Olive Rita Brannen
Highland Park - Olive Rita Brannen (Mc Andrew), age 101, passed away peacefully on April 5, 2021 surrounded by her family at her home in Parker at Stonegate in Highland Park, NJ.
Olive was born in New Brunswick, NJ on September 8, 1919 to the late Frank and Freeholder Edythe McAndrew. Olive graduated from St. Peters High School where she was involved in many activities, including the drama club, the orchestra (violin), editor of the yearbook, and enjoyed playing basketball with her close friend Sister Joseph McManus. During the war, Olive served as a telephone operator at Camp Kilmer, helping servicemen connect with their families before deploying overseas and on their return from combat.
In 1943 Olive married her beloved husband John (Dixie) Brannen, and was a devoted, loving mother to their two children, John C (Neil) and Anne, where they lived at their family home on Easton Ave in New Brunswick.
During her many years there, Olive was a member of the St. Peters Rosary Society, was elected the first President of the Damien Dutton Society and served as the past president of the CWV Auxiliary. Olive worked as a Jury Commissioner for the Middlesex County Court system for 20 years until her retirement in 1985. In that year, she and her husband moved to Silver Beach, where Olive enjoyed 25 years at their home 'down the shore'. While in Silver Beach, Olive and Jack enjoyed a full and happy retirement. A woman of faith, Olive served as a lector, Eucharistic minister, and a member of the Altar Rosary Society at St, Bonaventure Church. She was a member of the Deborah Society's Tradewinds chapter of Tom's River. Olive was always on the go; line dancing, bowling, card parties, and, when the Irish flag was up, many "happy hours" at the beach house. Olive was always up for any adventure, and traveled several times to Ireland to celebrate her Irish heritage.
In 2010, Olive moved to her home at Stonegate, where she enjoyed living for 11 years. At Stonegate, Olive experienced great joy, love and respect from her fellow residents and especially the Stonegate staff, who provided Olive the ultimate gift of care and compassion.
Nothing was more important to Olive than her cherished family. She was a caring and loving aunt, and will be greatly missed by her cousin, Sister Winifred Bullach, her many nieces and nephews and their families. They often referred to their "Auntie O" as their inspiration and ultimate role model.
Most of all, Olive will be forever missed by her daughter Anne (John), her son Neil, her four grandchildren (Jeff, Heather, Johnny (Yang) and Kaitlyn) and her three great-grandchildren.
Olive was predeceased by her beloved husband of 55 years, Jack, her brothers Frank and John, her very special nephew Frankie, and her great nephew Robert J Stevens.
There will be a private viewing for immediate family at Gleason's Funeral Home on Saturday, April 10. Olive will be buried beside her husband Jack at St Peter's Cemetery in New Brunswick
There will be a memorial service in the summer with friends and family to celebrate her remarkable life.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to The ARC of Middlesex County at www.arc-middlesex.org