WHENEVER THE Knights of Columbus needed someone to help in its many activities to benefit the underprivileged, Dan Brennan was there.
Dan had two major passions in life - his family and his faith - and the Knights of Columbus was an important part of that faith.
Another interest was sports, which tied in with his love of family because his children and grandchildren were active in sports.
And Dad and Grandad, who was also an athlete in his youth, rarely missed a game.
Daniel A. Brennan, a onetime printer for the Inquirer who later started his own printing business, a man proud of his Irish heritage and a gentleman of the old school, died May 18. He was 76 and lived in Northeast Philadelphia.
Dan held a number of leadership positions with the Knights of Columbus and was a member of Holmesburg Council 1284.
Whenever there was a drive to provide food for the hungry, Dan was there as both a fundraiser and a hands-on worker. He delivered packages, helped run the fundraising games, and played Santa Claus at Christmas time.
Soccer was a big sport in the Brennan household. His five sons played, and his oldest, Daniel T. Brennan, played pro indoor soccer with the former Fever. His daughter, Ann Marie Anastasi, is a member of the soccer Hall of Fame at Villanova University.
Their father was a skilled soccer player in his youth, and also played Gaelic football in Ireland.
He coached youngsters at the Sturgis Playground in Olney.
"He liked working with the kids," his son said. "He got a lot of satisfaction out of that."
Dan said his father was born in Dublin and came to this country at the age of 18. He started his printing career as a linotype operator and worked for a number of publications in addition to the Inqurer, where he worked in the '50s. They included the Legal Intelligencer and papers in Baltimore and Washington. He was a member of the Typographical Union.
Dan married the former Anna Marie McGinley in 1956.
He made frequent trips to Ireland where many of his extended family live.
"He brought those people to life for us," his son said.
In 1975, Dan decided to branch out on his own and started Brennan Typesetting in the basement of his home in the Northeast, doing typesetting work for other printers.
As the business grew, he moved to other locations in the Northeast, and eventually to Pennsauken, N.J.
With the advent of computers, the business also expanded to meet the new technology and became Brennan Graphics. It is now run by his son.
"He was a real gentleman," his son said. "He always had a kind word for people. He was a simple man, but honorable. The key ingredients of his life were his faith and his family."
Seven years ago, Dan received a heart transplant, and four years ago, a kidney transplant.
"He was hoping to find out whose heart he was given, but realized the other family wanted to remain anonymous," his son said. "He respected that."
Dan was an active member of St. Dominic Church, where he once sang in the choir.
Besides his wife, son and daughter, he is survived by four other sons, Kevin, Thomas, Sean and Joseph; another daughter, Eileen Kulikowski; a sister, Maire Wilk; 20 grandchildren and a great-grandchild.
Services: Funeral Mass 11 a.m. Wednesday at St. Dominic Church, 8504 Frankford Ave. Friends may call at 6:30 p.m. tomorrow at the Givnish Funeral Home, 10975 Academy Road, and at 8:45 a.m. Wednesday at the funeral home.