West Dennis, Mass. -- Donald David Brenner, consummate backstop, booster, and bulwark to a tribe of five sons and one loving daughter, answered his final muster on July 20, 2017, ending a nine-decade life full of service and commitment. Roaring into action on May 1, 1927, Don was raised as a child of the Great Depression in the Brass City - Waterbury, Conn. - by his loving parents, Morris and Sadie Gleason-Brenner, learning early the lessons of hard work, thrift, and sacrifice. These lessons served him well as a teenager, when he - like so many of the Greatest Generation - broke his time from high school to enlist in the United States Navy in September, 1944. Nearing war's end, his troop transport was part of the huge armada of shipping being assembled for the possible invasion of Japan when word was received of that nation’s surrender in September, 1945. As a result, he then was assigned to the post-war occupation forces in Sasebo, Japan. Don was honorably discharged from the Navy in 1946 and returned home to graduate from Wilby High School, Waterbury, in 1947. Not finished with Uncle Sam, however, he answered the call again in 1952, this time as a Marine, serving through the end of the Korean Conflict and eventually earning his final honorable discharge in 1959.
Civilian life employment long revolved around the Southern New England Telephone Company. His thirty-five year career with SNETCO saw him climb the job pole, literally, from lineman to senior account executive in the Waterbury, Hartford, and New Haven area offices. After marrying Patricia Ann McDonnell in 1958, his role of husband and father began. Four sons - Chris, Kevin, Don, and Michael - joined the clan by 1962, later followed by daughter (and rose among thorns) Patsy, and baby brother Mark. As the brood grew older, Don threw himself fully in support of all athletic, cultural, and academic pursuits of his children. Little League coach and committee member of Edgewood Little League, Cub Scout Den leader, and fund-raising workhorse for St. Paul Catholic High School describe just some of the collateral duties he performed through the 1980’s from the family home in Bristol, Conn.
Don moved to the second family home in West Dennis in 1998, where and when he began establishing additional ties that he would cherish to his final day, from those he met while working at the Breaker’s Motel Dennisport, to his many teammates on several teams in the Cape Cod Senior Softball League, to members of VFW Post 2578 (which he commanded in 2013), and lastly - and especially - his fellow Marines of Marine Corps League Detachment 125.
Don was pre-deceased by his parents and sister Sandra of Waterbury, Conn. Besides his wife Patricia, he leaves behind his children and family members Christopher and Donald of West Dennis, Kevin and Renee (and stepson Ray) Brenner of Great Barrington, Mass., Michael and Kathryn Brenner of Burlington, Conn., Patricia Brenner (and stepson Warren Thompson) of Gilford, N.H., Mark and Dawn Brenner of Terryville, Conn., brother David, of Bristol, Conn., grandchildren Kolbie and Kyle Brenner, of Terryville, Conn., as well as numerous nieces and nephews and the family of Vincent Labadia.
Feisty, fiercely loyal to God, family, friends, and country, he gave large measures of time, treasure, and talent to all in his circle. Never afraid to share a laugh or practical joke, he was also ever-ready to share a piece of “how to” advice to any who asked. One of the original DIYers, he indeed took great pride in doing it himself, especially all jobs around the house and yard.
“Stand down” from all duties, Marine. You taught us well. Rest easy, Dad; we’ll take it from here.
Donations in lieu of flowers can be made to the USMC League Detachment 125 Scholarship Fund, PO Box 1354, Marstons Mills, MA 02648 C/O Jim McGuire, Commandant
A Funeral Mass will be held at St. Pius X Church, South Yarmouth, on Wednesday, August 9 at 10 a.m. A reception and celebration of his life will take place at the St. Pius X Parish Life Center upon completion of the Funeral Mass. Internment of ashes will follow at Massachusetts National Cemetery in Bourne.
Guest book at www.MorrisOConnorBlute.com