Date of Birth

November 2, 1928

Date of Death

December 27, 2021

Alfred Joseph Brennan, age 93, of Maple Park, formerly of Surprise, AZ and Woodridge, IL, passed away Monday, December 27, 2021, surrounded by the love and prayers of his family.

He was born November 2, 1928, in Chicago, the son of Joseph and Anna Theresa Brennan. Born too early, Al topped the scales at 5 lbs and came home from the hospital in a shoe box surrounded by cotton batting.

Al grew up in Chicago and was a “West Side Man” his entire life, no matter where he lived. He attended Crane High School but graduated from the School of Hard Knocks. In 1951 he was drafted into the United States Army, who gave him his first trip outside of Chicago. He served stateside for duration of time in the armed forces and was honorably discharged in 1953.

Al returned to civilian life and found work in purchasing for the Vaughan’s Garden Center in 1954. 49 years later he retired in 2003 but never settled down. The travel bug led him to Alaska, Europe, and everything in between before settling in Arizona. Ten years of memories later, Al came back home to Illinois and made his home with his daughter Carrie in Maple Park.

Grief came to call in 1955 when Al’s older brother (by one year) lost his battle with cancer. It affected him so profoundly, that forever after he would specifically say that James died at “age 27, 1 month and 5 days”.  Later, Al’s life would change again when he met Ruth Ann Meadors. They met at a local tavern when Al accidently sat in Ann’s girlfriends seat. That chance meeting led to a walk down the aisle in 1968. Though they would go their separate ways ten years later, they both were blessed their daughter Carrie, and together with Ann’s daughter Dee, the family was complete.

As a man who grew up without a father, you couldn’t find a more loving, compassionate, and dedicated father who would move Heaven and earth to make sure their children never wanted anything. Al had a knack for telling jokes and hilarious stories, which made him friends in every walk of life. You may have met Al as a stranger, but you never left less than newfound friends. Al was a child of the depression which marked his way of thinking and living his life. When he was young, his father abandoned Al and his five siblings, lost two homes to fire, was separated from his family when they were all put in different orphanage’s twice, but no matter what assailed them, each and everyone grew stronger and the love they felt for each other ran deeper. He knew what it was like to live without. Al never threw anything away as echoes of his life as a poor Irish kid on the west side with no father, stayed with him his entire life. He also grew up with a debilitating speech impediment, but nevertheless he persisted with a determination the belied his age, and eventually overcame it.  His heart was always open for love and was the first one to give a person a second chance. He always preached how important it was to “walk a mile in another’s shoes”. His grandson Max, who also was born with many challenges, found a kindred spirit in Poppy Al. They became fast friends because no one understood what it was like to face lives challenges head on more than Grandpa Al. He was immensely proud of his other grandson Riley, who chose to run into fires as a vocation. Amid the devastation that household fires of his youth wrought, Al could only be in awe of Riley and his passionate dedication to the protection of his family and community. He also was the favorite “Uncle Al” to many nieces and nephews who adored him. Animals had a special place in his heart, especially cats and dogs, who were treated like members of the family. That love was passed down to is daughter who co-founded a non-profit called Horse Power Therapeutic Riding in St. Charles, IL. Al and his sister, Betty, loved to hit every garage sale they could find, and both volunteered for decades at Serendipity in Naperville. A myriad of treasures was found whose value may have been debatable but became priceless in their hands. Unique as the day is long, Al will be sorely missed, but never forgotten.

He is survived by his daughter Carrie (Gene) Capes; two grandsons: Riley Brennan Capes and Max Brennan Capes; many beloved nieces, nephews and a community of friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Joseph and Anna Theresa and five siblings: Margaret Larson, James Brennan, John Brennan, Bridgette Ahearn and Richard Brennan.

Visitation will be Tuesday, January 4, 2022, from 4:30-6:30p.m. with a service to follow at 6:30 p.m., at Conley Funeral Home, 116 W. Pierce St., Elburn, IL 60119. Burial will follow at 12 p.m., Wednesday, January 5, 2022, at Queen of Heaven Cemetery, Hillside, IL.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be sent in his name to Horse Power Therapeutic Riding, P.O. Box 361, Elburn, IL 60119 or for his grandson Max’s trust, please make checks out to the MAX CAPES SPECIAL NEEDS TRUST, 2N917 Howard Rd. Maple Park, IL 60151. Memories and tributes may be left on the Conley Funeral Home Facebook Page, or at

Visitation will be Tuesday, January 4, 2022, from 4:30-6:30p.m. with a service to follow at 6:30 p.m., at Conley Funeral Home, 116 W. Pierce St., Elburn, IL 60119. Burial will follow at 12 p.m., Wednesday, January 5, 2022, at Queen of Heaven Cemetery, Hillside, IL.

5 thoughts on “ALFRED J. BRENNAN

  1. Carrie,
    We are so sorry for your loss. This is a beautiful obituary. How can you sum up a life that is so big? Words cannot bring justice to such a man.
    We are praying for each of you.

  2. So sorry to hear of your dads passing. Sounds like he was a very special man. Please know that you are in our thoughts and prayers during this time.

  3. So very sorry for your loss. We are thinking of you and your family during this difficult time.

  4. We are so sorry for your loss, Capes family. Although we cannot be there for the services, we pray to almighty God for peace and comfort to you all through this difficult time.

  5. Gene, Carrie, Riley, and Max, my sincere condolences in the passing of your dad and grandpa. He was an exceptional man and you were mutually blessed. May he Rest in Peace.

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