Donald L. “Sarge” Brenner Jr. was the chief engineer of the Speedwell Engine and Hose Fire Company. Donald was born September 1, 1949, and died January 4, 2017, doing what he loved, being a firefighter.
He was the loving husband of 48 years to his wife, Nancy, with whom he shared four children and six grandchildren who better knew him as “Papa.”
Donald served in the U.S. Army as a staff sergeant, serving with the 25th Infantry Division in Vietnam and Cambodia. He was wounded twice in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal-Army, and the Purple Heart. Upon his discharge, he was a drill sergeant training soldiers.
His hobbies included hunting and going to his hunting (beer) camp, bowling, camping, and dirt track racing. He served on a pit crew for over 20 years.
More than anything, Donald loved being a firefighter, and he served in that capacity for 36 years. He was always on duty and ready to respond, rain or shine, night or day. He loved training and taking the junior firefighters under his wing. He always saw the best in everyone. He made each and every one feel important. Over the years he held many positions but loved being the chief engineer and president of Speedwell Engine and Hose Company.
Many nights he would sit on his front porch, and the next thing you knew many of the firefighters would be sitting with him into the wee hours of the night.
Donald would do anything for anyone. If you needed a meal, a drink, or just an ear to listen, he was your man.
Donald was a beloved father, husband, grandfather, brother, mentor, friend, and role model. The
only word to describe him is “HERO.”