Joe Brennan: loving husband; caring father; proud Marine; and Lifetime Lion, died peacefully at Scott-Farrar over the Memorial Day weekend, after a series of small strokes. He had recently turned 95, celebrating with a round of singing from the wonderful staff and a window-side placard-size greeting arranged by Carol Nelson. Joe’s ready willingness to lend a hand, make a joke, add his smile and his “two cents worth” to any gathering - AND to find a bargain- never diminished, even as his hearing and eyesight did. He and his wife Judy spent more than 50 years in Peterborough on Hunt Rd. before moving to Scott-Farrar in 2016.
Joe grew up in Westport Ct, enlisting in the Marines straight from high school. He soon was serving in the Pacific, fighting on Saipan, Tinian and Okinawa before entering Nagasaki only a month after its bombing. After the war, he married high school sweetheart Judy Hall Brennan, with whom he had 4 children. They made their way to New Hampshire in 1959, first in West Wilton and by 1968 arrived in Peterborough. Joe loved his work with The Petersons Real Estate, where he prided himself on “helping folks make what may be the biggest purchase of their lives”. And where he found a great friend in his erstwhile boss (and copy machine supplier), Heather Peterson and her family. Joe was also a regular fixture at the Lions Club’s Christmas Tree sales and Lucky Duck Races where he was convinced his absurdly distinctive “duck hat” helped ticket sales surge. He taught his kids to work hard, not to whine, to “think about the other guy”, to always be fair, to stand up for what you thought was right and to always return whatever you borrowed cleaner and better than when you got it. He was very proud of each of his four kids, even as he loved to teasingly announce “I raised three good kids” just to keep us all on our toes.
He and Judy had 67 happy years together before her passing in 2018—marred only by her consternation at his return from every trip to the recycling center with a ‘treasure’ saved from “the dump”. They moved to Scott-Farrar upon its opening in 2016. They both agreed it was “exactly the place for them to be” -surrounded by a staff uniformly caring and cheerful and by many longtime friends. He soon staked out a regular “warming spot” by the central fireplace. And though he had seldom been inside Harlow’s himself, he was convinced it was THE place to be, so he often ended his conversations with a hearty “See you at Harlow’s!” (Perhaps a bit too often.)
He is survived by his four children: Bruce (Louise); Tim (Diane); Kate Loughrey (Sean) and Jack (Kunda), 8 grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren. The family is thankful to his many friends for their visits and notes to Joe, especially Carl Sheola, Jim Long and Carol Nelson, and cannot begin to express their gratitude and appreciation for the loving care, attention and friendships showered on him during his entire stay at Scott-Farrar—from front desk through dining, housekeeping and grounds staff to each member of the nursing staff, lovingly by his side until his peaceful end.
Cremation will be arranged by Jellisons Funeral Home, but given pandemic conditions, no ceremony is now planned. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions may be made to the “Staff Appreciation Fund “at Scott-Farrar (11 Elm Street, Peterborough) or The Peterborough Lions Club (PO Box 3206, Peterborough) and hope that maybe you treat yourself and someone you love to “take out” at Harlow’s, too! Tell ‘em Joe sent you.
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