Colonel Robert Nathan Brenner Jr., US. Army (Ret), 90, died peacefully at his home on Veterans Day, Nov. 11, 2013. Born in Spangler, Pa., he was the son of the late Robert N. Brenner Sr. and Hazel Stoltz Brenner. He was preceded in death by his wife, Marian Painter Brenner, and his daughter Sue Brenner Haslam in 2012.
He is survived by his son, Robert N. Brenner III; daughter-in-law, Kimberley Brenner; granddaughter, Summer Brenner; and former wife, Patricia Ziegler Brenner, all of Ocean City, Md.
Col. Brenner had served in the U.S. Army during World War II and Korea. During World War II, he participated in D-Day invasion, thereafter built bridges for Patton's tanks across the Seine and Rhine Rivers, as well as surviving the Battle of the Bulge. His military career found him teaching at the School of the Americas at Ft. Gulick, the Canal Zone, Panama. He was also assigned to the U.S. Military Mission to Columbia. He worked for the Glenn L. Martin Company, now Martin Marietta in Baltimore, Md. From there he accepted a position with Atlas Van Lines out of Evanston, Ind., which he retired from as their Eastern Regional Manager. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, due to a football scholarship and recognition as an All State End in 1941.
He was a member of American Legion Post No. 1 in Williamsport, VFW Post No. 8296 in Ocean City, Md., Coalition of Veteran Advocates in Pittsburgh, a lifetime member of the Reserve Officers Association and many more veteran and civic organizations as well. He also tirelessly gave of his time and resources to many, many other organizations including working with his late son-in-law, Ron Haslam, a Vietnam veteran, and many others to achieve the goal of building the Worcester County Veterans Memorial at Ocean Pines.
Since he retired from the military, he devoted his time, his abundant energy and money to advocating mandatory funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs. This included frequent trips to Washington, D.C. and travel throughout Pennsylvania to advocate increased funding and to improve medical treatment for his fellow veterans. Of particular note were the dramatic changes he and others achieved regarding how the VA Health system manages the challenges presented by veterans suffering from PTSD, Alzheimer's and Dementia. He found many ways to assist veterans who were facing life's challenges medically, legally, and socially.
He will be best remembered by those who knew, respected and loved him for his intellect, comic whit, warmth, his laughter, his loving and giving spirit and the mischievous twinkle in his eye. His one liners included: Carpe Diem-Seize the Day!; Suit up! Show up and you have already WON the day! Do your duty to God, Country, and Family, and Thank George and Martha too! Save our Republic! Pray and Vote!
A memorial Service will be held on Dec. 8 at 1 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church of Ocean City. Rev. Alex Ayers will officiate. Inurnment will take place in Arlington Cemetery. A donation in his memory may be made to the Salvation Army, 407 Oak St., Salisbury, MD 21804, or Disabled American Veterans (DAV), 3725 Alexandria Pike, Cold Spring, KY 41076, (877) I AM A VET.
Arrangements are in the care of the Burbage Funeral Home. Letters of condolence may be sent via www.burbagefuneralhome.com.