Patricia Brennan

Obituary of Patricia Brennan

With deepest sorrow we announce the death of our beautiful mom, Patricia Lee Brennan, 85, who passed away April 3, 2024 in Bellingham, Washington.

Visitation: 10:00 a.m with a Rosary at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, April 19, 2024 at St. Andrew Catholic Church.

Mass of Christian Burial: 11:00 a.m. on Friday, April 19, 2024 at St. Andrew Catholic Church. 

Interment: Mount Olivet Cemetery. 

Patricia was born July 4, 1938 in Springfield, MO, the daughter of Roy Leon and Lucille Cecilia (McCarthy) McDaniel and was a long-time resident of Fort Worth.  She attended Our Lady of Victory High School and then entered Texas Christian University. After two years she transferred to the University of Colorado where she graduated with a BA in English Literature.

She returned to Fort Worth and took a job in a typing pool working as a transcriptionist on a Dictaphone. She met the love of her life, Thomas Donald Brennan, while attending a Felician meeting. They had a whirlwind courtship, which included a trip to President Kennedy’s inaugural ball, then were married at St. Andrew Catholic Church on July 15, 1961.

Patricia then dedicated her life to raising their three children grounding them in the Catholic faith by her example, helping them discover and nurture their talents, supporting them as they all graduated from university, two with advanced degrees. Patricia was active in several ministries at St. Andrew, most notably the choir where she was an active member for over 20 years.

When her husband became disabled, suffering from Parkinson’s with dementia, she cared for him and went back to work as a transcriptionist to support the family. Patricia helped raise Anna Lucia, her first grandchild, and when her husband passed away she moved to Bellingham, WA to be close to her other grandchildren, Sean and Caitlin.

She is survived by her children, Michele, Kathy and Terry, and grandchildren, Anna Lucia, Sean and Caitlin.


From the family...

She was, as most of you know, a bit of a princess. An only child, she was adored by her parents. She spent her free time as a child playing the piano and dancing. She enjoyed putting on performances in her childhood garage and she loved the spotlight. She took great pride in being a Missouri mule from the Show Me State which was her way of explaining and excusing her stubbornness and skepticism. No one could tell our Mom what to do or what to think, and you certainly couldn’t keep her from expressing her opinions often at the most inappropriate time. She famously rejected our Dad’s first proposal of marriage as he knelt down at the center of the room at President Kennedy’s inaugural ball because she was wearing fashionable elbow-length gloves and wasn’t willing to muss them up to put his ring on. Fortunately for us, she did accept his proposal later on. She was a keen observer of human life. She was a lover of the truth; she could not abide a lie.

She had a sense of style and culture, she was a real lady with a touch of class. She loved to surround herself with beauty and she was a creator of beauty. She had a love of opera, classical music and the theater. She encouraged her children to nurture their musical talents and music still plays an important role in all of our lives; one of her children was an opera singer and a flamenco dancer. Hers was a house full of music and laughter. She had a gift for writing and could expertly turn a phrase. This even made her frequent outbursts of swearing sound stylish. In addition to composing poems and her autobiography she used her literary gift to write musical skits to be performed at all the various seasonal choir parties.

Our mom never stopped learning, filled notebooks with ideas for writing and interesting facts and character descriptions. At the age of 78 mom took a sign language course so she could communicate with her youngest grandchild, Caitlin, a person living with Down Syndrome. Once she had completed the course she was so excited to say to Caitlin what she had been practicing for weeks: Caitlin, you are beautiful!

Mom would be the first to admit that being a mother didn’t come naturally to her and she had to really work at it. But through her dedication to caring and self-sacrifice she became a model for us of motherly devotion and concern. Her dedication to her family was endless: she raised her three children, cared for her disabled husband, helped raise her first granddaughter, cared for her other grandchildren Sean and Caitlin.

In her mid-seventies our mom moved across the country to Bellingham, WA to be closer to my family and spend time with her youngest grandkids. She enriched our lives by her presence and set a good example for my kids on how to remain vital at every age. She became a celebrity at the care home where she lived known for her wit, her wicked sense of humor, and her irascibility. My mom was a knitter who specialized in rectangles and her scarves became famous at her care home. She would knit them for caregivers and residents in their favorite colors; the dozens of scarves were prized-possessions. She started a group to knit hats and scarves for Arghan refugees. When she received her terminal diagnosis her response was “Well, I guess I better prioritize my knitting list.”

Towards the end of her life our mom was afflicted with numerous physical afflictions which entailed chronic pain and nausea. While she didn’t accept this condition cheerfully she did commit herself daily to offer up her sufferings for the benefit of her family and deceased relatives. She was proud to be 30 years sober and 25 years smoke free, but one of the things she looked forward to most in Heaven was the chance to treat herself to a gin martini and a cigarette again. Hope you’re enjoying them, Mom. You certainly earned them.

Our mom had a special devotion to Our Mother, Mary and would frequently call on her in times of motherly distress. She had the firmly held conviction that all Mothers went to Heaven. But she didn’t presume on Divine mercy and so took every available opportunity to participate in the Sacraments. Just a few days before she passed she was able to receive all available Sacraments from Fr Moore at the hospital in Bellingham. This was a great comfort to her and to us.

You did it Mom, you competed well, you finished the race, you kept the faith. Enter into the joy of your Master. And say Hi to Daddy for all of us.