Thomas Henry Alexander Brenan

February 6, 1930 ~ October 27, 2020 (age 90)


Tom truly “slipped the surly bonds of earth” when he left us peacefully on the morning of 27 October 2020 at North Island Hospital Campbell River and District after deteriorating health. He is survived by Pat, his loving wife of 36 years, son Glenn Brenan, daughters Bonnie Guenther, Barb Liska , and Christa Brenan, seven grandchildren, and five great grandchildren.

An accomplished and complex man who, as one colleague so deftly put it, ‘did not suffer fools gladly’ he was entertaining, exasperating, inventive, always right, scarred, self-assured, adventurous, and a good dancer.

He joined the RAF pilot training program as a young man in 1948 and also learned to sail which brought him much happiness. He was adept and handy, as able to create an oil painting as he was at building furniture and a home from the ground up. He built a successful business fixing electronics, then expanded it into a repair and appliance retail store, Brenan Television, in Toronto and bought and ran Shadow Inn with the family in northern Ontario.

He found his true passion in flying with a career that spanned forty plus years and over 30,000 hours flying time as pilot-in-command. During his professional life as a pilot he was Manager and Chief Pilot for Athabasca Air, Captain for Leeward Island Airways in the BVI, flew bird dog for water bombers, was Manager and Chief Pilot/Chief Flight Instructor for Victoria Flying Club. He was a Class 1 Instructor, Airline Transport Pilot and taught ab initio, multi-engine, IFR, and enjoyed aerobatics, (his barrel rolls could have used a little work though). He was a Designated Flight Test Examiner for Transport Canada for Private Pilot, Commercial Pilot and Multi-Engine Endorsement. Through it all his favourite flying was chasing the sun between clouds and landing on beaches to camp under the wing of an aircraft. His love of flying extended to his son and a granddaughter who now captains for West Jet.

On a personal note: There was a quiet, mutual exchange of “Thank you for your help, thank you for your love.” while we sat on the edge of your hospital bed the evening before you left us. Now you are dancing with the angels….and probably seeking out the best dancers…Save a dance for me. xo Pat

Special thanks to Dr. Liezel Sullivan, the nurses on 3A, Fr. Jan Grotkowski SDS, and Fr. Konrad Zaborowski SDS.

There will a family gathering to celebrate his life at a later date.

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