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By Craig Braack

Josephine A. “Josie” Brown, 81 of Hornell

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On February 18, 2022 Josephine A. “Josie” Brown, 81 of Hornell, NY passed comfortably and at peace.  

Josie was born January 16, 1941 in Hornell NY to the late Angelo and Josephine (Marino) Cartella.  She grew up in Hornell and attended St. Ann’s School and later graduated from Hornell High School (Class of 1960).  

She was married to the late Robert J. “Bob” Brown on August 18, 1961 and together they built a life and a family. 

Josie is survived by her brothers, Carl (Mary) Cartella of Hornell NY and Francis “Butch” (Beth) Cartella of Almond, NY, her seven children, Robert (Ellen) Brown of Nashville, TN, Stephen Brown of Alfred Station NY, Lisa (Michael) Hamilton of Alfred Station, NY, Angela Gillette of Hornell NY, Cynthia (Lawrence) Ebert of Hornell NY, Scott (Catherine) Brown of Hornell NY and Jodi Brown of Houghton, NY.  She is also survived by her grandchildren,  Michael, Megan, Sarah Jane, Nathan, Monika, Rachael, Ryan, Amanda, Ashley, Stephen & Thomas; her great granddaughter Charleigh Rose; along with several in-laws, nieces and nephews.  

She was preceded in death by her husband Robert J. Brown on January 26, 1981; her siblings Francis “Frankie” Cartella, Peter Cartella, Mary (infant) Cartella, Mary Andrezzi, Angeline Eason, Rose “Tina” Conine, and Julio “Bozo” Cartella.  

Josie lived her life– always doing and caring for others.  She dedicated a large portion of her life supporting students with special needs.  She did this as a Teacher’s Aide for Steuben-Allegany BOCES and as a Coach and Area 15 Coordinator for Special Olympics.  Josie once said that when she started working for BOCES her family grew larger, this is because she always treated her coworkers and her students like family. She was a positive role model, a supportive mentor and a loving influence on so many through the years.  Being involved in Special Olympics, one of Josie’s favorite things was being able to take student athletes each year to attend the annual Knights of Columbus Sports Night Banquet.  Josie was honored in 2001 as the Coach of the Year and again in 2013 with a Special Dedication.  Each year the student athletes got to meet, chat with and get the celebrity athlete’s autographs.   As one of the biggest Bills fans around a huge highlight for Josie was when in 2017, she finally got to meet her hero, Bruce Smith.  Go Bills! 

She also made connections and provided opportunities to the youth of Hornell through her second job as manager of the Hornell Knights of Columbus kitchen.  At the K of C she cooked, planned the parties and events and provided several teenagers with their first job serving meals, washing dishes and setting up for and staffing the parties and events. 

She was a member of Our Lady of the Valley Parish and a communicant of St. Ann’s Church.  She was also a member of the Hornell Ladies of Columbus, the AZB Sorority and the Carducci Lodge-Sons of Italy.   Josie enjoyed local politics and had been a member of the Democratic Woman’s committee for many years.  In her spare time she enjoyed crafts, making flowers for wedding bouquets, gambling, playing “pay me” with her friends at Carducci Lodge and spending time with her friends and family. 

Josie was a kind soul that had a passion for volunteering and doing for others.  In addition to Special Olympics she also volunteered at the St. James and Elderwood Gift Shops, she organized the Hornell High School Post Prom Party for several years, she volunteered for the Steuben County Rural Ministry helping Sister Susan Cain at the food pantry.  She’d have fun with her family each year on Christmas Eve doing random acts of kindness and she has put on numerous “Spaghetti Dinners  By Josie” for various fundraisers throughout the years.  Josie was a member of several clubs and service organizations but being a member of Alpha Zeta Beta “AZB” Sorority made a huge impact on her life.  Through AZB she formed lifelong friendships.  From serving their community, national conventions, turtle ceremonies, and regular get-togethers she enjoyed every adventure with her fun-loving and slightly wild sisters of AZB.  This group of women did a lot for others and always had the best times filled with laughter and fun while doing it.

Although she touched so many lives and done so many great things, her biggest role was that of a loving Mother, Grandmother and Meme.  She showed her love to her family in so many ways: through football talk, car rides & listening to the oldies, trips to the mall and the ice cream shop, casino visits, games of skipbo, family get togethers, playing team trivia, searching for Smurf collectible figures, adventures with “Belsnickle the Elf” and most importantly home cooked meals made with love.

Josie showered her family with love through shared moments together of fun and laughter.  These special moments are now cherished memories.  Josie’s love for her family and for others is her greatest legacy.  In turn, she was very loved and will be greatly missed and celebrated by her family each time we get a winner on a scratch off, each time the Bills score a touchdown, each time we order a large Diet Coke from McDonald’s each time we cook a meal with love and each time we think of a fun memory and realize how blessed we are to have been loved by Josie.   

The family of Josephine A. ”Josie” Brown will receive friends on Friday from 4:00 PM- 6:00 PM at the Dagon Funeral Home, 38 Church Street, Hornell NY.  A mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Saturday at 1:00 PM at St. Ann’s Church with burial in Hartsville Hill Pope Cemetery, Hartsville, NY. 

Josie’s family requests that in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in her name be made to the Hornell Alumni Association, PO Box 135, Hornell, NY  14843.  Memorial forms will be available at the Dagon Funeral Home.

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