Obituary: Judge Martha A. Scannell Brennan

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HOLDEN/DENNIS, Mass. - Honorable District Court Judge Martha A. Scannell Brennan of Holden and Dennis, presiding justice of Clinton District Court, died peacefully Monday, Oct. 29, 2012 with her devoted family and friends by her side.

Judge Brennan is survived by her husband and partner of the past 32 years, Joseph F. Brennan Jr.; the two children she so cherished, Joseph F. Brennan, III of Washington DC and Elizabeth “Libby” Brennan of Worcester; her step mother, Linda (Powers) Scannell of Worcester; her three siblings, Cara Philbin of Lancaster, William Scannell of Rockport and Paul Scannell of Dorchester; Nieces, nephews, extended family, colleagues and many friends.

Her father retired District Court Judge William F. Scannell died this past April 19.

Judge Brennan was born in Worcester, the oldest of four children of the late William Scannell and Arlene Manning Scannell. She graduated from Notre Dame Academy in Worcester before going on to earn her bachelor's degree from Skidmore College and her jurist doctorate from Suffolk University School of Law.

She began her legal career working as a staff lawyer with the Worcester County Public Defender’s Office. Martha later became a district attorney for the City of Worcester and eventually assumed control of her father’s law practice.

In 1984, Martha was appointed to the bench as a judge on the Industrial Accidents Board. In 1988, Gov. Michael Dukakis appointed Martha as the first ever female district court judge for Worcester County. Subsequently, Martha was named presiding justice of the Western District Appellate Division of the District Court and presiding justice of the Clinton District Court.

Judge Brennan was a member of the Massachusetts and Worcester County Bar Associations. She loved to cook, read, garden and the peace and relaxation of the Cape. She loved the law and being a Lawyer. Her dedication to her profession is proved by the many people who will miss her. Besides being a Judge, Martha was also a wife, mother and sister whose whole life outside the law was dedicated to her family.

Friends, relatives and colleagues and invited to visit with the family Friday, Nov. 2 from 4 to 8 p.m. in the Mercadante Funeral Home & Chapel,  370 Plantation St. Her funeral Mass will be celebrated Saturday, Nov. 3 at 10 a.m. in St. John Church, 40 Temple Street. (please go directly to church) Entombment will follow in St. John Mausoleum.

In lieu of flowers contributions in Martha’s name may be made to the St John Church, Food for the Poor program, 40 Temple St Worcester.

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