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  • Elizabeth A. McMorrow

Celebration of a 112-Year Blessing

Dorothy M. Brown, resident of Framingham, MA and nearly life-long resident of Brooklyn died on November 26, 2019 at the age of 112 years. She was the oldest living person in Massachusetts and the tenth oldest living person in the U.S.

Dorothy was born on May 1, 1907 in Brooklyn, NY to Nellie (Sullivan) and Michael Corcoran. That year Theodore Roosevelt was President, a movie cost a nickel and The Plaza Hotel opened its doors at Fifth Avenue and Central Park South. The life expectancy of an American woman was just 49.9 years (which Dorothy outlived by 62.7 years).

Dorothy was born at home on Tilden Avenue and was baptized at the Church of the Holy Cross, Brooklyn. Her parents were born in New York City in 1871 and 1859 and all four of her grandparents and one great-grandmother were born in Ireland and immigrated to New York City. Dorothy had five brothers and three sisters.

Dorothy’s father was a printer who worked in New York City and then Philadelphia during tough economic times. When he returned home to Brooklyn each weekend he brought magazines and chocolate from Lofts’ Candy Store for Dorothy. That was the start of Dorothy’s life-long obsession with chocolate including Blackout Cake purchased at Ebinger’s on Bedford Avenue in Flatbush.

She had a long walk through Prospect Park from her home in Flatbush to The Manual Training High School in downtown Brooklyn on 7th Avenue. After high school Dorothy worked for Metropolitan Life Insurance for two years as a clerk.

Dorothy met New Yorker Daniel Francis Brown at a house party in Brooklyn. He proposed and took a job as a police officer with the Miami Police Department. At the age of 19 with two nice dresses her sisters gave her, Dorothy sailed on the Steamship Seminole to Miami. The local Catholic priest checked on Dorothy at the motel where she was staying and Dan’s brother officers collected 3600 pennies for his and Dorothy’s honeymoon. The two were married on June 16, 1926 at the Church of the Holy Name, Miami, Florida.

They returned to Brooklyn where Dan became a member of the New York Police Department assigned to the 103rd precinct. Dorothy lived through Dan’s long overtime hours brought on by the Lindbergh baby kidnapping and Two-Gun Crowley’s crime spree.

After her children were grown, Dorothy started a career in retail sales working for Rogers Peet in Manhattan until retiring in 1974. She then worked for Dunhill’s at Rockefeller Center where her clients included Tony Randall, Walter Cronkite, Jack Lemmon, and Carol Channing.

Upon retiring from Dunhill’s in her 70s, Dorothy became the head of travel for the Senior Club at St. Athanasius Roman Catholic Church in Bensonhurst – a position she held until the age of 91. Not wanting to sit around and do nothing, Dorothy shaved ten years off her age and joined the Jeanette & Morris Kessel Volunteer Services Department at Beth Israel Hospital. She was a patient liaison and knit blankets for preemies. She also delivered yarn and picked up completed preemie blankets from friends who were elderly shut-ins.

She remained in her own apartment on East 5th Street until 101 when she moved into assisted living at the Norwegian Christian Home and Health Center in Dyker Heights. In February 2019, at the age of 111, NCHHC suggested that it was time to think about a nursing home. Dorothy moved to a nursing home in Framingham, MA where her family was able to be with her every day.

[Picture to left 109-years old].

Dorothy leaves two daughters: Muriel McCleave of New York and Alice B. McMorrow of Massachusetts; six grandchildren: Barbara McCleave of New York, Kevin M. McMorrow of New Hampshire, Brian T. McMorrow of Washington, Maureen P. McMorrow of Massachusetts, John J. McMorrow of California, and Elizabeth A. McMorrow of Massachusetts; four great-grandchildren: Ryan M. McMorrow, Kyle McMorrow, Camryn McMorrow and Taylor McMorrow; and a great-great-grandson: Declan Michael.

Her husband Daniel F. Brown, son Gerald X. Brown, son-in-laws John M. McMorrow and Robert McCleave, and grandson Dennis McCleave pre-deceased her.

The Boston Globe

Dorothy Brown, state’s oldest resident, dies at 112

The Metrowest Daily News:

Framingham’s oldest resident dies at age 112

The Metrowest Daily News:

112-year-old Framingham woman receives Boston Post Cane

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