Brendan Michael Olszewski, 50, of Orono, Minn., died Saturday (April 27, 2019) after battling kidney cancer for more than 4 years. He was born Feb. 10, 1969, in Kankakee, 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 master’s 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, and as a sales consultant for Midwest Premier Publications in Minneapolis.
Brendan married Denise Renckens on Oct. 6, 2007, at St. Patrick Church, Kankakee. He 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.
Surviving are his wife and two children, Grady and Madeline, at home; his mother, Susan “Toby,” of Kankakee; brother Robert Jr., of Bourbonnais, sister Susan and Thomas Kinard, of Blue Island, brother Jonathan and Taryn (Irps), of Clifton, brother Matthew and Patricia (Wheeler), of Kankakee, and sister Katherine and John Robbins, of Manteno; 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., and 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 from 5 p.m. 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 St. Bartholomew Church in Wayzata. A memorial Mass will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday at St. Bartholomew.
In Illinois, visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, May 7, at Clancy-Gernon-Hertz Funeral Home in Kankakee. A memorial Mass will be 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. Please sign his online guestbook at clancygernon.com.