Remembering Timothy Bergey Brenneman, Long-time Chemistry and Physics Teacher

Timothy Brenneman, 1951-2020, in the 2010 Ember yearbook
Timothy Brenneman, 1951-2020, in the 2010 Ember yearbook

We remember and celebrate the life of Tim Brenneman, long-time chemistry and physics teacher at Eastern Mennonnite School. This obituary was posted in the Daily News-Record on February 28, 2020. We offer our condolances and prayers for Tim’s family.

In the early morning hours of February 25, 2020, Timothy Bergey Brenneman left his earthly body for the embrace of God’s loving arms. After living two and a half years with metastatic lung cancer, his body couldn’t sustain life anymore.

Tim entered this world on December 23, 1951, to missionary parents in La Plata, Puerto Rico. He grew up in eastern Pennsylvania with his four siblings enjoying road trips around the United States, ice skating in the winter, and exploring the woods in the summer. His love for science led him to study physics at Eastern Mennonite College. He later earned a master’s degree in education from James Madison University. He spent the majority of his professional life teaching high school science with a passion for chemistry and physics at Eastern Mennonite High School. Early in his career, he spent three years serving with Mennonite Central Committee in Tanzania as a teacher. His former students may recall reading Proverbs 1:7 at the top of every test, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge.”

For most of Tim’s life he was known as a husband, father, friend, and teacher. In those roles he was thoughtful, humorous, and devoted–to his wife, children, students, and also to God. As a member of Harrisonburg Mennonite Church, he would sing hymns loudly with conviction and praise, teach Sunday school classes, lead worship, and participate in service projects.

Tim cared deeply about the Earth and all of its inhabitants, and as a result he was an active member of the Creation Care Committee at his church. He liked to stay busy outdoors with a running list of activities like camping, gardening, splitting wood, and carpentry projects. He also made a concerted effort to help his students learn about the environment and take steps to keep it healthy. Many may remember spotting him commuting on his bicycle with a crate attached to the back.

Tim is survived by his wife, three children, four grandchildren, mother, four siblings, and many in-laws and cousins. We all love him, miss him, and wish him peace in the arms of God.

A memorial service will be held at Harrisonburg Mennonite Church on April the 4th at 3:30 in the afternoon. Visitation will be held the evening before from 6:30-8:30 April the 3rd at Harrisonburg Mennonite Church. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Harrisonburg Mennonite Church-Creation Care Committee or Mennonite Central Committee.

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