Carol Brothers

Obituary of Carol Brothers

Carol A. Brothers, a woman who devoted her life to her family passed away at her home surrounded by her children on Thursday morning, Oct. 30, 2008. She was 67 years old. Carol was born in Somerville, the daughter of the late Manuel and Thelma Oliveria. She was raised and educated in Somerville. By her sixteenth birthday, both her parents had passed away and she assumed the role of caring for her younger siblings. She married her husband, Dan, at the age of 18. Even after her marriage, she continued to open her home to her siblings until they were able to go out on their own. She was the loving mother of 5 children. In 1978, her husband passed away suddenly and she took on his role as family provider, working as a book keeper at Lexington Toyota. She was described as an unselfish and loving woman, who always placed her family first. Carol had a number of interests. She enjoyed shopping, reading, crocheting, puzzles, and baking. She loved her home, especially when it was filled with family and friends and her home was always filled with love and laughter. She treasured the time spent with her grandchildren, who affectionately referred to her as “NAN.” She will be fondly remembered by all her family and friends. Carol was the wife of the late Daniel F. Brothers, Sr. Loving mother of Daniel F. Brothers, Jr. & his wife Carol of Burlington, Kevin & his wife Cindylee of Woburn, Cheryl Shafman & her husband Michael of Burlington, Steven & his wife Debbie of Hudson, NH, and Bryan & his wife Amy of Burlington. Sister of Robert Oliveria of Tewksbury, Paul Oliveria of Wakefield, Ronald Oliveria of Wilmington, Denise Chrisemer of Raymond, NH, the late Bettelou Gayne, and Dennis Oliveria. Devoted “Nan” of Brandon, Kyle, & Ashley Shafman, Mark, Patrick, Kerrilee, Sara, Courtney, Samantha, Zachary, Camryn Brothers, and late Katie Brothers. Funeral from the Edward V. Sullivan Funeral Home, 43 Winn St., BURLINGTON (exit 34 off Rt. 128, Woburn side) on Monday, Nov. 3 at 9 a.m. Followed by a Mass of Christian Burial in St. Malachy’s Church, 99 Bedford St. at 10 a.m. Visiting hours Sunday 4-8 p.m. Interment in Chestnut Hill Cemetery, Burlington. In lieu of flowers, memorials in Carol’s name may be made to the Breast Cancer 3 Day, care of the Brothers Sisters, 4 Briarwood Rd,, Woburn, MA 01801 or For obituary, directions, and online guest book see or A Family Remembrance by Danny Good morning. On behalf of my sister and three brothers, I would like to thank everyone for all that they have done for us since my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer last Christmas. Last night was truly overwhelming. It is greatly appreciated. I also would like to thank Kevin Sullivan, all of his staff and Father Ray Kiley for all their work to make this a very peaceful time for us. My Mom was born on November 17, 1940 in Somerville, the second child and first daughter of Manuel and Thelma Oliveira. When my mother arrived, I am sure that her parents were elated at her birth and thought she was special. But I do not know if they ever realized how special she would become. Growing up in Somerville, she began to learn and grow her faith in God at St. Anthony’s Church where she was baptized, received first communion and was confirmed. It was here in Somerville where she met her best friend and her lifelong soul mate, my dad. When my Mom was 16, she suffered a great loss with the passing of her mother. She then made the decision to leave high school during her junior year to go home and help her Dad with the care of 4 younger siblings. To give up the end of her education to take care of her siblings was the type of sacrifice my mother would make her entire life. She grew her relationship with my Dad and they would marry in May of 1959. Shortly afterwards, her Dad passed away and my mom and dad became the parents of her younger siblings. They treated them as their own kids and worked to help each of them reach adulthood. She welcomed their spouses into her family and was fond of her nephews and nieces. She was fond of the times she spent with them shopping, talking, and vacationing with her older brother in Florida. As busy as my parents were, they found time to start a family of their own. They would have five children. We were the joy in their hearts. My Dad worked so hard and Mom stayed at home to make sure she kept us in line. She tried to make her self out to be a disciplinarian yelling out the window when you thought she wasn’t looking, but when times got tough she would say, “I’m telling your father when he gets home.” That usually set us straight. At Mom’s house, we always had five square meals a day, nice clothes on our backs, a warm bed to sleep in and a hug whenever we needed it. This was also extended to our friends. Mom’s house was the place to go in the neighborhood and reading the guest book the past couple of days has assured me of this – examples include: · Your Mom was always happy · We were always welcomed into her home · She was Someone to talk to no matter what was going on in her life · A WONDERFUL WOMAN With five children of her own and four others that she was responsible for, Mom certainly proved what a leader she was. But this leadership would truly be tested. On March 11, 1978, my Dad passed away at the age of 37. Mom would be left with five children ranging in age from 17 to 6. I remember sitting in the family room at Choate Hospital in Woburn that Saturday afternoon and asking her what we were going to do. She assured me that everything was going to be ok. I am not sure she actually believed those words she spoke on that day, but she spent the next 30 years proving those words to be correct. With the death of my Dad, Mom had to do things she never had to do before – be the family leader and bread winner. And she did just that. She eventually landed at Lexington Toyota working in the office, where she became not only a dedicated employee, but a member of their family. She was that special. As children, we gave her great in laws. She treated her son and daughter-in-laws like children of her own and most of the times better. They all treasured her love, wisdom and conversations. She was happy for all of us with our spouses because she could see how happy we all were. But for all the good that her children did, she was most proud of her grandchildren. They were the pride and joy of her life – the apples of her eye. All 12 of them. This is what she lived her life for. You were all special to her and I know each of you have such special memories. They will never go away. She was always seen at her grandchildren’s sporting events, their school events, their graduations, dance recitals, theatre productions and especially their religious events. Mom was most proud at her grandchildren’s baptisms, first communions and confirmations. It was a time of peace for her. But for all of those memories, it was in her house that she was happiest. She loved her grandchildren’s company and loved to spoil them. All of them remember her whoopee pies, cookies, meatballs, her pink mints, chocolate shakes, the world famous ORANGE CHICKEN SOUP and her special words of advice. Christmas time was her special time for the grandkids. The shopping started in June. While it may have been easier to buy the same gift for all, Nan never did. Everyone got gifts that were selected to their personality and their likes. They were all special to her. She knows this was tough on you, but remember the words of one of you – “Nan was our rock!!!” She will always be. Many people in life will judge a person by what they have in possessions. My Mom, had much more than this. The more people you would put into her house, the bigger it seemed to get. She loved holidays and spent months preparing for them. She would never leave anyone out – her home on Christmas Eve was an open house to all. Mom taught her children to enjoy life and live for their families. She never drove, not one day of her life but always got to where she needed to go. She never wanted, but had plenty. She did not have a lot of money, but was wealthy with gifts and love. She never said a bad word about anyone. This past Christmas, as sick as she was, she spent weeks preparing so we would all have a normal Christmas In her final weeks, we would often talk. She acknowledged that she did alright and lived without regrets. She was happy with herself, and so proud of her children and grandchildren. She loved her extended family and the friends she had made throughout her life. She lived life with a quiet presence, grace and dignity. She fought her cancer with the courage she showed every day in her life since the death of my Dad 30 years ago. She often spoke of how much she missed Dad and how she never married because in her words – “he could never be replaced. There was no one like him.” In the end, I think she had enough and moved on to those who were waiting for her – her sister Bettelou, her granddaughter Katie and my Dad. On such an emotional day, I do feel some happiness. The happiness that her physical and mental pain is over. The mental pain of not being able to get out of bed at 5:30 in the morning – clang the dishes, slam the dishwasher and vacuum the house is now gone. I also know there is joy – the joy that she will finally be rewarded the gift of God’s kingdom that she was promised at baptism. She commented one day that she was going to get wings and now this angel is joyously celebrating in God’s kingdom.
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