Dr. Max Brenner, a physician, artist, writer, husband, father of seven, grandfather to eleven, and great grandfather, died on April 8, 2017. After surviving the holocaust, he immigrated to the United States. Dr. Brenner finished college by age 19 while learning English. Turning down admission to a prestigious art school, he attended medical school in Rome, Italy, where he met his wife of 61 years, Joann. In addition to a career as a physician, he documented his childhood experiences in the holocaust and concentration camps through his art and literature. An indomitable spirit and will to live, Dr. Brenner's life epitomizes strength, courage, and resilience. But of all his life's accomplishments, his family was his most treasured.
Perhaps, "Giant", the mythical enormous being in human form never referred to physical size but to a man of unbounded character.
Maybe, Giant is a child who demonstrates artistic ability, and at age 12, is offered scholarship to a famous Italian art institute. Maybe, Giant is the child, who at 12, is first offered an educational opportunity, then compresses fifteen-years of education into six. Maybe, Giant is a witness and survivor of unimaginable human atrocity, who can combine painful memories with the beauty of love and life, creating art with canvas and pen. Maybe, Giant is that artist who applies his special ability to the healing arts, becoming a physician who restored vision to his patients without arrogance but with empathy.
Maybe, Giant is a man, who at age 19, meets the love of his life, marries her, and then spends the next sixty-two years of his life chasing her, never losing his passion of youth. Maybe, it's a strict old-world, sometimes intolerant father, who is also a loving, guiding force for seven children. Maybe it is the father in law, who loves each of his children's incredibly diverse spouses, and their families, with humor, laughter and friendship. Maybe it is a grandfather who cannot stop hugging and holding his grandchildren and great grand-children, creating portraits of each, lovingly encouraging them, teaching that occasional failure is just a temporary misstep on their route to their limitless ability. Maybe, Giant is someone who is always present to celebrate every milestone and achievement.
Maybe Giant is the man who fights past cancer three times, an amputation, heart attacks, stroke, renal disease and congestive heart failure, with one goal which he feared he might not be able to keep: The promise to be beside the woman he loved deeply, for her entire life.
All of these qualities were combined into the man that was Max Brenner. Many, who met Max Brenner observed, an observant, gentle and soft spoken man. But those of us fortunate enough to be loved by him know what it was like to be loved by a Giant. We will miss you so deeply.
Max Brenner is survived by wife Joann Brenner; children Marilyn and Pitman Baker, Robert and Bin Brenner, David and Karen Brenner , Jeff and Melinda Brenner, Steve and Jennifer Brenner, Andrew and Tiffany, and Elizabeth Brenner and Laura Khalil; Grandchildren Richard Schaper and Becky Starnes, Charlie Baker, Rachel Brenner, Jimmy Brenner, Aron Brenner, Kaleia Brenner, Jake Brenner, Seth Brenner, Emi Brenner, Arabella Brenner and Alessandra Brenner; and Great-grandchildren Max Schaper and Simon Schaper.
Funeral Services will be held at 12:00 pm Monday, April 10, 2017 in the chapel of Weed-Corley-Fish North Funeral Home. Interment will follow in the Agudas Achim section of Austin Memorial Park.
T'hi Nishmato Baruch – May His Memory be for a Blessing.