John Francis ‘Frank’ Brennan, 89, world traveler who enjoyed other cultures

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John Francis "Frank" Brennan
John Francis “Frank” Brennan

John Francis ‘Frank’ Brennan of Williamsburg, Va., died at Hospice House Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2016. He was 89.

Born and raised in Brooklyn, N.Y., he attended public schools in NYC, graduated from Brooklyn Technical High School and studied civil engineering at Columbia University on the GI Bill of Rights. He served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. While at Columbia, he met Edith M. Mahoney of Bristol, Conn., who was studying at St. Luke’s Hospital. They married at the Little Church Around the Corner in Manhattan in 1949 and he often said, “It was the best thing I ever did.”

Frank spent almost 40 years with the consulting engineering firm of Dames & Moore, first in New York City and, after becoming a partner, he opened their first international office in Madrid, Spain, in 1965, and then went on to London, England in 1967. From fieldwork on drill rigs to business development, he contributed significantly to the firm’s growth from 50 employees to more than 2,000 when he retired. The family lived abroad for over nine years while he managed the firm’s international operations. He traveled extensively and shared his passion for the richness and diversity of cultures with his family.

Confirmed Anglophiles after their time in the UK, the Brennans moved to Summit, N.J., in 1973 and then went on to La Canada, Calif., where they lived for 25 years before settling in Williamsburg, Va., in 2001. Frank enjoyed golf, tennis, travel, good food and drink, and conversations with friends and family.

He is survived by his wife of 67 years, Edith; daughter, Ellen in the U.K., with twins, Max and Hannah Reichwald; son, Jack (Tammy), with Garrett and Collin in Sterling, Va.; son, David (Karen), with Sarah and Mike in Chatsworth, Calif.; and daughter, Anne in Raleigh, N.C., with Catherine Green.

A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Jan. 21, 2017, at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church, 1333 Jamestown Road., Williamsburg.

In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that donations be sent to Hospice House, Williamsburg, and St. Martin’s Episcopal Church, Williamsburg.

Online condolences may be shared at www.bucktroutfuneralhome.net.