Joan G. Brennan


Joan G. Brennan, 92, of Manchester-by-the-Sea, formerly of Southampton NY, died on February 7.  She was the beloved wife of 54 years of the late Raymond J. Brennan.

 Born in College Point, Queens, NY, in 1929, Joan was an excellent student and a hard worker. She was raised during the Great Depression and came of age during the second world war. Joan attended St. Agnes Academic High School, Queens College, and the Katherine Gibbs Secretarial School. She later married the love of her life, Ray Brennan, a WWII combat veteran of D-Day and Bastogne.  Throughout their lives, Joan and Ray loved to entertain and spend time with friends in Southampton, NY.

Joan had a strong-will and a New Yorker’s sensibility that anything was achievable. In addition to being a wife and mother devoted to her girls’ education, Joan was an organizer, a doer, a list-maker and a civic-minded activist who participated in shaping her community.  She worked for many years as an executive secretary at the corporate headquarters of General Electric in New York, and at the Cornell University College of Medicine.  After her husband retired, she worked in Southampton for years at a local law office.  She enjoyed participating in her daughters’ school and extra-curricular activities and was very proud of their scholastic and professional accomplishments.

 J oan served several terms as the President of the Southampton Cove Homeowners Association.  She also served as co-chair of the Southampton Town Residents Against Pollution (STRAP), a grassroots effort to close the North Sea landfill.  She was instrumental in convincing the Town Board to cease its operations and dedicate the excess land (45 acres) to parkland, the present location of the Southampton Youth Services recreational facility and park at North Sea.  She also served many years as chairperson of the North Sea Citizens Advisory Committee and brought many local issues to the attention of the Town Board.  Joan was an avid reader of newspapers, books and periodicals, including her daily New York Times and Southampton Press.  When they retired to their summer home in Southampton Cove, Joan and Ray enjoyed fishing, clamming and the beach.  They enjoyed many trips through the United States and Canada.  Some of her favorite times involved meals with good conversation, great food and a dry martini with ice. 

  When Ray’s health declined in 2004, Joan cared for him. With her daughter’s help she moved sight unseen to a new home on Pleasant St. in Manchester to be closer to family in 2006.  She began a new chapter in her life.  True to form, Joan took an active interest in her new community.  She served as secretary for the Friends on the Council on Aging in Manchester, and as recording secretary of the Manchester Woman’s Club.  She enjoyed the many activities of the Council on Aging and making a new set of friends in Manchester.  She hosted an annual brunch for the Manchester July 4th parade in her driveway.  She could always be seen sitting curbside with friends as the bands marched by.

  Joan was a central part of her grandchildren’s day-to-day lives as they grew up in Manchester.  She adored them and they her.  They spent countless meals, birthday parties and holidays together.  They brought her great joy.

  Joan was fortunate to have a strong will and sharp mind her whole life and to her last days. Her presence and spirit will be truly missed.  Joan is survived by her two beloved daughters and their spouses, Suzanne Brennan and her husband Christopher Connors of Colorado, and Patty Brennan and her husband Joseph Demeo of Manchester.  She is also survived by her three dearly loved grandchildren Sam, Remsen and Summer Demeo.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Joan's memory may be made to the Manchester Friends of the Council on Aging, P.O. Box 264 Manchester, MA 01944. Online condolences may be given at: