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Widow was successful in the business world

| Tuesday, March 11, 2003

Florence Brosky never had a day of business training and didn't know how to type until she was 40.

When her husband died and left her to run a lighting supply company, she used her strong social skills and passion to succeed to build the company into a $1-million-a-year operation.

"She had no problem with taking over a business in a predominately male industry," said her son, Joseph Brosky. "She could sell freezers to Eskimos. She had great interpersonal skills and she was able to succeed."

Mrs. Brosky, of Ross, died Sunday, March 9, 2003. She was 85.

Mrs. Brosky grew up in the West End section of Pittsburgh. As a girl, she dreamed of becoming a doctor, but the deaths of her parents before she graduated from high school ended those plans.

Three years after she graduated from high school, she married Joseph F. Brosky, of McKees Rocks, and they opened two hardware stores. After running the stores for a few years, Mrs. Brosky and her husband sold them and founded J.B. Supply Co. in Ross, which sold lighting fixtures for steel mills.

The business got off to a strong start, but in 1947 Mr. Brosky died and his wife was left to care for the company and their five children. Mrs. Brosky took the reins of J.B. Supply and successfully managed it for 32 years.

"She was dedicated to her children and her business," Joseph Brosky said.

In 1979, Mrs. Brosky sold the company to North American Phillips, but because of her knowledge of the industry North American Phillips hired her to serve as a consultant for five years. Her work as a businesswoman, however, paled in comparison to her dedication to her family.

"She was a very loving mother, grandmother and great-grandmother," said her daughter, Sandra Cepaitis. "Her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren were the spark of her life, her pride and joy."

Mrs. Brosky is survived by two sons, Paul J. Brosky, of St. Petersburg, Fla., and Joseph F. Brosky, of Johnstown; three daughters, Geraldine Marie Cuccaro, of El Paso, Texas; Sandra Lee Cepaitis, of Washington, D.C., and Cynthia Susan Miller, of Ross; 11 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Visitation will be from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. today at the H.P. Brandt Funeral Home Inc., 1032 Perry Highway, Ross. Services will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday in St. Teresa of Avila Roman Catholic Church in Ross. Burial will follow in the North Side Catholic Cemetery, Ross.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Felician Sisters Renovation Fund.

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