Honor Brennan

Honor Patricia Brennan (nee Petrie), 86, of River Forest, died peacefully on Oct. 12, 2018 surrounded by family. Affectionately known as Wookie, she grew up in the Woodlawn neighborhood, attended Holy Cross School, and graduated from Mercy High School in 1950. With Richard, her late husband of 65 years, she raised seven children in Oak Park and River Forest. 

Her passion for music began early. She sang in church and other choirs as a young child and throughout high school, gaining recognition as a talented alto soloist. She studied music theory at Triton College and trained in voice under Ione Root. With the Chicago Irish Musicians in the 1950s and ’60s, she sang frequently on Tom McNamara’s Irish Radio Hour from Hanley’s House of Happiness. She and Richard also sang together with the Irish Heritage Singers for many years. As an artist, she continually promoted and supported involvement in the arts, including with the Austin Fine Arts Academy and as treasurer of the Chicago Artists Association. 

As a mother of three in the 1950s, she worked at Time Magazine while Richard attended the University of Chicago. As her family grew, she welcomed many of her children’s friends into the heart of their home. She will be remembered for her beautiful voice and her passion for gardening. Many family members and neighbors who exchanged plants with her marveled at her extensive — and self-taught — knowledge of horticulture. 

Honor Brennan is survived by her children, Richard, Sean, Timothy (Terrence Gilles), Christopher (Sabrina), Patrick (Nora), Daniel (Nancy) and Catherine (Robert) Millette; 16 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren; and her many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband, Richard; her parents, George and Honor Petrie; and her brothers, Jack, Thomas and Donald. 

Visitation will be held on Friday, Nov. 30 at 10 a.m., at St. Luke Church, 528 Lathrop Ave. in River Forest and Mass will follow at 11 a.m., with private interment on Saturday, Dec. 1 at Mt. Olivet Cemetery. The family appreciates memorial donations to Seasons Hospice.

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