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OBITUARY: Brennan, Former City Councilor, WWII Vet, Dies at 85

Peabody native John Brennan, a World Ward II veteran, former city councilor and local business owner, died May 10 after a brief illness at his home in Florida. He was 85.

John James Brennan, born Sept. 17, 1926 in Peabody, son of the late James and Dorothy (Noone) Brennan of Ireland, went to the golf course in heaven on Thursday, May 10 after a brief illness in Jensen Beach, Fla. John had been a lifelong resident of Peabody until recently relocating to Ocean Breeze Park, Fla., which he called “Paradise.” He is survived by his wife of almost 60 years, Pauline (Murphy) Brennan, whom he married in 1952 in , Peabody.

John was a 1939 graduate of , a 1943 graduate of Peabody High School, and was a student at Wentworth Institute and Northeastern University.

He was a corporal in the Army Air Corps from 1944-1946 with the 5th Emergency Air Sea Rescue Squadron, searching for lost planes over the Bermuda Triangle. He received the American Campaign Medal and the World War II Victory Medal for his service.

John served the city of Peabody for four years as Ward Six Councilor, eight years as Councilor-at-Large, two years as chairman of the Planning Board and president of the City Council in 1961.

He worked for 34 years at , Peabody and retired in 1982 from his position as department head. He was the former owner of , Cosgrove’s Liquors and Tee Time Driving Range. He most recently worked as a golf teaching pro at the Golf Country Driving Range in Saugus.

His greatest love was for his family, closely followed by his love of golf. He began as a caddy at during his early teens. He became Caddy Master of over 600 caddies, followed by becoming an Assistant Pro. He had been a member of the Peabody High School golf team as well as a member of the Peabody Country Club. He played golf in Ireland, Bermuda and most recently at the Saints in Port St. Lucie, Fla.

He had a unique gift or remembering every stroke he made and could identify every golfer on the course by their swing. He also could teach others how to golf by gentle and clear direction on stance and swing.

He is also survived by three sons and three daughters: David and Debbie Brennan of Middleton, John and Ellen Brennan of Methuen, Alan and Barb Brennan of Hooksett, N.H., Marcia Brennan and Mary Margaret Moore of Salem, Janet Brennan and Arthur Athas of  Peabody and Paula Brennan and Ed Comer of Newton, N.H. He is also survived by 10 grandchildren, five great-grandchildren, two sisters: Ann and Jim Cotter of Bellingham and Marguerite Mahoney of Gilmanton, N.H.; a sister-in-law, Nancy and Joseph Boucher of Dracut, and many cousins, nieces and nephews. He is pre-deceased by a brother, Bill Brennan, and a sister, Mary Hanson. 

John will be remembered for his winning smile, strength of character, enjoying laughter and playing cards with family, his love of boating and the ocean, an  avid reader, a good storyteller, a great memory, being a good father and wonderful husband, his commitment to protecting and providing for family, being a helpful neighbor, a devoted member of St. John the Baptist Church. His passion for golf was a constant connection for all he met to get to know John. He was very proud of his wife and every member of the large and talented family. He will be dearly missed. 

A visitation will be held on Tuesday from 5 until 8 p.m. at the at the 82 Lynn St., Peabody facility. His funeral will be  held on Wednesday at 10 a.m. from the funeral home followed by a Funeral Mass in St. John the Baptist Church, 16 Church St., Peabody at 11 a.m. Burial will be in , Peabody.

Expressions of sympathy may be made in his memory to St. John’s Church Memorial Fund, 16 Church St., Peabody, MA 01960.

[Obituary courtesy of Conway, Cahill-Brodeur Funeral Home.]

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