Michael Thomas Brenneman of Harwich Port passed away suddenly Aug. 20 at the age of 43. He is survived by his parents, Thomas and Ruth (Cameron) Brenneman of Harwich Port, brother Matthew and wife Jennifer of Natick, sister-in-law Mina of Chappaqua, New York, nieces and nephews Cameron, Madelyn and Tyson of Natick, and William, Alexander (AJ) and Margaret (Maggie) of Chappaqua, aunts and uncles Ellen of Columbia, South Carolina, Jim of Natick, Carol of Harwich Port and Houston, and Patricia of Minneapolis, Mark of Keedysville, Maryland, and cousins Emily of Columbia, South Carolina, Adam of New York City, David of Washington, D.C., Bailey of Houston, Remington of Denver, and Crystal and Kelly of Ottumwa, Iowa. He was predeceased by brother David C. Brenneman of Chappaqua, New York, nephew Austin T. Brenneman of Natick, uncle Mark Cameron of Alaska as well as his beloved dogs, Shaydee and Patches.
Michael was a decorated athlete who started for four years at Natick High School as the goalkeeper on the soccer team and graduated from NHS in 1997. He continued his soccer career at Wilbraham-Monson for a prep year before playing NCAA Division 1 soccer at the University of Maine and Fairfield University. His love of soccer and passion for teaching and leading led to a long tenure coaching soccer under his high school mentor, Lou Papadellis, at Natick High School and then at Hopkinton High School.
Michael dedicated his professional life to helping others, spending a decade as a special education professional at Natick High School in the Northstar Program. He continued serving others for several years providing support services to adults with disabilities in the Metrowest area. Upon obtaining a degree from UMass Lowell, Michael took on the most rewarding adventure of his life, moving to Lisbon, Portugal, for five years and teaching English to middle and high school students in Cascais, Portugal. There he also served as a historical, cultural and culinary guide to his many family members who visited. Upon returning to the United States in 2020, Michael moved to Harwich Port and began a career as an outreach worker for Vinfen, a nonprofit health and human service organization. He loved his job and his time on the beaches and back roads of Cape Cod.
Michael, lovingly know as RaRa, was the consummate adoring and crazy uncle to his six nieces and nephews. He dedicated much of his life to finding every way he could to entertain and love them. He cherished each and every one of them as his own and delivered special memories and experiences to all of them. Whether as a babysitter, tour guide, coach, fan, mentor or friend, he loved every moment he could spend with Cami, Will, AJ, Maddy, Maggie and Tyson. Michael was a selfless and giving uncle, son, brother, coach, teacher and friend who leaves all he touched with wonderful memories. A passionate photographer, Michael captured countless precious moments of family togetherness at home and in nature, leaving a vast treasure trove for the extended family.
The family was to hold a private service and looks forward to celebrating his life with friends at a later time. Michael loved his family, his dogs and the gardens where he planted many special trees and plants in memory of loved ones. Michael found both of his beloved dogs at Baypath Humane Society of Hopkinton and was looking forward to adopting another rescue dog in the spring. Add a plant to the garden, give your loved ones a big bear hug or donate to your favorite animal charity in Michael’s honor.
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