Thomas Brennan, Jr., Former Seton Hall Student, WWII Veteran Dies at 90

Thomas J. Brennan Jr. (Tom) attended Seton Hall University before enlisting in the 90th Infantry Division during World War II

Obituary courtesy of M. John Scanlan Funeral Home.

Thomas J. Brennan Jr. (Tom) died peacefully on Sunday, January 1, 2014 at the age of 90 at Cedar Crest Manor in Pompton Plains, NJ. 

Tom was born on July 28, 1923 in Union City, NJ to Thomas J. Brennan and Frances Zweig Brennan and grew up in Secaucus with his sister, Frances. Tom graduated from St. Michaels High School in Union City and attended Seton Hall University in South Orange. He left Seton Hall to enlist in the Army where he proudly served in the 90th Infantry Division during World War II in the European Theater. Tom was part of the Normandy D Day invasion force that landed on Utah Beach and was actively involved in campaigns in Northern France, Ardennes-Alsace, Rhineland, Czechoslovakia, in addition to the Battle of the Bulge. Tom was awarded medals and commendations from both the US and French Governments for his service during the war. 

Tom remained in Europe as part of the Allies post war forces before returning home to complete his BS degree in Chemistry from Seton Hall University. Tom also completed post graduate work at Stevens Institute of Technology and Rutgers University. 

Tom had a long and successful career with SB Penick and Company, the largest supplier in the world of botanicals for pharmaceuticals, where he started as a Chemist. He spent many years as the Manager of the SB Penick plant in Montville, NJ. When Corn Products International acquired SB Penick, Tom moved to the Newark plant where he managed many diverse programs until his retirement. 

Tom moved his family from Secaucus to Montville in 1958 where they lived until moving to Parsippany in 1970. While living in Montville, Tom was active in local politics, civic activities and was an enthusiastic little league coach. Tom was always involved in the Knights of Columbus. He served as Grand Knight of the Mary Immaculate Council #12769 in Secaucus and continued as a Past Grand Knight of the Walter Barrett Council #1954 in Boonton. When Tom and his wife, Helen, retired to Forked River, he joined the Father Capadano Council #652215. He was also active with the Forked River Old Guard, the VFW and the American Legion. While in Forked River, Tom received a commendation for his volunteer work in the local schools. 

Tom was happily married to Helen Keane Brennan for 59 years until her death in 2005. He is survived by two children, Elaine Brennan Wright and Kenneth Thomas Brennan and their spouses, Richard Wright and Kathy Brennan, Tom was especially proud of his four grandchildren, Elisabeth Brennan Wright, Sean Brennan, Katie Brennan Wright and Conor Brennan. Also surviving Tom, are his sister, Frances Brennan Jacobsen and her husband, Robert, and his brother-in-law, Edward Keane, and his wife, Eleanor, in addition to 12 nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his sister-in-law, Rosemary Keane Keenan, and her husband, Donald. Tom will be lovingly remembered for his sense of humor, travel interests, enthusiasm for stamp collecting, love of family and service on behalf of his country during World War II. 

Arrangements are entrusted to M. John Scanlan Funeral Home, Pompton Plains. The service will be held Tuesday, January 7, 2014 at 1 pm at BG William C. Doyle Veterans Memorial Cemetery, 350 Province Line Rd Wrightstown, New Jersey 08562, followed by burial next to his wife. 

In lieu of flowers please send any donations to the Knights of Columbus, Father Capadano 
Council #652215, E Lacey Road, Forked River, NJ, 08731 in memory of Tom Brennan, in support of their good work in the community. 


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