On July 5, 2023, at her home in Virginia Beach, Va., Judith Marie Brennan closed her eyes for the last time.
Born March 14, 1947 in New Jersey, only daughter of Francis William Brennan and Betty Mae Kirkwood Brennan, Judi grew up and attended high school at West Caldwell High School in West Caldwell, New Jersey, where she excelled in academics and was a leading member of numerous student organizations.
After high school, Judi attended Duke University, where she majored in government and politics and earned a Fulbright scholarship her senior year. She briefly took time off from Duke University to teach in a private high school in New Jersey, where she discovered her passion for teaching, which eventually became her career.
Following Duke University, Judi taught Latin and government in Virginia Beach public high schools for over 30 years. She is well-remembered by many of her students, who kept in touch with her after they had graduated. Judi briefly took time away from teaching to attend law school, and earned a spot on the law review at William & Mary Law School before returning to the Virginia Beach school system. Although she excelled as a law student, by her own account her sojourn into the law made her realize how much she loved teaching.
Judi retired from the Virginia Beach public school system and, true to her nature, embarked upon a busy schedule of adult education, over a wide-ranging series of topics. She made many friends in the Virginia Beach and Norfolk adult education community, who remember her keen mind and quick wit.
Judi was a world traveler from an early age. She toured the entire continent of Europe as a college student, and later visited China, England, Canada and many other destinations around the world. She focused on areas of historical significance, and routinely had a thorough knowledge of the histories of the many places she traveled. She was an avid reader and an active bridge player for much of her life.
Mostly, Judi was a great, great friend, as her friends and family will attest. With contributions both large and small, she helped many of her friends overcome obstacles and difficulties in their lives, always with a smile and never expecting any favor in return.
Finally, she was a beloved family member. She leaves behind her brother Robert “Bob” Brennan and her niece and nephew, Alycia Marie Brennan and Stephen Francis Brennan. She is predeceased by her parents and also by her other brother, Francis Kirkwood Brennan. She always contributed to the success and joy of her family in numerous ways, and she will be missed by her many friends and family members who loved her.
There will be a memorial gathering for Judi on Friday, July 28 at 6 p.m. at the Westin Hotel, 4535 Commerce St., Virginia Beach, Va., in the Crescent Room. Judi’s memorial will be non-denominational and all of her friends and colleagues are invited, and encouraged to speak a few words about Judi and how she touched the many lives around her.