Murdered Cleveland Hts. restaurant owner laid to rest

CLEVELAND HEIGHTS – The Cleveland Heights restaurant owner gunned down in his bar Monday was laid to rest Saturday.

The funeral for Jim Brennan, the owner of Brennan's Colony Restaurant and Tavern, was held at the Church of the Gesu in University Heights.

The 9 a.m. service began with singing and a processional. Father Lorn Snow delivered the Homily. Snow called on the community to come together after Brennan's passing. "We are haunted by this sorrow," Snow said. "Jim is not lost. He was bigger than life."

"Jim always saw our good way before he ever saw our faults," Snow said. "That was probably one of his greatest gifts… become that hope instead of embracing despair."

Hundreds packed the Catholic Church, the crowds spilling over into the lobby. Some were family and close friends, including his life-time companion Kathy Murphy, the program indicates.

The past owner of the Colony, Floyd Stefanski, came to show his respects. Brennan and Stefanski went to high school together. Stefanski calls Brennen his "brother and my friend," adding the Colony and Brennan's memory "will live on."

Greg Cielec, a long time friend, says everything people have been saying about Brennan is true. "I shared baseball tickets with him… Indians tickets. He was a great guy," Cielec said. He was "very involved with a lot of people… big mentoring person for other people in the restaurant and the bar industry. It's a sad day."

Brennan, 61, was shot and killed during what police say was a robbery at the Colony about 1 p.m. Monday.

Authorities made the first arrests in the case Monday and charged four men from Cleveland with Brennan's murder.

Police say the four were charged with aggravated murder and aggravated robbery. One of the men reportedly worked in the kitchen at Brennan's Colony for the past month.

Brennan's final resting place is the All Souls Cemetery in Chardon.


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