Baker City, Oregon
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Walburga “Wally” Brennan, 86, a lifelong Baker City resident, died Dec. 29, 2000, at St. Elizabeth Health Services.
The rosary will be said today at 7 p.m. at St. Francis de Sales Cathedral, First and Church streets. Mass of Christian burial will be Wednesday at 1 p.m. at the cathedral. Interment will follow at Mount Hope Cemetery. Visitations will be today until 5 p.m. at Coles-Strommer Funeral Home, 1950 Place St.
A superwoman perhaps before the term was used, Mrs. Brennan lived as one. She was born June 3, 1914, at Baker City to John and Walburga O’Connor, and she lived most of her life in this community. Her formative years were spent enjoying Baker Valley and attending St. Francis Academy. While attending the school she participated in the art and music programs. She even directed the orchestra. She graduated from St. Francis in 1932.
Her next adventure took her to Marylhurst College in Portland. In May of 1942 she completed her degree at the Sacred Heart School of Nursing in Spokane, Wash. While in college she enjoyed skiing, golfing and archery, and although she loved the outdoors and being active, she never did take to camping and swimming.
It was in Spokane that she met the love of her life, John V. Brennan. They were married on May 2, 1942, at the Sacred Heart Church in Spokane, and then were off to Sandstan, Va., where they had their first child and lived until Mr. Brennan was called off to World War II.
Mrs. Brennan decided that she would return to her family in Baker City alone with her daughter, Ann, and wait for her husband’s return. Back in Baker City she lived at 1517 First St. with her parents and worked as a nurse at St. Elizabeth Hospital. Once the war was over, her husband joined her and they lived the rest of their lives in Baker City, where they raised five children.
Mrs. Brennan retired from nursing in 1979. She was a lifelong parishioner of St. Francis de Sales Catholic church and was a member of the Mother’s Club and Altar Society. She passed quietly from this world surrounded by those who loved her. Her passing is a great sorrow to those who knew and cherished her.
Mrs. Brennan is survived by five children and their spouses: Ann and Matt Kniesel, Margaret and Jon Eyer, Mary and Tom Norton, John and Sandy Brennan and Colleen and Jeff Collier; grandchildren Tony and Michael Day, Theresa and Brett Hamilton, Colleen and Lenny Keiser, Christine, John and Matthew Eyer, Jenell and Jimmy Zamora, Benjamin and Cynthia Norton, Calvin, Joseph and Jacob Collier, and Michael, Becky and Angela Brennan; six great-grandchildren, Thomas and Samuel Hamilton, Jonathon and Samantha Brennan, and John and Joseph Keiser; and by her brother, Joseph O’Connor.
She was preceded in death by her parents, John and Walburga O’Connor; her husband, John Brennan; brothers, Francis and Micheal O’Connor; and a grandson, John Day.
Memorial contributions may be made to the St. Francis de Sales Food Bank through Coles-Strommer Funeral Home, 1950 Place St., Baker City, Ore., 97814.
Used with permission from: The Baker City Herald, Baker City, Oregon, January 5, 2001
Transcribed by: Belva Ticknor