Alice Brennan's struggle with lung cancer ended peacefully in the comfort of her own home on Thursday, April 7, 2016 surrounded by the love of her family. She was 73.
Alice E. Buckley was born September 25, 1942 in Mineola, New York, daughter of the late John and Alice (Walker) Buckley. She graduated from the former Holy Rosary Academy in Amityville, New York. She earned her bachelor's degree from Boston College in 1964, and remained a dedicated member of the Boston College community. Alice was active in the BC Alumni Association, and was the Grand Marshall of her 50th class reunion.
Alice married fellow BC alum, Paul Brennan, on May 6, 1967 in St. Martin of Tours Church in Amityville, New York. They moved to Shrewsbury in 1972 and made the community their home. After raising her four children, Alice continued her career in education. She began working in Worcester's Head Start Program. She also went on to earn her Master's in Education degree from Worcester State College. She taught kindergarten for a short time at Coolidge School and then at Beal School until 1997. She served as a curriculum specialist from 1997-2007, and as principal of Beal School from 2007 until her well-deserved retirement in 2012. She became a well-recognized face in the community, not only for her love of Beal School, the children, and their families, but also for her treasured Friday sing-alongs. After retirement, Alice often made special guest appearances at Beal School. This fulfilled her need to connect with the children, the community, and the staff she loved so very much.
Alice believed in giving back to the community, and did this by volunteering her time for many causes. Retirement afforded Alice the opportunity to attend Mass daily at Saint Mary's Church, where she served as Eucharistic Minister and Lector. She truly exemplified love in action through her generosity, selflessness, and faith. Whether it was a Meals on Wheels or a family in need, Alice was always there.
Alice was happiest when she was surrounded by her loving family and her many friends, but especially her precious grandchildren. "Nana" or "Nanee" spent countless hours caring for them, and relished in the joy she received from helping her own children raise them. She also enjoyed her daily walks with her best four-legged friend, Bella.
In heaven Alice joins her parents and her siblings, John Buckley, Helen Marie Kuhn and Kevin Buckley and sister-in-law, Linda Finneran. In life she leaves her husband of 48 years, Paul E. Brennan; their children, Michael L. Brennan and his wife, Heather, of North Grafton, Paul T. 'Terry' Brennan of Boylston,
Susan E. de Gruchy and her husband, Robert, of Shrewsbury and John B. Brennan and his wife, Cristina, of North Grafton; her grandchildren, John- Paul, Brian, Owen, Elle, Luke; her siblings, Daniel Buckley of Rhode Island, Denis Buckley and Jerry Buckley, both of New York; her brother-in-law, Charles Brennan and his wife, Diane, of New York; and many nieces & nephews.
Alice's family is grateful for the support, care, and compassion shown to her and her family by the community, her friends, and her caregivers.
Family and friends will honor and remember Alice's life by gathering for calling hours at Heald & Chiampa Funeral Directors ~ The Sumner House, 5 Church Road, On the Common, Shrewsbury Center on Sunday, April 10th from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m. and again on Monday morning before leaving in procession to Saint Mary's Church, 640 Main Street, Shrewsbury where her Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10:00 a.m. Burial will follow in Mountain View Cemetery, Shrewsbury.
Memorials in her name may be made to Shrewsbury Education Foundation, 55 Gulf Street, Shrewsbury, MA 01545 or Lung Cancer Alliance, P.O. Box 418372, Boston, MA 02241-8372