William “Bill” James Brennan, 83, passed away February 4, 2014 at his home in Great Falls, Montana from complications due to asbestosis with his entire family at his side.
Visitation was held from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 8, 2014 and noon to 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, February 9 at Schnider Funeral Home. A vigil to celebrate Bill’s life was held at 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, February 9, 2014 at St. Joseph’s Chapel, 500 2nd Ave. SW, Great Falls, MT. A funeral liturgy was held at 10:00 a.m. on Monday, February 10, 2014 at St. Joseph’s Chapel. Graveside services with military honors will follow at Mount Olivet Cemetery. Schnider Funeral Home is handling the funeral arrangements.
Bill was born July 29, 1930 in Hammond, Wisconsin to the late James Earl Brennan and Lillian Caroline (Sachsenmaier) Brennan. He was educated in Glenwood City, Wisconsin. Bill left Wisconsin at the age of 15 and moved west to work on various ranches in eastern Montana. He served in the U. S. Army in Korea from June, 1951 to June, 1953. After the war, Bill returned to Great Falls where he worked for the Great Northern Railway Company.
Bill married the love of his life, Patricia “Patsy” Senger, on August 25, 1956 in Great Falls. In 1954, he began his career in the sheet metal business and in 1977 Bill co-founded and co-owned B & B Heating. He was a member of Sheet Metal Union Local 246 which later became Local 103. Bill retired from his profession on December 31, 1989.
During retirement he enjoyed his trip to New Zealand and the trips to see family and friends. Bill spent many enjoyable hours with his cousin, Sam Pulfrey, remodeling rental homes together. He loved his time at the family cabin on Stemple Pass near Lincoln, Montana which he started building in 1962. The cabin became the center of the Brennan Family gatherings where friends and family enjoyed their time together year round. While at the cabin he often had to fix the motorcycles and snow machines when the kids broke them (or so he said). No one could restore antique cars with more care and passion than Bill. He fully restored seven vintage vehicles to original condition which he gave to each of his children. They all enjoy driving these vehicles to this day.
The highlight of Bill’s life was the time he spent with his loving wife, Patsy, their children and families. Whether it was hunting in Lincoln or the annual fishing trips to Canada with his four sons, grandchildren and friends, Bill was the epitome of a true father, family man and best friend. Never one to shy away from teasing his children, grandchildren and the friends he loved, Papa Bill always had the perfect nickname for each of them. These nicknames will be remembered and cherished forever.
Bill is survived by his wife, Patricia; sisters Donna Path of Sparta, WI, Roberta Moe (Bud) of Baldwin, WI, Frances Ellefson of Spring Valley, WI, Shirley Marlette of Savanna, IL and Lillian Draxler (Jack) of Hanford, CA; son William John Brennan (Jayne) and their children, Bridger, Christina and Ellie Brennan of Great Falls, MT; daughter Lillian Jean Schaff and her sons, Garrett and Connor Schaff of Arvada, CO; daughter Raelene Rae Wilkie (Andre) and their daughters, Caitlin, Brennan and Morgan Wilkie of Golden, CO; son David Earl Brennan (Laurie) and their children, Dannica, Emily and Drew of Great Falls, MT; son Daniel John Brennan (Lisa) and their children, Hugh and Elizabeth Brennan of Missoula, MT; son Patrick Alan Brennan (Roxanne) and their children, Patrick, MacQuaid and Keidan Brennan of Great Falls, MT; as well as many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, James and Lillian; grandson Jason Patrick Brennan; cousin Jason Joseph Bartell; and son-in-law James Robert Schaff.
In lieu of flowers the family request that donations be made to Peace Hospice, P.O. Box 7008, Great Falls, Montana 59406-7008; Great Falls Children’s Receiving Home, PO Box 1061, Great Falls, MT 59403; or a charity of your choice.
Condolences may be posted online at www.schniderfuneralhome.com.