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Joan Marie Brennan

Mar 29, 1934 - Sep 28, 2020


Joan Marie Brennan, 86, of Sheboygan, WI, was called to her Heavenly Home on Monday, September 28th, 2020, at Memorial Medical Center. She was born in Osman, WI, on the family farm on March 29th, 1934, the daughter of the late Alvin and Philomena (Minnie) Wallander Hickmann. She grew up with her siblings Marion, LaVerne, Eugene, Norbert, and Ronald. Joan enjoyed a close bond with her brothers and sisters throughout her entire life, all of whom preceded her in death. Joan leaves behind a loving extended family.
She graduated from Kiel High School in 1951 and completed studies at Manitowoc County Normal. She enjoyed being an elementary teacher, first at school, and then teaching her five children and fourteen grandchildren in the ways of patience and kindness throughout her whole life. She was a born teacher who loved learning, reading, visiting museums, and learning about flowers and animals. She enjoyed baking and cooking, and was able to feed a table full of guests on a moment’s notice. Everyone within a two-hundred mile radius enjoyed her zucchini bread, cookies, pies, and peanut squares. Her baking nourished not only our body, but also our souls. Joan enjoyed having company and was able to make everyone in her home feel loved and cared for. Her card-making ministry created much joy for all those receiving hand-crafted cards, often with pictures of themselves, to those celebrating, grieving, or ill. She touched many people with her cards through her church and sent messages to those who may not have gotten a card in the mail for a while. Her thoughtfulness and care were appreciated by all. She was especially close to her cousin Janice Stauski and her dear friend Margie Schwoerer, both of whom have laughed and cried with her throughout the years.
Joan was a longstanding member of Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, the Red Hat Society, Christian Women’s, Homemaker’s Card Club, and the Senior Center. She very much enjoyed her annual trip with her daughter Patti and especially loved seeing the Holy Land.
She is survived by her five beloved children and grandchildren; Patti (Joe) Knudson, of Oshkosh and their children, Mike (Nikki Loewenhagen), Patrick (Rachel), and Karen (Nathan) Stepanek; Tommy (Erin) Brennan, of Prairie du Sac and their children, Abby (Michelle) Murphy, Betsy, Daniel, and Caitlin; Jimmy Brennan, of Baraboo and his children Kristin (Matt) Osterhaus and the late Matthew “Buddy” Brennan; Joey (Vicky) Brennan, of Sun Prairie and their children Lexie, Grace, and Ana; Mary Joan (Roland) Brilla of Germany and their children, Anne Sophie and Stephanie; great grandchildren, Brady and Ellie Knudson, Nora Murphy, Clayton, Evalyn, Landon, and Noah Osterhaus. She enjoyed and was active in the lives of so many nieces and nephews. A special thanks to Kathy Wojta, with whom she enjoyed learning more about healthy living.
A Catholic Burial Mass was celebrated on Thursday, October 1st, at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, with interment at Calvary Cemetery and Chapel Mausoleum in Manitowoc, WI. A Catholic Mass of Remembrance and celebration of Joan’s life will be planned at a later date. As Mom loved good food, she requested that Memorials be directed to a local food pantry.
The greatest gift our Mom has given us and everyone she knew was her faith and we are forever grateful.
We love you so much, Mom. Your children.



Guestbook Entries SIGN GUESTBOOK

ann allen

I was the lucky recipient of Joan's books about WWII and the Holocaust. She shared them with me and we shared an interest in people who survived the unimaginable. I loved hearing about all the trips Patti and her mom took together and seeing the photos of their adventures. And the puzzles! What a feat to complete so many puzzles singlehandedly! I remember Joan as being one of the most gracious women I knew full of wisdom and spirit! I'm so sad to miss hearing about the latest trip she and Patti took together or seeing her at a Knudson shower or wedding. Love to all of you who called her mom, grandma, and friend. She was an inspiration to many.

Milissa Hoxtell

Dear Patti, Tom, Jim, Joe, and Mary. Your mom always made me smile. I have such happy memories of being in the Brennan home in Dodgeville. It was an active, happy home. I will always remember all those Halloween cookies decorated perfectly for all the residents of Bloomfield Manor. I also remember her making each of you your favorite birthday cake on your birthdays. How was it that her Jello tasted so good? Jim and Joe, I remember her helping you getting all those papers ready for delivery around the neighborhood. Tom, I remember her helping you with the lawn mower. Mary, you were her right hand helper, always at her side. Patti, the great times you and your mom had on those trips. All the best. Your mom was amazing. You all have my deepest sympathy. Hugs to all, Milissa