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DeKALB — Bruce Alan Brennan, 59, of DeKalb, formerly of the Bloomington-Normal area, passed away peacefully Thursday (Jan. 8, 2015) at home.

Born Feb. 2, 1955, in Streator, the son of Michael and Alberta Woolford Brennan, Bruce married Mary Katherine Ryan on June 5, 1976, at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Bloomington.

Bruce grew up in St. Anthony’s Catholic Church and attended St. Anthony’s School in Streator, relocating with his family to Normal while in junior high school. He graduated from Normal Community High School and Illinois Wesleyan while working in the family business at Prairie Travler Motel. Bruce continued in his family businesses of real estate management and other endeavors.

Bruce and Mary K. moved their young family in 1983 to DeKalb so that he could attend law school. Bruce graduated in May 1986 from Northern Illinois University College of Law with honors. He practiced law in Glen Ellyn and Winfield and most recently in DeKalb. He also was the published author of multiple books on fictionalized history.

He remained faithful and attended St. John’s Lutheran, Bloomington; First Lutheran, DeKalb; and Salem Lutheran, Sycamore. Bruce was a volunteer leader in his children’s activities in Scouts, youth baseball, Kishwaukee Youth Football League and school activities and helped with many 4-H projects.

Bruce described himself as a “gentleman farmer,” managing the family farm in LaSalle County, and enjoyed spending time with conservation efforts, camping, hunting and enjoying his RV camp. He also enjoyed spending time at Starved Rock State Park with family. He was a lifetime member of the National Wild Turkey Federation.

An avid Chicago sports fan, Bruce was a Bears season ticket holder for more than 25 years and was a devoted White Sox fan. Bruce will be remembered as a man with big opinions and an even bigger heart.

He is survived by his wife, Mary K., and family. He was father to Lucas (Joanne), Hoffman Estates; Air Force Capt. Ross (Heather), North Pole, Alaska; and Hannah (Matt Lamore), Champaign; and grandfather to Samuel Joseph Brennan and Sullivan Swaine Brennan. Bruce was eagerly anticipating the arrival of another grandson soon.

Even while battling the final weeks of cancer, Bruce was motivated to travel to Alaska to see his son and daughter-in-law and meet his grandson. For making this possible, his family thanks Bruce’s medical team, family and friends.

He also is survived by a sister, Patty (Tom) Stash, Gridley; brothers, Terrence (Mary), Bloomington, and Michael (Linyuan), Prince Edward Island, Canada; sister- and brother-in-law, Barb Schneider and Joe Thompson; and several nieces, nephews and cousins.

He was preceded in death by his parents; sister-in-law, Jane Brennan; brother-in-law, James Schneider; and in-laws, Harold and Elaine Ryan.

The memorial service will be at noon Thursday at Salem Lutheran Church, 1145 DeKalb Ave., Sycamore, with the Rev. Robert C. Kinnear officiating. Visitation will be from 10 a.m. to noon Thursday at the church.

In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the Bruce A. Brennan Memorial Fund for the Illinois Regional Cancer Center and KishHealth System Hospice, both of DeKalb, sent to the Brennan family in care of Anderson Funeral Home, P.O. Box 605, 2011 S. Fourth St., DeKalb, IL 60115.

For information, visit or call 815-756-1022.

the life of: Bruce Brennan
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