4:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Thursday, February 20, 2020
Edward V. Sullivan Funeral Home
43 Winn Street
Burlington, Massachusetts, United States
Friday, February 21, 2020
St. Margaret's Church
111 Winn St.
Burlington, Massachusetts, United States
Obituary of James F Browne, Jr.
James F. Browne, Jr. passed away unexpectedly on Sunday, February 16, 2020. He was 83 years old. Jim was born and raised in Chelsea. He was one of four children born to James and Mary Browne. He was a 1954 graduate of Malden Catholic High School. His first real job was that of a meat cutter for William Underwood Co. Over the next 30 years he continually worked his way up the Underwood ranks to become a production specialist and finally the Facilities Manager. When the Underwood Company was sold in 1982, Jim took the position of Manager of Office Services at Ocean Spray Cranberries, Inc. Ocean Spray was flourishing, and Jim oversaw the production facilities as well as the construction of the new corporate offices in Lakeville. He retired in 1999 after a successful and rewarding career. Not being able to sit still during his retirement years, he worked for as a funeral assistant at the Edward V. Sullivan Funeral Home in Burlington until he was 78 years old. Jim was a man devoted to his family. He worked hard to be a good provider to his wife and seven children. He married his wife, Peg, in 1959 and they settled in a modest 1-bathroom home in Burlington in 1966. They had a wonderful relationship and made a great team. A theologian once said; “That the greatest gift a man can give his children is to love his children’s mother." Jim adored his beloved Peg, and was always at her side raising their children, helping with the grandchildren, and supporting each other during life’s challenges. He was very involved in all his children's and grandchildren’s lives as well. He was at all their hockey, football, lacrosse, baseball, softball, soccer, field hockey games, dance recitals, and all the activities that were important to them. He was proud of each one of his children for their accomplishments. Summer vacations were spent at Kingston Lake, Beaver Lake, and Arlington Pond. Somehow, with good planning skills, Jim could manage packing his station wagon with 2 adults, 7 kids, "Pepper" their dog, and all the clothing and provisions for 2 weeks. He was an avid golfer and cherished all the rounds, tournaments, and golf vacations spent with his sons and daughters and their friends. He also loved a good game of cribbage. What his family will remember fondly is simply Jim sitting around a fire, drinking a beer, smoking a cigar and telling stories; but also enthusiastically listening to his children and grandchildren share their stories about what was going on in their lives. For Jim, being with his family was the most important part of his life. He always maintained a close relationship with his siblings and "Uncle Tee." His brother Leo and Uncle Tee were two of his best friends and he cherished his relationship with them. He also loved his role as the "Uber driver" for the weekly trips to lunch or breakfast. And every night, he loved to relax watching television and spending time with his puggles, Gracie and Darla. Jim was the beloved and devoted husband of Margaret “Peg” (Lane) Browne. He was the proud father of Kathy Frazier & her husband Mark of Tewksbury, Kevin & his wife Mary Lou of Wilmington, Susan Murphy & her husband John of Burlington, Tim & his wife Anne Marie of Tewksbury, Jim & his wife Meg, Tom & his wife Michelle, and Kerri Ducharme and Coleen Bellavance, all of Burlington. Brother of Claire Capistran of Peabody, Leo of Saugus, and Rita Flynn of Saugus. Jim was the grandfather of Michelle Mulvanity, Michael, Tim, & Allie Frazier, Kyle, Casey, Scott, Paul, Erin, Kelly, Colin, Katelyn, Megan, & Jillian Browne, Courtney Ricci, Kristen Fay, Ryan, Danny, & Billy Murphy, and DJ & Michael Ducharme. He was the great grandfather of Liam, Addison, & Kiera Mulvanity, Alana Frazier, Bella, Sienna, Scarlett, & Georgia Browne, Layla Fay and the soon-to-be arriving "Baby Ricci." . He was also survived by many nieces, nephews, and tons of friends. A visitation will be held at the Edward V. Sullivan Funeral Home, 43 Winn St., Burlington, (exit 34 off Rt. 128/95, Woburn side) on Thursday, Feb. 20 from 4-8 p.m. Funeral from the Sullivan Funeral Home on Friday, Feb. 21 at 9 a.m. Followed by a Mass of Christian Burial in St. Margaret Church, 111 Winn St., Burlington at 10 a.m. Services will conclude with a burial in Pine Haven Cemetery, Burlington. Memorials in Jim’s name may be made to Autism Speaks, 88 Broad St., 5th Floor, Boston, MA 02110 or www.autismspeaks.org. Family Remembrance - Tom Browne Good morning everyone and thank you all for coming here today. My father would be so humbled to see you all gathered here to honor him. Delivering this eulogy is the hardest thing I may ever do in my life. It is also the truest blessing and my biggest honor. For those of you who don’t know already, I was #6 of the 7 kids – and the youngest of the four boys. Growing up – I had a lot of role models.…but the most prominent was my father. My dad was the type of guy who could walk the line between father and friend. As his kids, we knew to never get out of line. Growing up he taught us respect. He gave us the tools that every parent is supposed to give their kids: be responsible for your actions, treat people right, respect your family…and most of all…work hard. And, as we grew up and matured, he shifted his focus to being our friend. He remained in all of our lives; and the best part for all of us – is we all welcomed it and needed it. You could call him any time to ask for advice. He would always give it. I only wish I was smart enough to have followed it every time! If you needed a hand with something around the house – he was there. It didn’t matter what it was. My dad was a doer; who always kept busy…..My mom will tell you she never once took out the trash or carried a grocery bag. Not because she couldn’t….but because he didn’t let her. Those things were his jobs. A man so strong and vibrant – was taken from us so quickly; with little warning. But the entire time he was sick, he held fast to his norm. He never complained. He took things as they came and dealt with them. He would suffer in