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Oshawa Funeral Home

847 King Street West, Oshawa, ON

OBITUARY

Mary Brennan

October 22, 1950January 8, 2020
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BRENNAN, Mary (Maria Assunta) It is with great sadness that the family of Mary Brennan shares the news of her death after an inspiring and heroic battle with ALS on January 8, 2020 in her 70th year. Beloved wife of James (Pat) Brennan for 43 years and devoted mother to Julie (Jeff Ellis), Sara (Gregory Mitchell), Katy (Bob Woropay) and Marla. Mary cherished her grandchildren, Paiten, Noah, Lily, Christopher, Gabriel, James, Caleb and Amber. She leaves behind her brothers Joe of Oshawa and Raymond (Ginette) of Scarborough, and her sister-in-law, Liz of Canmore, Alberta. Mary was predeceased by her mother Maria Consolata, her father Michael Angelo Falzon and her brother David Falzon. Mary was born in Qrendi, Malta and crossed the Atlantic Ocean with her mother and two brothers in 1953, arriving in Oshawa where her father had built their home to begin their new life in Canada. Growing up in Oshawa, Mary loved the Beatles and was an avid reader, a great student with a brilliant mind. Mary earned her degree from York University where she met many life-long friends and enjoyed the freedom and adventure of living in Toronto. She worked for the Durham Catholic District School Board for 35 years as a teacher, a librarian and in special education. For many years, she enjoyed walking at Lakeview Park and loved spending time reading and writing. Following her retirement Mary embraced her love for music learning to play the African djembe with the Dare to Drum collective. This past year Mary was awarded the Provincial honour of Senior of the Year for her contribution to developing the “Drumming for health program,” at the Oshawa Senior Citizen Centre. In the final months of her life, Mary entertained many guests, celebrated often with her family, and enjoyed all the many cards and gifts from friends. She was an incredible mother, teacher, and advocate for many people leaving behind invaluable lessons and memories. She will be deeply missed by her husband, children, grandchildren and her amazing community of friends. The family wishes to extend their thanks to Kim Barry and the ALS team at Sunnybrook Hospital and to the staff of the Oshawa Lakeridge Supportive Care Floor. Visitation will be held at OSHAWA FUNERAL HOME, 847 King Street West (905-721-1234) on Sunday, January 12, from 2 – 4 and 6 – 8 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at ST. GERTRUDE'S CATHOLIC CHURCH (690 King St. E., Oshawa) on Monday, January 13, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. Interment to follow at Resurrection Catholic Cemetery. In lieu of flowers the family has requested we honour Mary's love of books and reading by donating to the Canadian Children's Book Centre https://bookcentre.ca/support-us/donations or the St. Gertrude’s Parish Building Fund.

Services

PREVIOUS SERVICES:

  • Visitation Sunday, January 12, 2020
  • Mass of Christian Burial Monday, January 13, 2020

OTHER SERVICES:

  • Burial Following Mass

Memories

Mary Brennan

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Theresa Cassar -Donnelly

January 26, 2020

The Brennan & Falzon families, I grew up with Mary & her family living close in the same neighborhood & went to school together. We were maltese also. My sister Grace Taylor always mentioned to me when she talked to Mary. Mary was a very nice & kind person . I feel very sad her life was taken so young. I hope you find comfort in the memories & the many friends she had.
My sincere condolences
Theresa Cassar Donnelly

Bob & Rosy Langstaff

January 22, 2020

We were saddened to hear of the passing of Mary. I just read the lovely memories that people have shared. I just learned a lot about Mary, that I didn't know how special she really was. It sounds like, her life was always around students, family, friends, co-workers. I have never heard about the book club, and I'm sure that she was an inspiration to many. She always had a smile, and dealt with good and bad days. She never really complained. It was always a joy, when I did see her, and she loved her red car. I was glad that I could help her in that department. She will be missed by many, but no longer suffering, and an Angel in Heaven, sharing her talents!

michael jack

January 17, 2020

Although you have lost a person that you have love
know that she is in a better place and in the hands of God.
She is a position to help now much more than you realize,
so speak and pray to her. Your sorrow as a family should be
brief by reason of your separation and join with her in a spiritual way. a friend …. Michael jack and FAMILY

Shannon Pascoe

January 16, 2020

I just read the notice in the paper. Mary was a massage therapy client of mine for many years. I wanted to pass on my condolences to her family. I'm so sorry to hear of her passing. I have so many fond memories of her. She was a special client to me. We had great conversations about so many things. She talked often of her kids and you could easily tell how much she loved all of you. She is someone I will always remember.

