Brendan Christian Dennehy, affectionately known to many as “B”, lost his courageous battle with brain cancer on April 19th, 2022, just thirteen months after diagnosis.
Brendan was kind, and never judged people - a quality he learned from his mom. His most cherished role in life was father to 12-year-old Dax. He was a brother, uncle, son, friend, business owner, partner, mentor, boss, animal lover, and outdoor enthusiast. He will be missed forever - most especially by Dax, his best friend, and the absolute light of his life. Dax was his greatest joy and accomplishment - his everything - his world. Their time together was cut far too short. Brendan’s ONE wish upon diagnosis was to live long enough to see his boy graduate from high school. Dax will always know that his dad did everything he could to fulfill that wish. We will continue to share Brendan’s story with Dax so the memories of his dad will never fade.
Born September 25, 1969, in Mineola (Long Island), NY, to theater actors Sue Anne & Edward Dennehy, both of whom precede him in death, Brendan was the apple of his mom’s eye. Big sister Courtney was always by his side, his protector and confidante, up to the moment Brendan passed. Her four children adored their Uncle Brendan, always belly laughing at his silly jokes.
As a child, Brendan cherished trips to the beach and often tagged along on excursions to the Hamptons with friends. He could always be found near water, a passion he shared with Dax on their many camping and boating adventures to Idaho’s Anderson Reservoir. Even the smallest outings together meant everything to him. Brendan overcame many childhood challenges to become an amazing, devoted father. He relished even the simplest moments with his son - hiking, biking, swimming, snow skiing, water skiing, snowmobiling, working on cars, or just plain watching a movie. In the earlier years, when Dax became enamored with rocket ships, Amazon would deliver one package after another with all kinds of things Brendan and Dax would build together. Dax began believing the Amazon delivery guy was Santa Claus! Brendan and Ramie shared a very special friendship, and a beautiful co-parenting relationship for Dax. The amount of love for him has, and will always be, to infinity and beyond.
Graduating in 1987 from Huntington High School on Long Island, Brendan opted for two years at a local college to spend more time with his younger high school sweetheart, Alison. In 1989, as Brendan then headed off to SUNY Albany, and Alison to Ithaca, they could not have known that their story would continue 30 years later, just as Brendan began the fight of his life against his cancer. Alison was his rock through it all, never ever giving up hope.
After college, Brendan found himself in the South Beach Florida bar scene where his career in hospitality began as a bartender; ultimately leading him to future business partner and friend, Rob. Years later, after Rob moved to Hailey, Idaho to run Bruce Willis’ establishments, Brendan soon phoned to say he was on his way and needed a job. He took the local nightlife by storm as bartender for both The Mint, and Ketchum hotspot, the Sawtooth Club. Working at night left his days open to take full advantage of the epic Sun Valley skiing where you could routinely see Brendan ripping jumps off any Baldy cliff he could find.
In 1999, Brendan and Rob bought the Red Elephant Saloon in downtown Hailey. It was there that Brendan also met and married Ramie Nelson, with whom he welcomed son Dax on December 23, 2009. In 2003, he opened Zou 75 restaurant together with Rob, Ramie, and friend Kris. This made establishment number three, including Viva Taqueria, in the partners’ list of businesses. Brendan was active in Zou 75 until his passing. You could always count on “B” to greet your table with a quiet smile. He was a true friend and mentor to the staff, always making himself available. The community will miss his calm presence, his friendship, his kindness, and his bright smile.
Brendan is survived by his beloved son Dax (12); his sister Courtney (John) Flynn and their children - Landry (15), Dalton (13), Deveren (12) and Sutter (9) of Huntington, NY; his loyal pup Minnie; sister in law Tasha (Doug) Urrutia, and their children Tre’ & Tristan Urrutia of Boise, ID; his unwavering support crew “Team ‘B’-lieve”, and countless friends, family and employees. He is preceded in death by his parents Sue Anne and Edward Dennehy; his grandparents William and Veronica Senff; Uncles (actor) Brian Dennehy, and Mike Dennehy.
A celebration of life is planned for Sunday, May 22 (location TBD!) in Hailey, to honor his incredible life, amid the great outdoors of Idaho which he and Dax loved and cherished so much together. We invite you to come and share your stories so Dax will always know the undying love his Dad had for him to the very last day. Please email ANY pictures of Brendan to firstname.lastname@example.org to be used for his services, as well as for an album we will make for Dax.
The amount of kindness and support shown to Brendan and Dax from the Wood River Valley and beyond, is immeasurable. Many friends have asked if they can continue to honor Brendan’s life with a financial contribution to Dax’s college fund. Because of this, a fund has been set up for him at Mountain West Bank. Thank you, beyond mere words, for being a part of Brendan and Dax’s beautiful life. His legacy will always live on.