Wayne Brennessel

West Columbia – Wayne Brennessel, of West Columbia, passed away on Saturday, February 3, 2018. Wayne was born on July 20th, 1952 in Brooklyn, NY, to the late George and Eleanor Calcagno Brennessel.

After growing up and attending school in Brooklyn, Wayne graduated in 1976 with a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Marywood College in Scranton, PA.

Wayne enjoyed a career in social work with the American Red Cross, including chapter executive positions in Greenville, SC, Akron, OH, and Austin, TX, culminating his Red Cross career as Disaster Director of the Southeast. He also served as Disaster Director in New York after the 9/11 attacks, as well as in Louisiana and Texas after Hurricane Katrina.

After leaving the Red Cross in 2005, Wayne became Executive Director of the Humane Society (HSPCA) of the Midlands of South Carolina, where he has worked tirelessly for 12 years toward the organization’s mission of ending animal cruelty, neglect, and overpopulation in the Midlands of South Carolina. His hard work and dedication has met with tremendous success.

Wayne’s No. 1 passion in life was his family, a passion that he took special pride in seeing in his own children as they began raising their own families. A sportsman and former rugby and soccer player, he also took special joy in watching his NY Yankees play baseball. Wayne was also a Rotarian for decades, a youth soccer coach, and an active volunteer with numerous other organizations.

Wayne is survived by his loving wife of 17 years, Marsha Sankovic Brennessel; his three children, Paul (Rachelle) Brennessel, Lauren (Patrick) Hannon and Matthew (Nicole) Brennessel; four grandchildren, Parker, Gavin, Patrick, Lana, and two more due in June; along with two sisters, Georgette (Joe) Alexander and Kathy Brennessel.

The family will receive friends from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. Monday, February 5, 2018 at Thompson Funeral Home of West Columbia. A memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m. Tuesday, February 6, 2018 at the Chapel of Thompson Funeral Home of West

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to The Humane Society, 121 Humane Lane, Columbia SC 29209 www.humanesc.org (donate), or to The Oliver Gospel Mission, 1100 Taylor Street, Columbia, SC 29201 www.olivergospelmission.org