Andy Brennan Memorial Fund
Est. 2022 as a scholarship fund by William & Jo Ann Brennan in honor of their beloved son, Andy.
Growing up in Shelton in the 1970s, Andy Brennan was like most kids. He loved school, played with his brothers, Eric and Matthew, and had a mom and dad that loved and supported him.
But by the time Andy was in the 6th grade, an untreatable spinal tumor left him paralyzed from the neck down. That didn’t stop him, however, from continuing his education, living the best life he could and even learning how to draw and paint, using his mouth to hold a brush or pencil.
“He really loved school and had good friends too,” said Jo Ann Brennan, Andy’s mom. “He was a good student and liked to compete with his friend in getting good grades. He was very competitive that way.”
Andy was 15-years old when he passed away. His parents, Jo Ann and Bill, and the entire family were heartbroken. But they immediately wanted to honor his memory and created awards and scholarships at the Shelton schools he attended during his life.
Since 1979, the year Andy passed away, Jo Ann and Bill have funded the awards and scholarships personally, diligently sending checks each year and making sure their son’s memory was kept alive at his old schools.
Bill and his family have old roots in the Valley. His grandfather, John J. Brennan, founded Brennan Construction in 1897. Last year, they decided to move the awards and scholarships to the Valley Community Foundation (VCF) and established the Andy Brennan Memorial Fund to ensure the gifts go to deserving Shelton students continue forever into the future.
Andy’s parents remember their son as very kind, considerate and keenly intelligent. They want the awards and scholarships to support students like him.
Each year, an award in Andy’s name goes to a Perry Hill School 5th grader who is kind and considerate. At the Shelton Intermediate School, there’s an award for a student who excels in Spanish, as Andy did. Lastly, the Shelton High School scholarship is for a student who embraces good citizenship and plans to go into the science, technology, engineering, or math fields.
Despite his physical challenges, Andy never gave up and Jo Ann and Bill hold that memory close to their hearts.
“He was such a wonderful and brave boy and he never complained,” Jo Ann said. “We miss him terribly. We hope the message of his kindness, perseverance and ideals continue through others.”
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