Herbert Willis “Will” Brenner



Memorial Contributions:

Down Syndrome Association of West Michigan



Hospice of Michigan


Brenner, Herbert Willis “Will” age 90, passed away on March 7, 2024, at home surrounded by family and friends while under the care of Hospice of Michigan. Will was preceded in death by his parents, Herbert E. Brenner, and Marjorie Haynes; his son, Todd Brenner; and is survived by his brother, Jack (Peg); his companion/caregiver/former wife, Lois Miller; his sons, Max, and Josh; and daughters, Amy Dunn, and Kate Burr (Lou). Will is also leaving his grandchildren, Jessice, Will, and Joseph Brenner, Sumer Brenner, Madeline Johnson (Mike), Kinsey, Jordyn, Ashlyn Burr, and Evan Brenner, along with great-grandchildren, Olivia, and Jaxson Brenner.


Will taught Creative Writing, Literature, and Speech at East Grand Rapids High School for 32 years. He twice received the Creative Writing Teacher of the Year Award at East. Will admired classic authors such as Thomas Wolfe and Ernest Hemingway. During this time, he directed the Senior Plays and EGR Musicals, and taught Driver Education. He also chaperoned seniors on class trips to London, Toronto, Puerto Rico, and the Bahamas. His teaching career also included Grand Rapids Community College, Aquinas College, Grand Valley State University, and Lake Superior State.


Will was an active skeet shooter and hunted deer, and geese with his sons during their school years. Will first built the family A frame cabin on Beavertail Bay in the U.P. in the early 60’s, and later built his permanent home across the bay.


Lois Miller, once again, became his companion and they traveled extensively around Europe and wintered together in Alabama. Lois and Will rescued and owned many wonderful beagles and their little beagle, Cali, will miss her buddy, Will.


Family and friends will be received at a memorial service to be held at 4pm, on Tuesday, March 12, 2024, at O’Brien-Eggebeen-Gerst Funeral Home, 3980 Cascade Rd. SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546 with visitation one-hour prior. Pastor Brady Nemmers officiating. A private burial was held at Rosedale Memorial Park.


Memorial contributions may be made to the Down Syndrome Association of West Michigan, https://dsawm.app.neoncrm.com/forms/donate1, or Hospice of Michigan, https://www.hom.org/donate/.

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3 Responses

  1. Mr. Brenner was one of the best teachers I ever had. My condolences to your family.

  2. Ed & Marnie Semeyn send their condolences to family. Ed enjoyed teaching with Will, while Marnie loved him as her teacher of English at Ottawa high school.

  3. I have fond memories of Mr
    Brenner as a teacher, director and chaperone. He took us on my first trip to London and I have been returning every 5 years since then. I am sorry for the family’s loss of a vibrant, intelligent man. Class of 72

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