At 97 years old, it’s “Don’t Stop, just keep goin.”

 

Carl “Pete” Brennan, pictured here with great-granddaughter Ainsley Coulter, will be attending his 80th class reunion at Capac in June.

CAPAC — It can be a challenge to attend your high school reunion. Family obligations, work responsibilities, illness. For some, there’s a number of things that might keep them away from seeing fellow classmates.

That’s not the case for Carl Brennan, a member of the Class of 1944 from Capac.

According to family members, Pete will be making the trip back to his hometown and will be attending his 80th class reunion at Capac High the end of June.

He will also enjoy a few days back in Michigan and be participating in his annual grandson fishing trip in Au Gres following the reunion afterwards.

Mary Stepanski, a family member, said “I know not too many people can say that they will be attending their 80th class reunion. He’s really looking forward to coming back in June.”

When Carl Frederick Brennan (“Pete”) was born in December of 1926 in Mussey Twp., his father, Kenneth Brennan, was 22 and his mother, Ruth Moore Fischer, was 21. He was born on a farm located on Petz Road in Mussey Twp, five miles northeast of Capac.

Family members say Carl, better known as “Pete”, is an active hunter, outdoorsman, marksman, & fisherman, who favors extra dry martinis, margaritas, or gin & tonics and makes his own bullets.

He loves birds, dogs, nature and his extensive blended family, is a superb cook, crossword puzzler, card player & financial wizard, with a natural curiosity for knowledge of all things useful, including computer gaming.

Pete’s education in the fields of math, chemistry, physics & science has served him well. His motto: “Don’t stop, just keep goin’.”

Carl had one younger sister, Betty (1930), one half-sister, June Stamman (1942), and a step-brother Richard Clark (1931).

The 1930 US Census indicates that 4-year-old Carl was living with his parents & infant sister Betty on his paternal grandparents’ farm owned by Charles and Margaret McDonald Brennan.

Carl entered kindergarten at the age of 4 in Sept. 1931, and graduated the 8th grade from Churchill School in June 1940.

In October of 1934, when Carl was age 7, his 56-year-old grandfather Charles Brennan died. Grandpa Charles was Carl’s fishing mentor.

The 1940 US Census shows 14-year-old Carl living with his father Ken on the Petz Road farm, along with Gladys Clark and her son Richard Clark.

In June of 1944, 17-year-old Carl graduated from Capac High School. He immediately enlisted in the Army Reserve for ASTRP Training on June 23, 1944.

He attended two terms at the University of Illinois from June 1944 to January 1945, then entered active military service in Feb. 1945 at Fort Sheridan, Illinois.

Carl took his Basic Training at Camp Fannin, TX for 15 weeks from Feb. of 1945 through May of 1945. He then attended Penn State University in Army ASTP from June 1945 through Aug. 1945.

Carl was honorably discharged as a Private from the 63rd Quartermaster Training Company in Camp Lee, VA in October of 1945.

He immediately reenlisted and was transferred to Fort Monroe, VA, serving as a Sergeant in the Headquarters Detachment 1319th Army Service Unit.

Carl was honorably discharged in November of 1946.

He moved back to Michigan & enrolled at Central Michigan University (CMU) in Feb. 1947. Carl joined the Alpha Beta Sigma fraternity and was active in the college Alchymists Club.

Carl obtained his Bachelor of Arts from CMU in February of 1950, with majors in chemistry and math, a minor in physics.

Soon after, in April of 1950, he was hired by Huron Portland Cement Co. of Alpena, MI, as a laboratory control chemist.

Twenty-three-year-old Carl met his 24-year-old future wife Shirley Clara McKerty on a blind date. They married in Nov. of 1950.

Carl had three daughters with Shirley between 1952 and 1963, Christine, Susan and Barbara. His family moved soon after the birth of their second daughter Susan.

National Gymsum Co. purchased Huron Portland Cement Co. in 1957. Carl was promoted to Lab Supervisor in 1959, Assistant Chief Chemist in 1960, Superintendent of the Finish Division in 1962, Superintendent of the Kiln Division in 1964, Superintendent of the Kiln & Power Division in 1968, Director of Manufacturing in 1974, & Vice President of Operations in 1981.

He also served on the Board for Huron Portland Cement (HPC) Credit Union.

In April 1978, 51-year-old Carl purchased & moved to a 120 acre farm in Lachine, MI with Shirley & teen daughters Susan & Barbara. Carl & Shirley Brennan divorced in 1984.

The National Gypsum Plant closed in Dec. 1986, but Carl was able to stay on as a consultant for the LaFarge Corp. until retiring in December of 1988 at 62.

In November of 1988, 61-year-old Carl married Luanne M. Potvin Stepanski in Alpena, MI. Carl sold his Lachine farm in 1992 and moved with Luanne to Fairfield Glade, TN, where he organized the FFG Sportsman Club with several other start-up members.

In October of 1984, 67-year-old Carl lost his 89-year-old mother Ruth Louise Stamman. She died in Mayfield, MI, and was buried in Imlay City.

In October of 2006, 79-year-old Carl lost his 76-year-old sister Betty Dobruk to stomach cancer. She died in Casco, MI and was buried in Imlay City, MI.