Saturday, October 28, 2017

The Strength of Family: The Love of Leo D. Brown

I have been blessed with a close, loving family. All of my life I have had the comfort in knowing that if I needed a hand I could call on a sibling, a cousin, a parent, or an aunt or uncle and they would reach back. Even with our family scattered over several states I know I would be helped if I had a need. Of course, there is lots of good natured teasing and jokes whenever we gather.

            Recently we were gathered for several days in the Veterans’ Hospital in Albany, NY, at the bedside of my father’s brother, Uncle Leo D. Brown. His children, grandchildren and his beautiful great granddaughters arrived by car and plane. They surrounded him with love, brought him fresh, cold cider to sip and his favorite Ohio Buckeye blanket to comfort him. We nieces and nephews backed up our cousins in any way we could. Hands were held, hugs exchanged and sad smiles on all our faces. And there was laughter. Who was the favorite child? Who would bring him a beer? Where was that cigar?

            The hospital staff, who could not have been more caring, soon realized they had to change his room. The veteran who was sharing with my uncle was over run by our family. Leo was moved to a room for four, and had it all to himself - and the rest of us. My cousins and my aunt took turns spending the nights. My uncle was never alone. We took turns holding his hand and cuddling his 3-month-old great granddaughter. At times he could talk to us and at times he could not. Emotions soared and crashed. When the veteran next door, his brief roommate, was discharged he came into the room to bid us goodbye and saluted my unconscious uncle. We cried. When my uncle rallied and someone asked him if he wanted ice chips he said, “Hell, yes.” And we laughed.

            Those days were a clear demonstration of the strength and love of our family. My uncle has left us and there is a hole in the core of our family where that veteran, fisherman, camper, father, uncle once stood. But the family will not collapse. We will step closer and fill the hole. And the tall tales of his exploits will be passed down through the years.

Leo Dwight Brown, surrounded (of course) by family

Leo D. Brown   October 27, 2017 (written by my cousin)

Leo D. Brown, 87, of Stuyvesant Falls passed away surrounded by family on Thursday, September 26, 2017 at the VA Hospital in Albany NY.
He was born on September 20, 1930 in Rittman, Ohio to Roy Jesse Brown and Ivy Regina Mark. He married Barbara J. Cottrell on September 4, 1955 in Troy, NY. 
After graduating Hudson High School, Leo entered the U S Air Force and served as a Military Police Officer Korea and was honorably discharged in 1954. Later in life, he worked for and retired as a Special Investigator for the NYS Department of Labor. 
Leo was a life member of the Stuyvesant Falls Fire Company, a life member of the Glencadia Rod and Gun Club, a life member of the Stuyvesant Falls VFW, a past member of the Town of Stuyvesant Assessment Review Board, and a life member of the Hudson Valley Girl Scout Council.
Leo was predeceased in death by his brothers Delbert Brown, Larry Brown, and Robert Brown and sisters Jeannette Wager, and Genevieve Weiland. Leo is survived by his spouse, Barbara, his children Aileen Roberts (John), Roy Brown (Nicky), Everett Brown (SC), Nancy Dilley (Tom) and Philip Bickerton (Tahnee); 11 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren. 
Visitation hours are from 5-7 PM on Monday, October 30, 2017 at Bond Funeral Home in Valatie NY. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Friends of Camp Little Notch, 110 Spring Street, Saratoga Springs NY 12866. A former Adirondacks girl scout camp, Little Notch was dear to his heart. Now a nonprofit youth camp, he spent many happy hours there camping and fishing. 
Leo was a character. He was known for his voracious reading, humor, story and joke telling. If he liked you he teased you. If he teased you he loved you. He contributed a lot to our lives. The Oracle will be missed.


  1. I believe Leo would have loved this tribute to his life. May his memory live on in the stories you all tell.


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