Mildred Browne

Obituary of Mildred E. Browne

Mildred Evarghn Holley Browne was born on May 21, 1929 to Mamie Zachary and Joseph B. Holley in Glen Cove, Long Island, New York. Her mother Mamie, a single parent at the time, worked as a caretaker and seamstress in the affluent area of Glen Cove to provide for Millie, as she liked to be called and her sister Irene. Millie was able to attend the affluent non-segregated schools in Glen Cove because of her fair complexion. When Mamie married Lawrence Branch, a man Millie regarded as her father, she gained a brother, Lawrence Jr. She graduated school with the ambition to become a nurse. This time, unfortunately, she could not beat segregation and her dreams of attending nursing school were thwarted. Instead she learned to become a telephone switchboard operator. In her spare time, she volunteered with the USO. During these early years she married a gentleman who tragically passed away and left her a widow at a very young age. She was left a home in Beacon, New York across the road from her mother-in-law Bessie who remained a presence in her life for over 30 years. In addition, Millie also purchased her own home in Glen Cove. Millie’s single life began to draw to a close when she met and fell in love with a young recently divorced veteran Tuskegee fighter pilot. Undeterred by the prospects of becoming a mother to his three daughters, Millie married Gene C. Browne on July 30, 1959. In June of 1962 this family grew when they welcomed a son, Gene Jr. Motherhood came naturally to Millie and, always up for a challenge, Millie took in her young teenage niece growing this family even more. With kids in school along came a parent’s inevitable involvement with the Parent Teacher Association better know as the dreaded PTA. Millie became fascinated with education through her involvement in PTA activities. She volunteered as a teacher’s assistant and was completely consumed by the education process for students and how to help them improve. By 1980 she decided she had ideas on how to improve the entire education process. With no kids of her own in school Millie became involved with her first board of education in 1981 with her election to the Copiague School District Board of Education. She served on the Copiague board for 21 years. Always up for a challenge, Millie was elected to the Western Suffolk BOCES Board of Education in 1994 where she served 25 years. It should be noted that she served on both boards simultaneously. She proudly served as President of both boards and was re-elected several times over. By 2004 she was nominated for and received the New York State Women of Distinction Award. In 2002 Millie lost her husband of 43 years and the love of her life but continued to serve on the BOCES board until her retirement in 2019 at the age of 90. Now one would think that being involved with the board of education for 2 school districts would leave little time for anything else but let’s remember this is Millie we are talking about. Not only did she serve on the boards but she was an avid bowler who was considered ranked semi-pro, but also volunteered regularly as a census taker. She also became actively involved in local government politics. Always up for a challenge, Millie joined the Amityville Kiwanis where she, at one point, became president of this organization as well. At this point in her life there were very few people in government, education, community and charity that didn’t know who Mildred Browne was. Millie lived a long, active and very fulfilling happily busy life. She is survived by her son Gene, daughters Cheryl, Arlyn and Laura; her daughter-in-law Janet and son-in-law Octavis; grandchildren Zachary, Robert, Morgan, Shana, Angela, Brittni, Rachelle, Octavis Jr and Arthur; and at last count 10 great-grandchildren.
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Thursday
27
February

Visitation at Funeral Home

2:00 pm - 4:30 pm
Thursday, February 27, 2020
Powell Funeral Home Inc.
67 Broadway
Amityville, New York, United States
Thursday
27
February

Visitation

7:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Thursday, February 27, 2020
Powell Funeral Home Inc.
67 Broadway
Amityville, New York, United States
Friday
28
February

Visitation at Funeral Home

10:00 am - 11:00 am
Friday, February 28, 2020
Powell Funeral Home Inc.
67 Broadway
Amityville, New York, United States
Friday
28
February

Funeral Service

11:00 am
Friday, February 28, 2020
Powell Funeral Home
67 Broadway
Amityville, New York, United States
Friday
28
February

Final Resting Place

12:30 pm
Friday, February 28, 2020
Long Island National Cemetery
Pinelawn Road
East Farmingdale, New York, United States
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Mildred