Louise T. Brennan, 96, public relations director

Louise T. Brennan
Louise T. Brennan
Posted: July 31, 2014

Louise T. "Tuck" Brennan, 96, a pioneering executive, community leader, and world traveler, died Wednesday, July 23, of pneumonia at Foulkeways in Gwynedd.

In 1966, Mrs. Brennan joined American Olean Tile Co. in Lansdale, as the plant's head tour guide. Within three years she had become the company's first female executive.

As public relations director, she produced an account of the firm's 50-year history; was responsible for getting the company's tile products regularly featured in the nation's top magazines, and traveled widely to identify noteworthy examples of the company's products being used in homes and offices and other buildings.

When she retired in 1986, five industry CEOs were among the guests at her retirement dinner. A special edition of the company newsletter was headlined "American Olean's First Lady to Retire" and carried a story saying she made the firm "a household word" in the tile and flooring world.

Prior to joining American Olean, Mrs. Brennan was a sales representative for a Philadelphia medical-book publisher. She then joined the fledgling Lansdale branch of the Red Cross in 1963. Two years later, she was recruited to lead the Central Montgomery Branch of the American Red Cross in Norristown.

Mrs. Brennan also was an active civic volunteer. As president of the North Penn League of Women Voters from 1953 to 1956, she helped teach voters how to use the then-new voting machines.

In 1964, Mrs. Brennan became the first woman appointed to the Montgomery County Planning Commission. She was a board member and building campaign leader for the North Penn YMCA in 1969. She was vice chair of the 1964 North Penn United Fund campaign.

She married Don A. Brennan in 1942. They later divorced; he died in 1993.

The two were members of the Center for International Visitors, and International House; they hosted foreign visitors at their colonial farmhouse in rural Lower Salford Township, Montgomery County.

She began traveling in 1960, and visited more than 50 countries. Well into her 80s, she went abroad with her daughter, Donna L. Brennan.

She also attended performances of the Metropolitan Opera and New York City Opera for more than 40 years.

In 1999, she moved to Foulkeways, a Quaker retirement community in Gwynedd, where she was a familiar sight with her miniature schnauzer, Wowzie.

Mrs. Brennan stayed up on current events until just before her death. "She wanted to know what's happening in Russia, the Ukraine," said her daughter. "She looked outward and onward; she never reminisced."

Born Beatrice Louise Tucker in Kalmia, Md., she graduated from Aberdeen High School, in Aberdeen, Md., in 1935. She earned a bachelor of science degree in textiles in 1939 from the University of Maryland.

Besides her daughter, she is survived by her longtime companion, Frank Clark, and five nephews. A brother died earlier.

A memorial service will be at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 6, in the auditorium at Foulkeways, 1120 Meetinghouse Rd., Gwynedd. Burial is private.


bcook@phillynews.com

610-313-8102

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