James Patrick (Pat) Brennan

James Patrick (Pat) Brennan passed away on November 3, 2021 of complications from ALS. Along with his wife Trellise, Pat was founder and owner of Brennan Vineyards in Comanche, Texas, following a 30-year career as a physician in Fort Worth.

Pat was born on December 29, 1942 in Charleston, South Carolina to William Patrick and Lucy Fuller Brennan. He was educated in parochial schools in Charleston and graduated from the Citadel and the Medical University of South Carolina. Pat completed his residency in internal medicine at the University of Alabama Medical Center in Birmingham. Pat married Trellise Wilkes on June 3, 1967 and they remained happily married for 54 years until his passing. Following his residency, Pat served as a medical officer on a Navy submarine in the Pacific for two years before arriving in Texas in 1971 to continue his medical education at UT Southwestern, recognized as one of the premier nephrology departments in the world.

He and Trellise moved with their young sons Sean and Michael to Fort Worth in 1974 shortly after Pat joined Dr. Kermit Olson at Dialysis Associates of Fort Worth, where Pat would be a partner for the next 30 years. As a distinguished nephrologist, Pat served in various leadership positions throughout his career, including as Fellow of American College of Physicians, Chief of Medical Staff at Harris Methodist Fort Worth, and President of the Texas Club of Internists. He was also a member of the American Society of Nephrology and the International Society of Nephrology. After purchasing the historic McCrary House and adjacent property in Comanche, Texas in 1997, Pat began studying viticulture and enology at Grayson College in Denison. With family friends, they planted a five-acre vineyard on the property in 2002, and after a successful wine-making trial with the first harvest, they committed to establishing a commercial winery, specializing in fine wines made from Texas grapes, or as their motto states, “Sophisticated Wines with Texas Roots.” Over the next 19 years, Brennan Vineyards would become one of the most highly respected wineries in Texas, receiving numerous awards and recognitions. Among the most significant were awards for Top Texas Wine at the 2008 Houston Rodeo International Wine Competition and two Double Golds at the prestigious San Francisco International Wine Competition, becoming the first Texas winery using Texas-grown grapes to win two Double Golds in the same year.

In 2011, Pat and Brennan Vineyards were founders of the Texas Wine Collective winery and tasting room in Fredericksburg, Texas establishing a popular destination for fine Texas wines along the 290 Wine Trail. In 2020, Pat’s wine-making career, and Brennan Vineyards’ success, was recognized by his peers in the Texas Wine and Grape Growers Association when he received the 2020 Louis F. Qualia Pioneering Spirit Award. Throughout both his medical and wine-making careers, Pat’s most fulfilling and rewarding experiences came not only from the work, but from the close friendships he made along the way. Pat, Trellise and a group of close physician friends and spouses formed a wine club in the mid-70s, and that tightknit group remains intact today after over 40 years of good times and memories. Pat was also an avid runner for decades and took up golf later at age 50, always enjoying the mix of activity, competition and socializing that these sports delivered. Along the way, Pat and Trellise had the opportunity to travel with many of these same friends, experiencing a wide variety of cities and countries together over the years. After Pat was diagnosed with ALS, he was tremendously gratified with the remarkable outpouring of support from friends going back to childhood, most notably from his lifelong best friend Joseph P. Riley of Charleston.

Pat is survived by his wife Trellise, children Sean and Michael, their wives Susan Brennan and Denise Neely, and grandchildren Ryan, Parker, Blair, and Claire.

In lieu of flowers, Pat and the family request contributions to the Texas Wine and Grape Growers Association, The ALS Association, and Paralyzed Veterans of America. There will be a Memorial Service on Tuesday, November 16, 2021 at 2:30 p.m. at Greenwood Chapel at 3100 White Settlement Road, Fort Worth, Texas 76107. A Reception following at Rivercrest Country Club. A Celebration of Life at Brennan Vineyards in Comanche, Texas on Saturday, November 27, 2021 at 3:00 p.m. at Brennan Vineyards at 802 South Austin Street (Highway 16) in Comanche, Texas 76442.

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