In Memory Of
Brennan, Ethel J. who passed away on 7/29/2020 at the age of 96
Ethel Julia Brennan passed away peacefully in the spiritual embrace of her family on July 29, 2020, after a long and full life. Ethel, the eldest of Ralph and Mary Humphreys' four daughters, was born on August 12, 1923, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She studied nursing, at the Misericordia Hospital School of Nursing in Philadelphia, where she received her Registered Nurse Certificate, whereupon she took a Commission as an Ensign in the United States Navy Nurse Corps. She enhanced her nursing credentials through programs at several Naval Hospitals, advancing in rank through promotion. Ethel was posted to the Naval Hospital, Newport, Rhode Island, but it was across the Narragansett Bay, at the Quonset Point Naval Air Station, where she met the love of her life and devoted husband, Naval aviator Lieutenant William (to her, Willie) Brennan. They were married on her birthday, Aug. 12, 1950.
Throughout a professional career that spanned 40 years, she was long an advocate for acknowledging the value that all professionals bring to the job. A highly trained U.S. Navy Surgical Nurse, Ethel recognized the value of all the professionals in service to the patient. Caring for the sick or injured is not just about doctors or nurses, but an entire team of technicians, food service providers, custodians, administrators ? all wearing different hats but all working towards the same goal of helping people in need of help.
For many just beginning their careers, Ethel was kind and inspirational. She consistently conveyed confidence in who she was, what she knew, and how to get things done, and done well. She seemed to be the one who people went to for advice; her voice was so strong and her stance so purposeful. Ethel inspired her youngest sister Jean, as well as both of her daughters and one of her daughter's-in-law, all three of whom had worked for her as nurse's aides in the Castine, Maine Community Hospital, to follow her into the field of nursing.
Ethel was also a relentless volunteer in her community and in heath centers, both large and small, around the country and beyond; Philadelphia, Monterey, Boston, the Island of Bermuda, Castine, Bangor and Blue Hill, Maine; communities of people who benefited from her desire to serve, to help those in need, and to lead by example. Her deep love of God and her passion for her church is where Ethel found her life's inspiration and her desire to serve. She was fond of saying hers was not a life to write a book about. Perhaps that is true. Perhaps true inspiration does not need to be heralded in a book, as the measure of how deeply she inspired is found within the hearts of those who love her dearly.
Ethel is survived by her loving husband CAPT William "Willie" Brennan; the couple would have celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary on August 12th. She is also survived by her four children, Bill and wife Heather Brennan of Castine, Maryann Russell of Falmouth, Kathleen and husband Bob Hoffmann of Yarmouth, Michael Brennan and wife Sarah Speare of Falmouth; 15 grandchildren, and 19 great-grandchildren.
The family would like to express sincere appreciation to the care givers at Sedgewood Commons of Falmouth and the loving hospice nurses with Compassus of Scarborough. Due to the COVID pandemic, funeral services will be private.