Longtime Oakmont manager Adeline Brown remembered for service to community, family
Adeline Brown spent her life dedicated to serving the only place she ever called home — Oakmont.
As a first-generation American, she took pride in the town her parents emigrated to from Italy in the early 1900s. She served as Oakmont’s secretary beginning in 1947 at only 18 years old and was appointed in 1966 to the borough manager.
She was one of only a handful of women to serve in such a job in the entire country at that time, but stayed in the position for 40 years.
“It was just what she wanted,” said Tilly Flannery, Brown’s sister. “She loved working, she loved what she was doing and she loved the town she was doing it for.”
Brown, 91, died Friday with her family by her side. She is survived by her husband of 71 years, Jim Brown; her son, Rick Brown; two grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; and many other extended family members who considered her to be a second mother.
Brown is described by friends and family as someone who would do anything for her family, friends and the fellow residents of Oakmont. Even after retiring from her position as manager she remained active in several committees and clubs, including the Kerr Museum Commission and the Riverview Community Action Corp.
“It’s a huge loss. She was still so active,” said Kaaren Amodeo, longtime friend and former councilwoman. “Even though she (couldn’t) attend all the meetings, we’d get the minutes to her and she’d go over everything.”
Amodeo said Brown served as a guide for teaching her about how a borough is run and how to conduct herself professionally.
“I learned so much from her,” she said. “I’m going to miss her greatly.”
Fred Favo served on council much of the time Brown was manager, including when she was appointed.
“I always thought of her as a manager’s manager,” he said. “She had developed very good relations with every organization.”
As dedicated as she was to her community, she was equally dedicated to her family.
“The thing that was probably the most marvelous thing about my mother was no matter how many meetings … there was always equal time for her kid — and it was sincere,” said her son, Rick.
He said his family was referred to as the “Brown Hotel” because his mom would always have people over for dinners or parties.
“She was very kind and very generous,” he said. “You always imagine public officials as being removed or detached — she wasn’t.”
More than anything, Rick said his mother taught him to always have tolerance and a sense of commitment to his community.
“You just don’t exist in a place, it’s not just there for your benefit,” he recalled her saying. “You have to contribute something.”
Friends and family will be received from 2 to 8 p.m. Monday at the Burket-Truby Funeral Home, 421 Allegheny Ave. in Oakmont. A funeral Mass will be held at 10 a.m. Tuesday at St. Irenaeus Church in Oakmont.
Memorial contributions may be made to Riverview Community Action Corporation, P.O. Box 437, Oakmont, PA 15139, or St. Irenaeus Catholic Church, 387 Maryland Ave., Oakmont, PA 15139.
Emily Balser is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Emily at 724-226-4680, [email protected] or via Twitter .