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James P. (Reds) Brennan

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James P. (Reds) Brennan Obituary
James P. "Reds" Brennan

James P. Brennan, 85, of Rockland, DE, a respected consultant in Delaware real estate and former Commissioner of the Delaware Real Estate Commission, died Jan. 30 in Wilmington Hospital surrounded by his loving family.

Mr. Brennan was born in Wilmington's Ninth Ward on W. 25th St. to Michael and Margaret (Deacy) Brennan, who were naturalized citizens born in Ireland. He attended high school at the Salesianum School in Wilmington and was graduated from La Salle University, Philadelphia.

He was a veteran of the U.S. Coast Guard.

Mr. Brennan founded Brennan & Co. Real Estate. His brother Alfred was his partner and his sister Mary managed the office. "His mom and dad provided the deed to their home as collateral for his first real estate investment," recalled his wife Letitia "Letty" DePace Brennan.

He was noted for his encyclopedic knowledge of Delaware and general real estate regulations, law and ethics. "He had a mind like a steel trap," said Wilmington business news writer Maureen Milford. "He helped me out a lot. He could really crystalize the issues."

Mr. Brennan realized significant financial success by staying atop the commercial and agricultural real estate market in Delaware and Maryland, brokering substantial transactions in the City of Wilmington, Newark, New Castle County and other areas. One southern New Castle County residential development, Brennan Estates, is named for him and the streets within it are named after his children.

He was a licensed real estate broker, commercial and investment specialist, and was the first accredited member of the regional chapter of the American Farm & Land Institute.

He also served on the board of Interfaith Housing, and was a director and regional vice president of National Association of Real Estate License Law Officials (NARELLO).

He was a founding member of Delaware Ornithological Society.

Always recognizing his roots as a child of hard-working immigrants, he was devoted to serving others as a benefactor, counselor and friend. In addition to raising and educating six children, he and his wife of 62 years, Letty, sponsored numerous students with scholarships and moral support over several decades. His life embodied his credo "Pay It Forward."

He will be remembered for his wit, wisdom, eloquence, generosity, charisma, sense of humor, strong opinions and loyalty. He had a special interest in, and compassion for, new immigrants struggling to find their way.

He enjoyed people, reading, poetry, nature, the art of the deal, intellectual debate, world travel and politics; and he was neither a Notre Dame football fan nor did he play golf.

He was predeceased by his parents Michael J. Brennan and Margaret ( Deacy ) Brennan, sister Mary Lemon and his brothers Alfred and Leo.

He is survived by his wife, Letitia DePace Brennan; two sons, Sean (Teresa) of Sonora, California, and Patrick (Lourdes) of Tucson, Arizona; four daughters, Deirdre Ritchie (Patrick) of Hockessin, Maureen Williams (Daniel) of Salisbury, Maryland, Shelagh Brennan Heurtebize (Frederic) of Boston, and Kathleen Brennan of Washington, D.C.; 14 grandchildren: Emily, Liam, Ethan and Owen Brennan; Ian, James and Sullivan Ritchie; Lauren and Michael Williams; Megan Robert-son (Scott); Romuald and Juliette Heurtebize; Aidan Brennan and Cristiano Martinez; 2 great grandchildren Lorelei Brennan and Sadie Robertson; numerous beloved nieces and nephews; and his favorite canine companion, Willy.

Friends may call from noon - 2:00 pm on Saturday, Feb. 6, at McCrery & Harra Funeral Home, 3924 Concord Pike, Wilmington DE 19803. A memorial service will follow the visitation at 2:00 pm.

In lieu of flowers the family suggests donations to the Society of Saint Vincent DePaul (312 Hazlett Ave. New Castle, DE 19720) or Ministry of Caring Inc. (506 N. Church St. Wilmington, DE 19801).




Published in The News Journal from Feb. 2 to Feb. 4, 2016
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