John J. Brennan, 84, of Norwood and formerly Franklin, passed away peacefully on Dec. 3. He was born March 26, 1937, in Boston to Hubert and Julia (Lennon) Brennan.
As a young boy growing up in Brighton, John often would be found at Fenway Park selling programs. He once had a chance encounter with Ted Williams, who called over to him, “Hey Red, am I playing today?” to which John replied, “I hope so, they don’t stand a chance without you!” That was John — upbeat, positive and easy to approach.
Upon graduation from Boston State College, John enlisted in the Coast Guard and continued for another three years in the Officer Candidate School. After completing two terms of service in the Coast Guard, John started his career in the Norwood Public School System, teaching for 35 years until his retirement. His many friendships there, especially with school superintendent Dr. Philip Coakley, who hired him, were lifelong.
John was a lifelong student and teacher who touched many lives in a wonderful and loving way. His desire to bring the world to his classroom was evident with his perpetual introduction of classical music, literature, philosophy and computers. He was a selfless man, giving of his time and talents throughout his life.
In retirement, John became an avid student of the game of golf in Naples, Florida. He loved every video, book and PGA event to constantly improve his game with his special beautiful partner, Maureen, the love of his life. John frequently gave Maureen roses throughout their marriage and was named “Mr. Roses” by a dear friend. John was both a true gentleman and gentle man.
John is survived by his beloved wife of 35 years, Maureen (Donohue) Brennan; his loving daughters, Judith Mastaj and husband James of Franklin, and Cheryl Murphy and husband Terence of Hopkinton; his adored grandchildren, Lindsey and Emily Mastaj, and Conor and Caroline Murphy; his dear siblings, Eleanor Gillette and late husband Richard of Woburn, and James and wife Ellie of Melrose. He also is survived by several nieces and nephews and their families.
Visitation will be held on Tuesday, Dec. 7, from 4-7 p.m. at Gillooly Funeral Home, 126 Walpole Street, Norwood. Visitors are asked to wear masks and social distance as they walk through and pay their respects. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Wednesday, Dec. 8, at 10:30 a.m. at St. Timothy Church, 650 Nichols Street, Norwood, with interment to follow at Highland Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in John’s memory to Old Colony Hospice, 321 Manley Street, West Bridgewater, MA 02379 or St. Timothy Church, 650 Nichols Street, Norwood, MA 02062.