Helen L. Brennan, 87, of Oswego, NY, passed away on Jan. 8, 2022, in Voorhees, NJ.
Born Helen Louise Miller on April 10, 1934 in Oswego, NY, Helen was the only child of Sadie Catherine Doviak Miller and Norman Henry Miller. From her parents, Helen learned the importance of honesty and never letting anything go to waste. Helen had fond childhood memories of swimming in Lake Ontario with her friends and ice-skating for fun during the long, snowy Oswego winters.
Despite attending the same high school, Helen did not meet her future husband, Charles H. Brennan, until years later when mutual friends resulted in the two sitting together at an Oswego bar. Helen liked to say that Charles was a “country” boy who used to ride the bus to school, while she was a “city” girl that walked.
Helen and Charles were wed in Oswego, NY, on August 22, 1959 — the beginning of 62 years of marriage marked by mutual commitment and support. Their honeymoon to Martha’s Vineyard included two things that Helen would love throughout her life — traveling with Charles and the beach. Helen particularly enjoyed her time spent with friends and family in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Due to Charles’ job at the Internal Revenue Service, their family frequently moved around the country. Through this experience, Helen learned that a house is where you live, but a home is what you always carry with you and where happiness is.
Family was the thing Helen valued most in life, with her proudest and happiest moments being the births of her three children. A long-time Philadelphia Eagles season ticket holder, seeing the Birds win Super Bowl LII was a moment that was also high on her list. Helen especially loved spending time with and caring for her eight grandchildren. She would say herself that the best part about being a grandmother was getting to spoil her grandchildren, which she did with her boundless love.
When asked what she was most grateful for in her life, she answered “Charles, who loves and takes good care of me. We have a better life than I ever imagined we would have, traveled and seen things and done things I couldn’t even imagine when we were first married.”
Helen’s most difficult times in life involved her experiences living with cancer. She rose above her diagnosis with grace and determination, her strong faith and prayer helping to carry her through many tough times. Though her third bout with cancer would be her last, when the Lord took her she was at home with family, after a full life that she never took for granted.
Helen is survived by her loving husband, Charles, children, Michael Brennan (Deborah), Timothy Brennan (Carol), and Kathleen Scharnikow, as well as her grandchildren, Christopher, Courtney, Brianna, David (Alexandra), Chelsea, Callie, Frederick, and Savannah, and her three great-grandchildren, Maya, Lucrezia Beatrice, and Genevieve Helen.
In remembrance of Helen’s life, the family asks that any memorial tributes be made in the form of charitable donations to Fox Chase Cancer Center, Office of Institutional Advancement, 333 Cottman Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19111.