Tulsan made mark in manufacturing, Keating's Cabinet
BY TIM STANLEY World Staff Writer
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
1/30/13 at 3:43 AM
Tom Brennan, a former oil-field service industry executive in Tulsa who became a member of Gov. Frank Keating's Cabinet, died Friday. He was 84.
A visitation will be held from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Monday, followed immediately by a Rosary, at Fitzgerald Southwood Colonial Funeral Home. A funeral Mass is set for 10 a.m. Tuesday at Christ the King Catholic Church.
Brennan served two years as secretary of administration under Keating, from 1995 to 1996, and among his duties was directing the Department of Central Services, which oversees all state contracts.
Keating said Brennan exemplified what he wanted in a Cabinet member.
"I was committed to having business leaders on my Cabinet, and Tom was exactly the kind of chief executive I sought," he said. "Even though he was a relatively new resident, he was a committed Oklahoman. He was a wonderful human being, family man, just a terrific person - a man of total integrity, total decency."
A native of New York City, Thomas G. Brennan moved to Tulsa in 1978 to join Oil Dynamics Inc., a leading manufacturer of submersible oil pumps. He became president and CEO of the company and oversaw a major expansion of the plant. Later, he guided the company as it expanded into international markets, including China.
He retired in 1994 but continued as a consultant to various companies, as well as serving on the board of T.D. Williamson Inc.
Brennan also was Keating's liaison to some 35 state boards and commissions.
He made a two-year commitment to the Cabinet post, and after that, true to his word, stepped down, his son said.
Terry Brennan said his father, who considered it an honor to serve the state, "was not one of those people who were going to be swayed by the politics."
He said his father told the story of how a legislator once came to him before his appointment became official and warned him that he'd better play ball.
"Dad was told if he didn't do things the way they wanted them done, they would make sure he wasn't approved," Terry Brennan said. "But that wasn't the way he did things - and he said if he couldn't do it the right way, he would go back to Tulsa."
Among many community interests, Brennan was an active leader with the International Council of Tulsa, a forerunner of the Tulsa Global Alliance. He was a past vice president and executive board member of the organization, working to improve Tulsa's business and cultural relations around the world.
He also had been a board member of the Tulsa Metro Chamber, the Simon Estes Educational Foundation and, as an avid supporter of University of Tulsa athletics, a member of the Golden Hurricane Club.
Brennan, who held a degree in electrical engineering from Villanova University, worked for General Electric Co. in Philadelphia and then for a company in Beloit, Wis., before coming to Tulsa.
Survivors include six children, Elizabeth Darabaris, Thomas F. Brennan, Terry Brennan, Patrick Brennan, Mary Palmer and Anne-Marie Carlisle; and 10 grandchildren.
Tim Stanley 918-581-8385