Health & Wellness

Young Sheriff Celebrated for Exceptional Bravery, Loses Cancer Battle

Greene County Sheriff Brian Tennant fought for his life -- and to keep serving the public during a 10 year battle with brain cancer.


Brian Tennant was only 35 years old, but he was already a hero to many for his bravery in his professional life -- and in his personal struggle with brain cancer. The Greene County, PA sheriff died Wednesday afternoon at UPMC Shadyside hospital after battling an inoperable tumor on his brain stem for nearly a decade.

According to The Washington Observer Reporter , Tennant was working as a police patrolman when he helped save two children during a house fire in Wayesburg that killed two other children in January 2010. Not long after, he was diagnosed with the tumor. But even treatment couldn't keep him from showing up to help at another bad fire a few months later. "That's the kinda guy he was," retired Waynesburg police chief Tim Hawfield told the O-R. "This community will never fully appreciate what a good servant they had in him."

Tennant left the police force to run for sheriff in 2013. He won re-election in 2017. He served as a volunteer firefighter for 17 years with the Waynesburg-Franklin Township Volunteer Fire Department until he was forced to retire in January. He also was a medic with EMS Southwest.

"He held his head up. I'm proud to know him," Tim Hawfield, Retired Waynesburg Police Chief

Tennant is survived by his wife Jessica and four sons. His funeral is set for 11 a.m. Saturday at First Baptist Church in Waynesburg, followed by a police escort to Greene County Memorial Park. Waynesburg-Franklin Township Volunteer Fire Co. will hold a memorial service at 7 p.m. Friday at the church, followed at 7:30 p.m. by Masonic Services by Waynesburg Lodge No. 153.

Gov. Tom Wolf ordered that all Pennsylvania flags at public buildings or grounds be lowered to half-staff Saturday to honor Tennant.

Other stories of interest:

Marty's Journey: UPMC's Head & Neck Cancer Survivorship Clinic

Sparkt Bridges: Cancer Survivor Spreading Hope with Celebration Bells

Hope, Healing and Hair: Woman's Cancer Journey Helps Others

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