His family is, understandably, in shock and utterly reeling from the loss.
Brendan leaves behind our very dear friend Tanja Gaertner Hancock and their 3 year old son, Dylan, along with his loving parents, Lynn and John, younger brother, Patrick, and many friends - from Hawaii and Sacramento where Brendan grew up, from the Marine Corps where Brendan served for 5 years as a Sergeant, from UCLA Anderson where Brendan earned his MBA, from their son's preschool in Santa Monica where their family found so much joy and sense of belonging, and all the way to Austria and Germany where Tanja was raised and her family still lives.
Brendan and Tanja first met in 2007, three nights before his first Marine Corps deployment. It was love at first sight and Tanja stood on the dock waving as his ship left port. They corresponded with love letters over the course of two deployments before Brendan came home and proposed. They got married on Maui in 2010 and had their beautiful son, Dylan, in 2014.
Eleven years after first meeting Brendan, Tanja now faces an unimaginable future - going on without him by her side, without him here to hold Dylan's hand and wrestle with him, without him lifting Dylan up unto his broad shoulders and shepherding him through life.
Given the magnitude of their loss and its countless implications, we are starting this GoFundMe to help support Tanja and Dylan during this transition to a life without Brendan. We've set our goal high in the hopes of building as viable a resource for them as possible, since Brendan was the family's breadwinner and their needs will naturally include childcare, education, living expenses.
Any level or type of support is greatly appreciated.
Tanja and Brendan love their friends and family so much. We feel honored to support them during this difficult time, in any way we can. We welcome you to do the same and we are grateful for any love you send their way.
Amanda & Stephan
stephanandamanda [at] gmail [dot] com
Photo above taken last weekend at a friend's birthday party in Santa Monica, California.
- Kara Johansen
Organizer and beneficiary
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