Carmele (Spaddy) Brown, 84
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PORTLAND - Carmele (Spaddy) Brown, 84, died Feb. 23 of complications after open heart surgery. She chose to undergo the risky operation, an example of the courage that marked her rich and eventful life. Carmele was born in 1928 in New York, the daughter of Frank and Rosalia Spadafora. She was raised in the Bronx among an extended family with roots in Sicily and southern Italy. Nicknamed 'Doc,' she attended James Monroe High School, and went on to Queens College and George Washington U., intending to become a doctor, and worked part-time at the CIA. She was studying to qualify as an agent when she met Gerald Allen Brown at a Naval Academy dance. They married in 1950. As an Air Force wife, she faced the challenge of moving a growing family every year or two for the next decade, including postings in Georgia, Mississippi, Colorado, Florida, Germany, California and Nebraska. Jerry left the military for corporate life in 1961. When he became vice president of marketing at Litton, Carmele packed the boxes once again to relocate to Rockville, Md. In 1973 they began a new adventure as small business owners. Opening a shop in Frederick for the sale and repair of lawn and garden equipment, they worked together six days a week for 20 years, making their home in Rohrersville. After Jerry and Carmele retired they decided to move to Brunswick to be near her son's family.
Carmele served as a source of loving comfort, a mentor, and the court of final appeal to her five children, whom she considered her chief accomplishments in life. She always encouraged them to do more than they thought they could do. Both a realist and a dreamer, she loved to plan adventures and to hear about those of others. In her seventies she traveled to Sicily with her daughters and met dozens of 'new' relatives who welcomed them all. A performer once herself, going to dance and piano school, she knew every film and every star and bit player dating back to the 20's. She read voraciously, instilling a love of literature and movies in those she cherished. Her abilities as a cook were legendary, but she attributed her talent to the influence of her own dear father Frank. She was a skilled nurse, tending her mother Rosalia and her husband Jerry with devotion and care when they fell ill. Generous to a fault, she did not spend time worrying over her own health but always put her children first.
Carmele is survived by her five children, Paula Seebode and her husband Fred, Pamela Brown and her husband Jonathan, Barbara Calhoun and Bob Reed, J. Stanley Brown and his wife Cindy, and Ethan Brown; her brother Paul Spadafora and his wife Aurora; her grandson Matt Calhoun and wife Kathy, granddaughter Nicole McKinley and husband Mike, grandchildren Jeremy, Julia, and Kimberly Brown; and four great-granddaughters, Mackenzie, Josephine, Alexandra Calhoun, and Rowan McKinley.
A memorial service will be held this spring in Granville, N.Y., where her ashes will be laid to rest beside those of her husband Jerry. Condolences may be sent to her family online at pressherald.com.
Carmele (Spaddy) Brown
Published in Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram on February 26, 2013