Sending my prayers to the whole family. She was a very special person and will be greatly missed.
Shannon Pascoe

Debbie Gardner

January 14, 2020

I just heard the news today about the passing of Mary and I am sending my condolences to Julie and her family. It's a time of disbelief, grief, shock, and sadness sprinkled with chuckles surrounding some of the silly memories you must have of your mom. I know how hard this can be and I wanted you to know you are in my thoughts. Sending hugs to you, and remember to keep those memories alive because that's where Mary lives on...in your memories and forever in your heart.
Debbie Gardner
XO

Maria Borysiak

January 14, 2020

Dear Mr. Brennan,
I am so sorry to hear about Mrs. Brennan passing away. I heard that she has suffered greatly from ALS. I fondly remember her when she taught my sister Angela at John F. Kennedy and you as my grade 5 teacher. I am asking God to accompany you in the continued challenges which lay ahead and ask him to give you strength and love when you need it most.

With heartfelt wishes,

Maria Borysiak (nee Wojnarowycz)

Judy Brown

January 14, 2020

As Mary and I were both teachers for DCDSB I knew of Mary for decades. It wasn't until after her retirement when she joined our bookclub that I really got to know her.
I have to admit that there were times I felt intimidated by her literary expertise. That being said I was still very appreciative of the way she raised the level of discussion and shared such valuable insight into each book.
This past September we were able to organize it so that we would have each meeting at her house. We were so thankful to Pat and Marla for facilitating this. We wanted to do this for Mary. I know that I can speak for everyone in the bookclub when I say that the truth is that we received more from Mary, than we could have hoped to have given her. We saw that the ugliness of her disease only illuminated her love of her God, family and friends and could not diminish her sharp mind, whit and love of a good book and music. She even entertained us with her drums. We left with a clearer vision not only of the author of the book's heroine, but also of what it is like to be in the company of a real non-fictional hero: who knew how to fight the good fight and embrace life with such grace and determination that left us in awe.
When our bookclub meets this Wednesday, we will discuss the book, "Little Women. " I know that when we discuss Meg, Jo, Amy and Beth our hearts will be more with Julie, Sara, Katy and Marla, the four beatiful girls Mary brought into the world, her beloved Pat and all their extended famiily.
I hope heaven is filled with great books and music. If not I think things are about to change.
RIP my friend,
Love,
Judy

patricia gouin

January 14, 2020

My deepest condolences to the Brennan family.

Gerry and Pat Startek

January 13, 2020

From a lovely conversation with Father John Brennan, a fragment from a favourite poem:

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth,
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
And, while with silent lifting mind I've trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

And so you have, sweet lady.

Liz Falzon

January 13, 2020

I first met Mary when I was dating her brother David Falzon. That was the start of a warm and loving friendship. Over the years, we bonded over David sharing the past, the present and the future. Mary was always a kind listening ear for my problems and always excited to share in my joys.
Whenever we visited Oshawa, Mary was a great hostess organizing dinners and get-togethers. Much appreciated. She took me to her drumming circle once and I was quite impressed. I am so glad that she had that outlet for her energy and dedication.
We shared many long phone calls which I enjoyed very much. When David became very ill and subsequently died, Mary was a great comfort to me. I treasured her words and sentiments.
When Mary started to have trouble talking, we communicated via email. I will miss her newsy and loving emails.
Mary and I shared a fervent belief in life after death and I know that she is now enjoying great reunions with her parents, David and other family and friends that have passed on.
I will always remember how much Mary loved Pat, her daughters, sons-in-law and her grandchildren.
She is a great lady and I will miss her very much.

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