silence. None of us in the family can ever think of a time where he was sick – beyond a cold; except for the one time he passed out during our Thanksgiving Eve piemaking tradition. It was over 8 years ago….and as a matter of fact, it is the last time my brother Jimmy ever ran! And the last time my brother Kevin ever answered a medical call. At the time, Jim and Meg and my parents lived within a block of each other. When Jimmy heard the ambulance was on the way, he took off on foot. Jimmy made it the distance of two houses before his body started to reject this little bit of exercise and his tongue hit the dirt…..but he pressed on because he knew our father was sick. Now, Jimmy would like you to believe that he looked like he was re-enacting the opening scenes of Baywatch…running to rescue a drowning victim. But, what I always picture is the Chippendale episode of Saturday Night Live with Chris Farley in a leotard. My father loved his seven kids and 21 grandchildren. Any time one of us was hurting….he hurt too. My brother Tim and his wife Anne Marie lost a baby, Maria. As anyone can imagine, the pain of losing a baby is unrivaled. To see them hurting definitely hurt him. I can only imagine that he has swept Maria up in his arms and is holding her in Heaven. She now has her time with Grampie. The 21 grandchildren left behind with the rest of us had their time with him and will cherish individual, personal memories of him that they will pass to their own children. He loved his time with all of his grandchildren and did everything he could to make each of them feel special. He had no favorites…not children; not grandchildren, nor great-grandchildren. He loved them all…..despite what any of us may try to tell you later. Of the 21 grandchildren here today, some have children of their own. My only regret is that my dad will never experience my kids’ weddings nor hold their children. My Dad will now be represented by a flower on the altar as each of them pledges their life to another. I so wish that each of my girls could dance with Grampie…to experience his grace…to hear him tell each of them to follow his lead. Whether while dancing or living – following Gramp’s lead was never a bad idea. And Courtney, do not worry …he has met your baby already and will watch over him/her just as he has all of you. Who knows? Maybe for your dad’s sake…he has determined a baby boy is finally in order! Some things in life come easy. Some do not. Any man can be a father. But being a father is not the same as being a dad. Our father was a dad…and the best dad any of us could have wanted. It seemed to come easy to him. We were the lucky 7 to have him as a father and are lucky to have experienced his influence. He cared about his wife, kids and grandkids….and all of his family. He loved his time with his brother Leo and sisters, Claire and Rita; and times spent on vacation with Uncle Tee and Irene and Loretta and Uncle Jim. We are all so happy to know that his brother and sisters got to say their goodbyes to him. I know that I have so many memories that involve him laughing, smirking and/or calling one of his kids or grandkids a “jackass.” • One of my funniest memories is the time my dad tried on a pair of green sweatpants that were 3x too small…. It didn’t matter. He paraded like a model on the catwalk out to the kitchen where me, my mother a few others saw him and nearly choked to death. I never knew it at the time, but I think he was trying out for Circque de soleil. I try to forget the mental image…. but the memory itself is priceless. And to this day, I am not sure he would see anything wrong with the pure obscenity of the situation. Or the time my mother decided she had enough of him. He was driving her crazy – so she hit him with the frying pan! He would tell you today he did not deserve it. But, I am so certain he would laugh as he said it…so I guess we all know the true score. • And my favorite part about my father is the fact that he never mastered pronunciation of the English language. For that matter...the concept of Bluetooth eluded him as well. And, even though he thought he was good at giving directions….that wasn’t his strongest quality either. The day my father passed away, we all got so many texts and calls. Each person captured the main traits of our Dad. They said “He was a great man” “A great role model” “He was so proud of all of you and his grandchildren.” All of these things are so true….and yet they don’t seem to be enough when you just say the words. But to see the outpouring of people that have come to our collective side over the past week has been nothing short of humbling. He touched so many people, even when you met him for the first time. He never took himself too seriously…and as we all know he could be silly sometimes. He loved to give Nana such a hard time ... But, as everyone knows….he loved her too! He was everything to my mother, and we now need to step up and take his place. And, there in lies his essence…because there is no person in this world, now or in the future, that could ever take his place. He was our rock….he was our friend…and he was the anchor of this family. Without him it will be tough and I cannot imagine the day will ever come that I do not obsess over his memory. But as we have looked back as a family, we have come to realize that this hurts so bad…because he was that good! Now to finish up: I like to picture my father sitting fireside in Heaven with his bucket hat on, with a glass of scotch and a cigar… sitting next to Caesar and Pepper…waiting patiently for the Browne family chain to link once again. I hope that I have made him proud – because everyone of us was so proud to be his. He will live on in our thoughts; in our expressions and interactions…and he will live on in our children and grandchildren. It doesn’t matter if your last name is Browne, Frazier, Murphy or Ducharme…we are all part of him…we are all Browne’s. And for that Dad, we are forever grateful. And our final gift to you was that we made sure you were surrounded by 26 of us who love you the most that morning God called you home. You did not die alone…. Your job on this earth is done and you have done it so well. Rest in peace now, buddy…..and we will all see you again. We love you. “Watch out now!”
Edward V. Sullivan
43 Winn Street
Burlington, MA 01803
Ph: (781) 272-0050