Thomas L. Brennan


updated Feb. 21, 3:15 pm

Thomas L. Brennan of West Tisbury died peacefully with his family by his side on Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017, at the age of 90. He was born on Feb. 28, 1926, at home in Vineyard Haven, the fourth child and first son of Chester and Catherine Brennan.

He attended and graduated from high school at the Tisbury School, and soon joined the Navy in the last years of World War II. He was stationed at St. Simons Island, Ga., and served as a radarman. Thanks to the GI Bill, after the war he attended Boston College. During his time back on the Vineyard after the war before starting college, he met Vivian Anderson, who had moved from western Massachusetts to teach first grade at the Tisbury School. After Tom graduated from Boston College, he and Vivian married and moved to Washington, D.C., where he worked as an analyst for the Department of Defense, a position he kept for his whole career.

Tom and Vivian raised their family of a son and two daughters in Maryland. Vivian died in 1997, and Tom moved back to Martha’s Vineyard, where his daughter Catherine lived.

He leaves behind his son Timothy Brennan and partner Judy Boggess, his daughter Catherine Brennan, his daughter Eileen Sheppard and son in law Stan Sheppard, and his grandson Charles Shilling. He was predeceased by his four sisters and his grandson Michael Shilling.

Tom was known for his generous heart, his great faith, and especially his love of family, both his own and his extended family. His family meant everything to him, and wanted for nothing. He was a true gentleman, and will be missed.

His family wishes any memorial donations to be sent to Good Shepherd Parish, P.O. Box 1058, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568.

Visiting hours in the Chapman, Cole and Gleason Funeral Home on Edgartown Road in Oak Bluffs will be on Tues., Feb. 21, from 5:30 to 7 pm.

His funeral Mass will be celebrated on Weds., Feb. 22, in St. Augustine’s Church, Franklin Street, Vineyard Haven, at 11 am, with burial following in Oak Grove Cemetery, State Road, Vineyard Haven, with military honors provided by the Veterans of Martha’s Vineyard.

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