Chris Brent’s journey in life began in Berlin where he was born. While his parents were having difficulties and ultimately divorced, Chris was placed in foster care several times and then reunited with his mother and later with his father. His father eventually immigrated to the United States with Chris.
Chris was happy to leave Germany at the age of 14. At 18 he joined the Army and was trained with seven others as an infantry scout, a position which required extensive training and proficiency in every mode of communication. He learned unarmed defense which proved valuable to him many years later when he encountered an intruder in an apartment building. He said that as a soldier in Patton’s Army, they “were gentlemen in a rough game.”
Upon his return from Europe, he was given a thirty-day leave and then deployed to Manila, Philippines. Danger awaited him there, but fortunately the mission was completed with no injuries. His touching memory once he returned to the U.S. was taking his father’s car and driving with the windows down through orange groves near Los Angeles. One can almost smell the oranges as he describes this memorable time.
Chris Brent would go on to serve a tour of duty in Vietnam, capping off a 34 year career in the Army.
Lt. Col. Walter Ivan Christopher Brent died on September 12, 2014, at the age of 89. He was with his family and friend at his Sewickley home that he loved very much. He was born in Germany and had the opportunity to move to the United States where he was able to work very hard and became successful because of the opportunity that was provided by America. He graduated from the University of California in Los Angeles and as an Army Officer Lt. Col. Brent also attended the Army’s Command and General Staff College, the Infantry Officers advanced course and the Army Intelligence and Military School in Europe. Lt. Colonel Brent saw service in both European and Pacific Theaters as an 86th Division Infantry in World War II.
Lt. Col. Brent’s decorations include the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star Medal, the Army Commendation Armed Forces Medal (1st class), and the Combat Infantryman’s Badge. LTC Brent retired from the military after 32 years of service and lived in Manhattan and Germany for many years.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Ursula Gosselck, and Liane Beebe. After his retirement he traveled the world and worked with disadvantaged children in Harlem. Lt. Col. Brent is survived by his wife, Nancy Carr Brent; stepchildren Joel and Kim Carr, Walter and Michael Beebe, with wives Carol and Nancy, and Robert Brent; step-grandchildren John Beebe, Kathryn Beebe Reilly, Andrew Beebe, Alison Arshad, Christine Beebe, Frederick Beebe, Galen Beebe, Brianna and Keith Lemaster. He will be remembered by his 12 step-great-grandchildren.
Family received friends at the Copeland Sewickley Funderal Home. A Funeral Mass was held at St. James Catholic Church, with Rev Thomas J. Burke. Interment took place with full military honors in Arlington National Cemetery.