Albert Brown Jr.

Obituary of Albert J. Brown Jr.

ALBERT J. BROWN JR. LATHAM - Albert Joseph Brown Jr., 86, of Latham, died November 15, 2021, with family at his side and his loving wife, Sue, and eldest daughter, Cathy, waiting to embrace him above. A longtime Loudonville resident, Al was born on Dec. 18, 1934, in Cohoes, son of the late Pauline Kopcza and Albert J. Brown Sr. He was raised in Cohoes and Crescent, where he learned the value of hard work, the importance of faith and the skill needed to nab night crawlers for fishing trips with his dad. He was a trusted hand helping build and run his parents' service station at the foot of the Crescent Bridge. At his parents' urging, he focused on education, graduating from Christian Brothers Academy in Albany as Lieutenant Colonel in 1953 and becoming the first in his family to earn a college degree when he graduated from Manhattan College in 1957. Thanks to a blind date in college arranged by best friend Paul Cooney and his then-girlfriend (now wife), Phyllis, Al met the love of his life, Susan Elizabeth Gladding. It was a match that thrived for 61 years: Sue and Al were married at St. Vincent de Paul Church in Albany on Feb. 7, 1959. She predeceased him in 2020. After serving in the US Army, Al began a distinguished 33-year career with National Commercial Bank and Trust Co., known today as KeyBank/KeyCorp. Al attended the Stonier Graduate School of Banking at Rutgers University and rose progressively through management, appointed President of KeyBank of Southeastern NY in 1977. In 1981, he was promoted to Executive Vice President of KeyCorp in Albany, helping lead the company through an explosive era of growth. He founded Key Mortgage Funding, serving as its first President and CEO, and as Chairman of KeyBank USA. He also authored three industry books on banking and was a mentor to many banking professionals. In retirement, Al founded The Belvedere Group banking consultancy, authored children's books on the importance of kindness and wrote a regular column for the Albany Business Review for several years. He and Sue later divided their time between Loudonville and Davenport, Fla. Al devoted his time and resources to a wide range of educational, religious, community and philanthropic pursuits. He served as Chairman of the Board of Maria College in Albany, Child Find of America, and the Oneonta Community Chest, as well as Director of the St. Joseph's Housing Corp. in Albany, President of the Albany Diocesan School Board, and a member of the LaSalle Institute Board of Trustees in Troy, where he co-chaired a major capital campaign in the late 1990s. Lifelong advocates of Catholic education, Al and Sue supported numerous school programs in the Diocese, including two libraries and countless books donated in memory of their cherished daughter, Catherine Mary Brown, who died in 1969. In 2001 Al was awarded the St. John Neumann Award for support of Catholic School Education, and in 2010, the Albany Diocese honored Al and Sue for their years of dedicated support of Catholic education with its Beacon of Hope award. They sponsored tuition and the building of homes for children in Kenya and many other projects for organizations in the Albany and Orlando dioceses, including Mercy House in Albany, Community Maternity Services/Farano Center for Children, CBA, LaSalle, Manhattan College, the College of St. Rose, and the Beta Center in Orlando, Fla. Al was a longtime parishioner and Trustee of St. Pius X Church in Loudonville, where as Parish Council President he led a major capital campaign to update and expand the church and school. It was at St. Pius where he formed a lasting friendship built on vision, faith, and wit with the late Very Rev. Michael Farano. Al always liked Fr. Farano's homilies—he just wished they were a little shorter. Fr. Farano wished Al was a little quieter. Al was a member of the Albany Country Club and always enjoyed a round of golf with his children, sons-in-law and grandchildren. An artist and tinkerer at heart, he regularly constructed and painted custom dollhouses for his children and grandchildren, as well as the Sunshine Foundation Dream Village for children in Davenport. He was always ready with a warm swimming pool and a cold drink whenever family and friends visited Florida. Grandchildren could count on Grandpa for a vigorous game of chess or checkers and a good box of donuts. His own children could count on him for a game of 20 Questions about their lives and careers, his unconditional support and his unfailingly sage advice. Firm believers that life is made to be celebrated, Al and Sue hosted large Thanksgiving dinners, vacations at Belvedere Lake in Otsego County, summer reunions and regular trips to Disney World—in addition to countless baptisms, first communions, graduations, weddings and birthday parties. Al spent his final years beside his beloved wife, providing an example of love, devotion and tender care that touched all who knew him. He is survived by nine children: Margaret Brown of Cohoes, Patricia Derocher (Bob) of Loudonville, Jennifer Horn (Bill) of York Harbor, Me., Cynthia Brandolini (Joe) of Gastonia, N.C., Matthew Brown (Julie) of Harrington Park, N.J., Anita Mahon (Ken) of Budd Lake, N.J., Andrew Brown (Julie) of Pearl River, N.Y., Carolyn Ustin (Mark) of Albany, and Elizabeth Goyette (late Chris) of Latham; two sisters, Marleen Riley (late Jim) of Penfield, N.Y., and Judy Cox (Terry) of Edgewater, Fla.; a brother, Bill Brown (MaryLou) of Rochester, N.Y.; sisters-in-law Frances Gladding (late Dick) of Clifton Park and Mary Gladding (late Bill) of West Sand Lake; 34 grandchildren, Kailey Hicks (Eric), Catherine Brandolini, Patrick Derocher (Will), Michael Brandolini, James Horn (Katie), Timothy Derocher (Jess), Thomas Horn, Alexis Richards, David Brandolini, Rosemary Derocher, Allison Brown Forrester (Neil), Zacchaeus Horn, Matthew Richards, Jefferson Horn, Elizabeth Brandolini Caulley (Ryan), Justin Brown, Megan Mahon, Nicholas Brown, Daniel Derocher, Mikael Brown, Susan Brandolini, Andrew Brown, Kristen Brown, Emily Mahon, Theresa Brandolini, Grace Ustin, Liam Brown, Anna Ustin, Peter Goyette, Miriam Ustin, Stephen Goyette, Brendan Goyette, Owen Goyette, and Sarah Goyette; four great-grandchildren, Hunter Hicks, Otto Hicks, Logan Horn, and Blake Horn; and many nieces and nephews. Al's family will receive visitors from 3 to 7 p.m. on Thursday at the Dufresne & Cavanaugh Funeral Home, 149 Old Loudon Road, Latham. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10 a.m. on Friday in St. Pius X Church, 23 Crumitie Road, Loudonville, with interment to follow in St. Mary's Cemetery in Waterford. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Farano Center for Children via Catholic Charities-Community Maternity Services at www.cccms.org or St. Catherine's Center for Children at www.st-cath.org. For directions, information, to light a memory candle or order flowers for the family please visit www.dufresneandcavanaugh.com.
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Thursday
18
November

Visitation at Funeral Home

3:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Thursday, November 18, 2021
Dufresne & Cavanaugh Funeral Home, Ltd.
149 Old Loudon Road
Latham, New York, United States
Friday
19
November

Funeral Service

10:00 am
Friday, November 19, 2021
St. Pius X Church
23 Crumitie Road
Loudonville, New York, United States

Final Resting Place

St. Mary's Cemetery
Middletown Road
Waterford, New York, United States
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