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View a eulogy for Mark Francis Brennan, USMA '64, who passed away on April 25, 2021.

Mark Francis Brennan

West Point, 1964

Be Thou At Peace

Posted by Chris Brennan (Mark's son) on January 31, 2023:

Mark Francis Brennan Jr. passed away Sunday, April 25th, 2021, at his home in Fairfax Station, Virginia at the age of 78.

Mark Francis Brennan Jr.

Mark was born July 4th, 1942, in Enterprise, Alabama, to (the late) Col. Mark Francis Brennan and (late) Elizabeth Sebree Brennan. The eldest son and older brother to Paul Brennan, Mark was well-known in his youth for his mischievous sense of humor and bright red hair. He had an aptitude for both the athletic and academic, and was known to be a good dancer -- his dance card always being full. Mark graduated from Wakefield High School in Arlington, Virginia, after which he went on to study at the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York. His rascally reputation continued through his college years, affectionally being given the nickname "Red Rooster" by his cadet classmates. Mark graduated from West Point with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering Degree in 1964. He would later earn a Master�s Degree in American History at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He began his professional career in the military yet transitioned to the commercial sector in 1988 after retiring from the Army and working at the Pentagon. He went on to work, in Analyst roles, for various companies such as PWC and IBM. His lifelong hobbies included collecting model trains and miniature toy soldiers. He was also an avid American history buff. He enjoyed reading historical fiction and non-fiction, cooking, opera, live concerts, dancing, and watching baseball and soccer. He was also an animal lover, with a special affinity for dogs.

A Family Man

On November 25th , 1967, Mark married Nancy Louis Brock of Marietta, Georgia. They fell in love instantly after meeting on a beach in Florida, and would go on to have four sons together, one being born at each of Mark�s various posts while serving in the US Army: son Frank in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; son James in the Panama Canal Zone; son Mike in Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas; and son Chris in Ft. Hood, Texas. Mark was always active in his sons� lives, coaching all of them in youth league soccer throughout the 1970s, 80s, and 90s. He was also active with them in their participation in the Boy Scouts, as well as helping them with their first jobs in daily (early) morning delivery of the Washington Post to the neighborhood. Mark was also a loving grandfather and active in his grandkids� lives through regular yearly visits and letters of correspondence; he always had words of wisdom and stories to share with grandsons Brock, Owen, and Zach. These stories were often the same shared with his cherished daughters-in-law Sara, Wendy, and Amy.

A Soldier

Mark was commissioned into the United States Army as a 2nd Lieutenant upon his graduation from West Point in 1964. He was not the first in his family to serve, as both his father and maternal-grandfather were West Point graduates. Mark served in peace time and also during war, performing two tours of duty in Vietnam as an Airborne Ranger of the 1st Cavalry Division. For his service and merits in Vietnam, Mark was awarded the Silver Star, Bronze Star Medal (1OLC), and Purple Heart (among other citations). Mark retired from the Army at the rank of Lt. Colonel in 1988, with over 24 and a 1/2 years of service to God and country. His devotion to the military community continued after retirement as he remained a proud and active member of the West Point (Class of �64) Alumni Network in the Washington D.C. metro area. He also, on occasion, volunteered to facilitate and teach "Ethics" classes/discussions at West Point to graduating cadets, and was a regular attendee at West Point graduate reunions.

A Spiritual Man

Mark was a devout Catholic and active parishioner within the worship community at St. Mary of Sorrows Church in Fairfax, Virginia. For many years, he helped organize, with wife Nancy, numerous Marriage Encounter weekends and workshops for parish couples, young and old.

A Second Love

After the passing of his first wife in 2015, Mark found love for a second time in his life and married Judy Favier Roberts of Fairfax Station, Virginia. Judy was the widow of his close friend and West Point '64 classmate Thurman "Skip" Roberts. Skip had introduced Mark to Judy 15 years prior, and they double dated to foreign movies, historical field trips and lectures with their A1 group, and concerts. They were married on April 17th, 2017 and celebrated their 4th anniversary shortly before his passing. Mark and Judy celebrated their new-found love traveling Asia, Canada, and the USA together, visiting friends and family, making each other laugh, participating in Osher Lifelong Learning programs at George Mason University, and living every day to the fullest. Mark�s love and humor was not only shared with Judy, but also with his step-son Mike and his family of Wendy, Jillian, and Greg, and his step-son Chris and his family of Elle, Tobey, and Carlotta. Mark finally had granddaughters to add to his group of beloved grandchildren.

A Legendary Man

Legend has it that Mark once saved the St. Helen of the Blessed Shroud orphanage in Calumet City, Illinois from closing. Legend also has it that it was Mark, and not Davy Crockett, that defeated Santa Ana at the Battle of the Alamo. And of course, July 4th is not just a celebration of America�s independence each year, but also a celebration of Mark Brennan�s birthday. Whether these stories are factual or not, Mark was a legendary man to his family and friends, with a great sense of humor. He is loved very much and will be sorely missed by many.

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