Dr. William Brennan, 90, of Munster, Ind., died Monday, Dec. 11, 2017. A visitation will be from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 17 at Burns-Kish Funeral Home, in Munster, Ind. In lieu of flowers, memorials in his memory may be made to the charity of your choice.

Dr. William Brennan, 90, of Munster, Ind., died Monday, Dec. 11, 2017. A visitation will be from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 17 at Burns-Kish Funeral Home, in Munster, Ind. In lieu of flowers, memorials in his memory may be made to the charity of your choice.

William was born April 4, 1927, in Moline, the son of Clarence and Alice (Franceen) Brennan. He attended Geneseo High School, graduating as valedictorian in 1945. He then promptly enlisted in the U.S. Naval Reserve, where he received radio training. Honorably discharged after the war ended, he attended the University of Illinois, in Champaign, earning memberships in undergraduate honor societies Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Kappa Phi. After college, he attended the University of Illinois College of Medicine, where he met kindred spirit Betsy Becker. They were wed in Chicago in 1951.

William completed his internship and residency at St. Luke’s Hospital, in Chicago. He and Betsy settled in Munster, where they have lived ever since. William practiced at St. Catherine’s Hospital (where is also served as president of the medical staff), as well as at St. Margaret’s and Munster Community Hospitals. William also became a fellow of the American College of Surgeons and was elected president of its Indiana chapter. A compassionate and talented general surgeon, William served his patients until his retirement in 1988.

Retirement brought time to pursue William’s many interests, such as flying his own airplanes. (He held a commercial pilot’s license, although he only flew for fun.) He and Betsy learned to sail in the Caribbean, and later sailed annually off the coast of Maine as well as Chicago’s Lake Michigan. Later, William developed an interest in fly fishing, enjoying several trips to Montana with close friend, the late Dr. Ora Marks.

William was an avid animal lover, particularly those animals from his boyhood farm as well as his later household pets. More than once, he rescued injured cats from busy streets, seeing that they received veterinary care. He combined caring for animals with his love for flying when he and Betsy helped the Audubon Society ornithologist fly baby North Atlantic puffins from Canada to Maine. This research project served to successfully re-populate the species in the United States.

William loved people — family, patients, colleagues, friends and neighbors. Strangers became friends, wherever he went — from the Audubon Society camp in Maine, to pals at Griffith Airport ... from early morning coffee group at Harish’s Munster Food Mart, to the people and their pets he met along his walks.

William is survived by his loving family — his wife, Dr. Betsy Brennan; daughter, Dr. Terry Brennan; nephew, Larry (Susan) Brennan; great-nieces Bridget and Adelaide Brennan; nephew James (Theresa Kircher) Brennan; great-nephew Anthony Brennan; nephew David (Judie) Becker and great-niece Karen Becker. He was preceded by his parents and his brother, Richard Brennan, of Geneseo.