John J. Drennan

Born: July 29, 1921

Died: August 16, 2012

Services: Tuesday August 21,2012 a Mass of Christian burial at St. Thomas The Apostle R.C. Church at 10:30 AM followed by burial, in Resurrection Cemetery.


STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- Former Staten Islander John Drennan Sr., 91, of Massillon, Ohio, a retired moving company owner, airplane pilot and restorer, and golf enthusiast, died Thursday at the Laurels Nursing Home in Massillon.

Born in Pleasant Plains, he graduated from Tottenville High School. He lived in the community until moving to North Canton, Ohio, in 1985. He moved to Toms River, N.J., in 1994, and settled in Massillon in 2004.

For four decades, Mr. Drennan was the owner and president of Joseph F. Drennan and Sons moving and storage company in Pleasant Plains. He retired in 1985.

Mr. Drennan was a founding member of the Staten Island Van Owners Association, and was a member of the American Legion Beauvais-Hudson Post, Tottenville, and the Quiet Birdmen Flying Organization.

He completely restored a 1939 Fairchild airplane over an eight-year period, having found all of the needed parts himself. He then flew the restored plane for the next 15 years. He also enjoyed golf.

Mr. Drennan enlisted in the United States Navy during World War II.

He already had 30 hours of flying time upon entering the service, and served as a utility pilot for the fleet in the South Pacific, specifically in Iwo Jima and Guam. He left active duty with a commercial pilot's license and served in the Naval Reserve out of Floyd Bennett Field, Brooklyn, and McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., for 20 years.

He was a member of St. Joseph and St. Thomas Parish in Pleasant Plains.

Mr. Drennan is survived by three sons, Dennis, Robert and Gregory; a brother, Richard Drennan; a sister, Claire Galbraith; 14 grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren.

His wife 62 years, the former Marie Flescher, died in 2007. His son, John Drennan Jr., who was a captain in the FDNY and the former head coach of the Tottenville High School football team, died of injuries sustained while fighting a fire in Greenwich Village in 1994.

The Bedell-Pizzo Funeral Home, Tottenville, is handling the arrangements, which include a 10:30 a.m. mass Tuesday at St. Joseph and St. Thomas Parish, with burial at Resurrection Cemetery, also in Pleasant Plains.

Cemetery: Resurrection Cemetery (Staten Island) (Map)

Location: Bedell-Pizzo Funeral Home (Map)

Church: St. Thomas The Apostle RC Church (Map)

Posted at: 9/22/2012 7:48:50 AM By:


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