Dana Lee Brenneman – Sunrise: September 29, 1951 – Sunset: May 17, 2021
“How lucky we are to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard” – Winnie the Pooh
OXFORD - It is with profoundly heavy hearts and deep sadness that the family of Dana Lee Brenneman announce his passing on May 17, 2021.
To know Dana was to love him. His quiet demeanor and gentle and kind spirit made him instantly likeable to all who met him. He was our hero, and he was our rock, our anchor, the calm in this life of storms, and his passing leaves an unimaginable hole in our universe that can never be filled.
Dana was born in Fairfield, CA to Dwane P. Brenneman of Salem, OR, and his beloved mother, the late Illa Le (Stahl) Brenneman.
He is survived by his wife of 27 years, Marie (Morin) Brenneman. He also leaves four sons; Raymond Brenneman and his wife Valerie of Newtown, CT; Shawn Brenneman and his wife Cynthia of San Carlos, CA; Cody Brenneman and his wife Valerie of Georgetown, MA; and Connor Brenneman of Oxford, MA; and two daughters, Kylie Catherine Brenneman, and Kianna Dana Brenneman, both of Oxford, MA.
He leaves four grandchildren, Madison and Titus Brenneman of Newtown, CT, and Soraiya and Micah Brenneman of Georgetown, MA
He leaves three siblings; Dru Brenneman and his wife Shawnie of Mountain View, HI; Dawn Brenneman of Kailua, HI; and Darcy Winnek and her husband Victor of Hermosa Beach, CA
He also leaves six half-siblings on the West Coast: Rick, Rhonda, Rhoda, Rochelle, Ron, and Rhea Myers.
He leaves three sisters-in-law; Jean Collins of Auburn, MA; Christine Dauphinais and her husband Marc of Millbury, MA; and Catherine Gilchrist of Royal Palm Beach, FL, and many aunts, uncles, and cousins.
After attending Hawaii State University on a soccer scholarship, Dana furthered his multi-faceted education with a half dozen degrees and certifications from a variety of institutions in a diverse array of specialties, including electronics, aviation, drafting, technology, courseware development, marketing, and programming. He started his globe-traveling career at Kaiser Aerospace and Electronics in Irvine, CA
While working at Kaiser (now Rockwell Collins) he worked on the team that helped develop the software applications used on board one of the Apollo missions, now at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, DC. His employment with Kaiser and other Tech giants including Apple, Microsoft, IBM, Netezza, EMC, and most recently Dell Corporation had him traveling the world to more than 30 different countries, where he established life-long friendships with colleagues around the globe. He amassed more than 3 million flight miles on United Airlines alone, making him a Global Partner. He was also dispatched on multiple business trips to the Pentagon in Washington, DC, and thus began his career there, where everyone knows he may or may not have worked with the CIA.
His frequent flying as a passenger sparked his interest in becoming a pilot himself. After obtaining his FAA Instrument Certified Pilot’s License, he purchased his first airplane and owned and operated Golden Sierra Aviation, piloting charter flights up and down the West Coast. At one time, he participated in the Angel Flights out of Pocatello, Idaho, where pilots used their own aircraft and volunteered to fly critically ill newborn infants from small, rural hospitals to larger hospitals for treatment. He also joined a crop-dusting crew for a brief time, just for the fun of it. His love of flying led him to obtain additional certification as a Certified Flight Instructor and helped dozens of eager students learn to fly their own planes.
After his beloved Cessna Conquest 441 airplane crashed and burned, he reentered the private sector of employment and started working for a then little-known company in Cupertino, CA called Apple Computer. He was in the fore front of some of the most innovative technology being developed at the time, and his uncanny knack for understanding and absorbing new technology afforded him unique opportunities in the tech world.
After leaving Apple Computer, he left the West Coast and settled on the East Coast with his family. He taught his children his love for airplanes, skiing, computers, and technology, Home Depot, and Star Wars, but mostly, he taught them about gratitude, generosity, dignity, and graciousness, all qualities he exemplified throughout his life, and especially the last two years battling the beast, cancer. He surpassed his original prognosis by more than a year with his positivity, good humor, and resilience, and with the unfailing support of his family and close friends, whose unwavering encouragement brought him light even on the darkest of days. You know who you are, and if he didn’t get a chance to thank you personally, please know that you made a difference.
For all his travels and his love of so many varied opportunities he’s had, the love of his family surpassed all else. No matter what country he was in, or how far away he was, Dana would fly home for every event that held importance to his children. He flew home from 23 hours away at times to be present for a dance competition, dance recital, school play, soccer game, track meet, or awards night at school. Although he was not a member of Jehovah’s Witnesses, he fully supported and encouraged his family’s activities in their faith, and he often attended their assemblies and the annual Memorial. His family takes comfort knowing he is sleeping peacefully now, awaiting the resurrection, to enjoy life everlasting on a paradise earth under God’s Kingdom as promised in God’s word, the Bible. (Psalms 37:11, 29; Matthew 6:9, 10) Rest now, Dana, the honey-do list is getting longer, and we have so much more to do…
We wish to extend enormous thanks and gratitude to his team of doctors at Dana Farber Cancer Institute, most notably Dr. Thomas Abrams, an exceptional, compassionate, whip-smart Oncologist who really listens to his patients and allows them to have personal input into their care, and Karen Sommer, MSN, his right-hand assistant who always knew how to calm our fears with her practical, friendly demeanor. The lab team on Yawkey #2, especially Leslie Yiankos, and the Infusion Team on Yawkey #9, with Shar and Nicole, who made the long tedious days comfortable and even enjoyable with their kindness and personal attention. And to Jane Bausch, L.I.C.S.W. who wormed her way into our hearts and became an invaluable sounding board to us. You all became a reluctant second family to us over the past couple of years, and we can never thank you enough for your expertise, care, and masterful minds, and for keeping our beloved Dana with us for longer than anyone expected.
Paradis-Givner Funeral Home in Oxford is directing the arrangements. There are no calling hours, and Dana's services will be private.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Dana’s memory to the GI Cancer Clinic at Dana Farber Cancer Institute at Dana-Farber.org
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Dana L. Brenneman, please visit our floral store.