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Notre Dame's oldest fan tied to Oklahoma

Jack Brehmer spends time in Oklahoma with his daughter and son-in-law, and is a huge fan of Irish athletes from the state.
By Stephanie Kuzydym Published: October 25, 2012

Jack Brehmer's voice slowed before it cracked a little.

He took a small breath.

“It just means everything to me,” he said as he wiped underneath his glasses before any tears could fall from his eye.

Brehmer is a Notre Dame fan who has been adopted by Irish Athletics. They took care of him when he broke his hip, and whenever he attends an athletic event, they help him get around.

On Saturday, Brehmer will be on Owen Field during the Notre Dame — Oklahoma game, where he will be honored during the first timeout of the second quarter as the oldest Notre Dame fan in attendance.

Brehmer's 91st birthday is Friday, or as he likes to put it, he's starting “the 92nd year” of his life.

For the last eight years, Brehmer has come to Oklahoma City to spend time living with his daughter and son-in-law, Marnie and Clayton Taylor, but his home is in South Bend, Ind. A few years ago, the Taylors received a Christmas card from Brehmer. It was him with the entire Notre Dame women's soccer team. The next year, it was with the cheerleading squad.

Brehmer grew up in South Bend at the intersection of Notre Dame Ave. and South Bend Ave. He remembers legendary Irish football coach Knute Rockne's funeral procession. He attended a couple of the Oklahoma games when the Sooners came to South Bend.

“Bud Wilkinson and that team were great,” he said. “I remember everyone who talked about them just said nice things about how wonderful of people they all were.”

He served in the Navy in World War II, and his favorite teacher was his high school English teacher, John Wooden. Yes, the famed UCLA basketball coach John Wooden. What really makes Brehmer smile is talking about Notre Dame athletics.

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