the President of the Beaufort Officials Association for many years and on the High School Leagues for baseball/softball and volleyball and was recognized for years of loyal service and his devotion to duty. After spending almost 40 years in Beaufort, John and Nancy made their home in Charleston in 2004, where John continued his civic duties by serving as a Legacy Speaker on Parris Island, as the Vice President of his homeowner's association, and as a poll manager for numerous years. John is survived by his high school sweetheart and devoted wife, Nancy B. Brennan of Charleston, SC; his daughters, Sharon Brennan (Michael Marshall) of Summerville, SC; Colleen Baxter (Robert) of Goose Creek; Laurie Harle (Ian) of Charleston, SC, and his son, Danny Brennan (Sally) of Charleston, SC. He is predeceased by a daughter, Cathy Mattox (Scott) of Columbia, SC. He is also survived by grandchildren Scottie Mattox, Christie Mattox, John Mattox, Brennan Baxter, Houston Baxter, and Daniel Brennan. John dearly loved his family, and the memories of him as a husband, father, and grandfather will be cherished forever. He loved people and never met a stranger. Special thanks are extended to friends and caregivers for the support they have given. The family will welcome friends and relatives for the visitation at 11:30 a.m. on Friday, February 21, 2014, at the Anderson Funeral Home in Beaufort, SC followed by the burial with full military honors at the Beaufort National Cemetery at 2:00 p.m. Memorials may be made to the Veteran's Victory House at 2461 Sidneys Road, Walterboro, SC 29488. Online condolences may be sent to the family at

Funeral Home
(843) 524-7144
Funeral Home Details
Published in The Island Packet from Feb. 20 to Mar. 20, 2014
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