Amherst Magazine

Richard E. Brennan '53

Richard E. Brennan '53 died April 30, 2010
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Dick Brennan, who joined our class junior year, died April 30, 2010, in Kentwood La., from a major infection after years of dialysis for kidney failure. He was born Dec. 31, 1927, in Brockton Mass., one of three brothers who distinguished themselves in a number of academic and professional ways.

Dick first attended Maine Maritime Academy, a school with a long history of Brennan family involvement—capped recently with Dick’s nephew Dr. William J. Brennan made president of the prestigious institution. Dick left for two years in the U.S. Navy and a year at St. Michael’s College in Winooski, Vt., before transferring to Amherst. An excellent athlete, he played on the Jeff football team that beat Williams 21-19 our senior year. Facing him in that game at end/linebacker was his brother Jack Brennan, Williams ’54, five years his younger. It was part of a fraternal relationship for a lifetime, shared with their older brother, William Brennan, now a retired distinguished Maine physician.

A history major and voracious reader, Dick had a most successful career in publishing and business education. After Amherst, he worked for Addison-Wesley as an editor known for attracting academic writers to the publishing firm. He was a vice president at Rand McNally in Chicago for years. He and Ara lived in Marshfield, Mass., for many years, when Dick worked for the National Education Corporation, heading the Bryman School which taught vocational skills to hundreds of students. In the early ’80s, the Brennans retired to Kentwood, La. Reflects Ara, “We had a great marriage, over 50 years together.” Adds brother Jack, “He was a tough and wonderful guy, to have an older brother and best friend at Amherst meant so much to me.”

Besides his two brothers and their families, Dick is survived by Ara and their two daughters, Nicole Brennan of Framingham, Mass., and Cara Brennan of Boston, Mass.

Readers are encouraged to add comments of any length below.

—Philip W. Ransom, Jr. ’53 

 

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