Mimi Brennan passed away at her home on Shelter Island on April 20, 2015. As her friends know, she became a full-time community activist on Shelter Island after retiring here in 1996.
Mimi was born Mary Jane Gross in 1929 to Edward and Agnes Gross, who moved from Brooklyn to Valley Stream, Nassau County, in the early 1930s.
She graduated from Mt. St.Vincent College and married James (Jay) Brennan in 1951. They moved to Manhattan and Mimi became a teacher at Washington Irving High School. Her son Jim was born in 1952 and her son Bill was born in 1962.
The family bought land on Westmoreland Farm in the early sixties and built a house there. In the 1960s Mimi became active in the Shelter Island Players, a Shakespeare Theater Group and played Titiana in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”
In the mid1970s, Mimi and Jay spent five years in Japan while Jay worked as the editor of Time-Life Books of Asia. He died in 1979 and Mimi resumed teaching at Washington Irving. She retired in 1988 after 37 years as a teacher. She became active in political campaigns in Brooklyn in the early nineties, helping her son Jim, who was a member of the Assembly, and other local Brooklyn Democrats.She moved to the Island from New York City in 1996.
Her son Bill married in 1996 to Kerry McGovern, and they had a child, Kara, in 2003. Bill had worked as a Russian translator after serving in the United States Army and then became a teacher in New Jersey. Jim married in 2013 to Joan Bartolomeo.
Mimi is also survived by a sister, Sue, and her husband, Bob Wuebber, and their children Karen and Eileen, Mimi’s nieces. She is also survived by her brother, Mike Gross, his wife Betty, and their son, her nephew Mathew. She has a niece, Lori Schneider, and a nephew, Bill Schopf, who are the children of her husband’s sister, Betty.
Mimi loved Shelter Island, her son wrote, and all her friends at the Silver Circle Social Club, the Senior Citizens Foundation, Mashomack Preserve, the Democratic Party, members of the League of Women Voters and anybody else she could find time to help.
A memorial service will be held at Mashomack Preserve’s Manor House Saturday, May 2 from 2 to 4 p.m. The public is invited.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Senior Citizens Foundation of Shelter Island, P.O. Box 352, Shelter Island, NY 11964 or Mashomack Preserve c/o the Nature Conservancy, P.O. Box 850, Shelter Island, NY 11964.
An appreciation of Mimi, by Joanne Sherman, will appear in the April 30 Reporter. See page 33 in this issue for a brief staff remembrance of her in the Around the Island section.
Peter C. Kenny Jr.
Peter C. Kenny Jr. of Ellington, Connecticut, formerly of Shelter Island, died March 1, 2015 at the age of 95.
He was born March 3, 1919, in Bayonne, New Jersey, to the late Peter C. Kenny Sr. and Mary Dugan Kenny. In 1943, he married Helen Blusonis, who predeceased him in 1999. They resided in Great Neck and later moved to the Island.
Peter first went to sea at 15, later serving our country in the U.S. Army and then graduating from the U. S. Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point.
During World War II, he served as an officer in the U.S. Merchant Marine along the African coast and on Murmansk Run convoys in the North Atlantic. After the war, he was a police officer in Great Neck Estates.
He is survived by his son Peter C. Kenny III and his wife Donna of Northampton, Massachusetts; his son Brian J. Kenny and his wife Patricia of Ellington, Connecticut; five grandchildren, Megan Ziegler and her husband Geoffrey of Los Angeles, California, Hannah Kenny and her husband Frederick Duden of Denver, Colorado, Brian P. Kenny and his wife Sarah of Newtown, Connecticut, Patrick Kenny and his wife Myoungho of Kailua, Hawaii, and Brendan Kenny and his wifeNoelle of Ridgefield, Connecticut; and 12 great-grandchildren, Sean, Natalie, Jack, Finnegan, Frances, Frederick, Bridget, Kiley, Alicia, Leila, Alina and Nina.
A Mass of Christian Burial was held on March 7 at St. Bernard Church in Rockville, Connecticut, followed by a graveside ceremony and burial on March 9 at Our Lady of the Isle Cemetery.