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First Name: Thomas

Last Name: Brenner

Birthplace: Kalamazoo, MI, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Navy (present)


Middle Name: Bachelder

Date of Birth: 20 April 1924

Date of Death: 25 May 2011

Rank or Rate: Captain

Years Served: 1947 - 1975
Thomas Bachelder Brenner

•  Vietnam War (1960 - 1973)


Thomas Bachelder Brenner

Captain, U.S. Navy

Thomas Bachelder Brenner was born on 20 April 1924 in Kalamazoo, MI, and graduated from Kalamazoo Central High School. He then attended the U.S. Naval Academy, where he graduated with the Class of 1947 and was commissioned as an Ensign in the U.S. Navy. Brenner's distinguished classmates included future President Jimmy Carter; Vice Admiral and Vice Presidential-candidate James Stockdale; and Heisman Trophy winner Donald Whitmire.

On 27 August 1949, Tom married the love of his life, Jean Bailey, whom he had known since childhood. Tom and Jean spent the next 30 years of Navy life together, living all over the world.

Captain Brenner's last sea command was as commissioning captain of the USS White Plains (AFS-4), the fourth Mars-class Combat Stores Ship of the U.S. Navy. He held that command from San Diego, CA, during the years 1967 - 1970. His final assignment was as Deputy Director for Intelligence on the staff of the Commander-in-Chief Pacific, in Honolulu, HI. Tom retired from the Navy in 1975.

In retirement, the Brenner family moved to Virginia Beach, VA, where they lived for 21 years. For 20 of those years, he served as General Manager at Fraser's Boiler Services, in Norfolk, VA. In 1997, Tom and Jean moved to Winterville, NC, to be closer to their daughter, Lisa; her husband, Bruce Wilhelmsen; and their children, Anna and Jon.

Until his last day, Tom Brenner was a true cornerstone of the family, always providing care and love in his role of husband, father and grandfather. Tom was an officer and a gentleman who accepted life simply for what it was. He lived independently in his home until his death and appreciated his friends in the Better Breathers and in the Windsor neighborhood.

Death and Inurnment

Captain Thomas Bachelder Brenner died peacefully at home in the arms of his daughter, Lisa, on 25 May 2011, at age 87. Although he had been battling illness for several months, he was looking forward to attending his 65th Naval Academy reunion in June. He is inurned at the U.S. Naval Academy Cemetery in Annapolis, MD.

Captain Brenner was preceded in death by his wife, Jean, in 2006 and by his daughter, Deborah Brenner in 1998.

Tom is survived by his loving daughter, Lisa; and son-in-law, Bruce Wilhelmsen of Greenville, NC; granddaughter, Anna Wilhelmsen of Los Angeles, CA; and grandson, Jon Wilhelmsen of New York City, NY.


Honoree ID: 3511   Created by: MHOH




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