Of Orono, Minnesota, died Saturday, April 27, 2019, after battling kidney cancer for more than 4 years. He was 50. He was born Feb. 10, 1969, in Kankakee, Ill., to Robert and Susan Olszewski. He graduated from Kankakee High School in 1987, and earned a Bachelor's degree from Northern Illinois University and a masters degree from Governor's State University. He spent nearly three decades working in radio, including as Operations Manager at Staradio in Kankakee, and later in roles with Newsweb Radio in Illinois and CBS Radio in Minneapolis. He also spent several years as a photographer and sports reporter for the Herald/Country Market in Bourbonnais, Illinois, and as a sales consultant for Midwest Premier Publications in Minneapolis.
He married Denise Renckens on Oct. 6, 2007, at St. Patrick Church in Kankakee. Brendan was a devoted husband, father, son, brother, uncle and friend. He would do anything for those he loved and will be remembered for his wonderful sense of humor. In addition to spending time with family and friends, he enjoyed grilling pork product, golfing, boating and hockey. He coached the Kankakee area high school hockey team for several years.
He is survived by his wife; two children, Grady and Madeline at home; his mother, Susan (Toby) of Kankakee, Ill.; brother, Robert Jr. of Bourbonnais, Ill., sister, Susan and Thomas Kinard of Blue Island, Ill.; brother, Jonathan and Taryn (Irps) of Clifton, Ill., brother, Matthew and Patricia (Wheeler) of Kankakee, Ill., sister, Katherine and John Robbins, of Manteno, Ill.; mother-in-law, Debra Renckens, brother-in-law, Richard and Jacqueline Renckens, sister-in-law, Elizabeth and Dale Lipovski, and sister-in-law, Cathleen Renckens, all of Maple Grove, Minn.; brother-in-law, Michael Renckens of Becker, Minn.; sister-in-law, Stephanie and Brent Ferguson of Duluth, Minn.; as well as 17 nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his father, Robert Sr., and nephew Maxwell Robbins.
In Minnesota, visitation will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 1, at David Lee Funeral Home in Wayzata, and from 10 to 11 a.m. Thursday, May 2, at The Church of St. Bartholomew, 630 East Wayzata Blvd in Wayzata with Mass of Christian Burial starting at 11 a.m. In Illinois, visitation will be held from 4 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, May 7, at Clancy-Gernon-Hertz Funeral Home in Kankakee. A memorial Mass will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday, May 8, at St. Patrick Church in Kankakee.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to the Kankakee Youth Hockey Club, the Mound Westonka Hockey Association or a charity of the donor's choice.