Stephen W. Brennan of Newton, N.J., earned his wings May 1, 2020, after an intense battle with esophageal cancer, complicated by COVID-19. He was 68.
Son of Robert and Alice (Writt) Brennan, he is originally from West Caldwell, N.J.
He is brother to Maureen Stacy, Robert Brennan, Nancy Frueholz, Kathleen Schmidt, Maryann Geldhauser, and Thomas Brennan, along with two brothers who passed before him, Michael Brennan and John Brennan. He married Karen-Lee Coles in 1977, and together they would welcome daughters, Jenifer (Brennan-Crowley) and Erin (Brennan).
Stephen’s family grew beyond his siblings to include their spouses, John Stacy, Donna Brennan, William Frueholz, Donald Schmidt, Bridget Brennan, Paula Callaghan, Craig Geldhauser, Donna Brennan, and beloved Diane Brennan, who passed away years prior. He was a proud uncle to 21 nieces and nephews, 25 great nieces and nephews (and counting), and two sons-in-law, Philip Crowley and Joseph “Ron” Long. He even managed to pick up a few “other kids” along the way, Edward Diklich, Jarret Bisanzio, and Danielle Derby, who always held a special place in his heart. In 2014 he was thrilled to welcome his granddaughter, Cassidy, and granddog, Kinley, to the family, which officially promoted him to “Gramp,” a role he was born to play.
Stephen dedicated his life to his family and friends. From the ground up, he built the home he and Karen raised their family in. Always the protector and the voice of reason, always there for everyone who needed him, he was a mentor to many. He is loved beyond measure and will be sorely missed.
Stephen was a member of the Good Shepherd Roman Catholic Church and was a loyal employee of Andersen Interior Contracting (Union Local 254) for 27 years. In his spare time, when he wasn’t playing with Cassidy, fixing or building something for his daughters, family, or friends, he could be found inventing solutions to whatever problem needed solving. There was no challenge too great and he loved to show off his latest invention. He was really getting the hang of retirement, seeking out the warm weather with his wife, Karen, joining his buddies for a round of golf, camping, or planning the next big trip with Jen, Phil, and Cassidy, and taking on home renovations with Erin and Ron. Like the rest of us, they’re still trying to figure out “how to keep the place standing now.”
While a traditional service is not possible at this time, a celebration of life memorial service will be planned for a future date. All who loved him will be welcome. In the meantime, if you are a golfer, play a round in his honor. He would love to be here doing exactly that. Memorial donations may be made to Esophageal Cancer Action Network; or to The Cholangiocarcinoma Foundation in support of his wife’s ongoing battle.