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Brett A. Treganowan

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Published in Daily Hampshire Gazette on November 16, 2022

NORTHAMPTON, MA – On Saturday afternoon, November 12, 2022, Brett Andrew Treganowan died surrounded by his family. It was a beautiful, crisp autumn day. He was 53.

Brett was born on February 13, 1969, in Springfield, MA to Richard J. Treganowan and Carol (Bradway) Treganowan. He was the light of their lives. He grew up in Agawam, attending Agawam High School, then Westfield State College (now University), and UMass Amherst.

Brett was able to combine his love of electronics and science with his life’s work at Malvern Panalytical (formerly MicroCal), where he met some of his best friends and colleagues. He held many positions there, travelled the world, and was able to tinker and troubleshoot to his heart’s content, most recently as a service engineer and managing his lab.

Brett battled ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis a/k/a Lou Gehrig’s disease) for over three years. He participated in numerous studies that are contributing to ongoing research in hopes of someday finding a cure for this insidious disease.

Before his illness, Brett spent his free time riding his mountain bike in the woods, trails and parks of Massachusetts in the area surrounding Northampton, and on Cape Cod in Eastham and Wellfleet. He especially liked mastering hill climbs and loved stopping to get pastries at Bread Euphoria on his way home.

He also enjoyed cooking on the weekends with his wife, listening to good music, playing with his dogs Ruby and Bax, helping people, and spending time with his family. If you knew Brett, you knew you were loved. He was a genuine, kind, decent, loving man. He was the best friend, a much lauded mentor, a bit of a prankster and had the best smile and gave great hugs.

Brett was married to Karen Orcutt, the love of his life and his favorite person. They were together for over 32 years and married on Halloween 25 years ago, following in Karen’s grandparents’ footsteps. Early in their relationship he claimed “romance is dead” (he was young), and then spent their many years together showing her how much he loved her every day.

Brett is survived by his wife, Karen, and their two dogs Ruby and Bax, of Northampton, MA; His (step) son Ryan Poteat, that he loved like his own, and Ryan’s wife, Sarah, of Erie, CO; his father Richard Treganowan of Agawam, MA; in-laws David and Valerie Orcutt of Chester, MA; sister-in-law Jodi Moser and her husband Michael of San Diego, CA; sister-in-law Pamela Kislus and niece Jillian Mia Kislus of Southwick, MA, and many loving friends. Brett was predeceased by his mother in 2007.

Many special people came into Brett’s life to help him with this difficult illness. So many medical professionals, doctors, nurses, caregivers, and friends provided care, tools and therapies to help him live as long, and as comfortably, as possible. They showed extreme compassion, strength and love. The family would like to extend their gratitude to the MGH Healey Center for ALS Multidisciplinary Clinic, Compassionate Care ALS, The People’s Acupuncture Clinic in Amherst, Northampton Integrative Medicine, the ALS Association of Massachusetts, the Critical Care Unit at Cooley Dickinson Hospital, Maxim Healthcare, and family friends: Jeff Bonanno and Jackie De Angelis, Michael Brandts and the Malvern “crew”, Michael Ferry, Joseph Giarusso, Sheryl LaFontaine, Skip Klepacki, Carmen O’Connell, and Jayson St. Jacques. Thank you all from the bottom of our hearts.

Calling hours will be held on Friday, November 18, 2022 from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm at Ahearn Funeral Home, 783 Bridge Road, Northampton, MA 01060. A Celebration of Life to honor Brett for family and friends will follow at 7:30 pm at Spoleto restaurant, downtown Northampton, at 1 Bridge Street.

Memorial donations may be made to Compassionate Care ALS (CCALS) PO Box 1052, West Falmouth, MA 02574.

He is loved beyond measure.

For directions and online condolences, please visit

Ahearn Funeral Home