John Henry Browne

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1943 - 2017
"Think where man's glory most begins and ends / And say my glory was I had such friends." -William Butler Yeats

John Henry Browne, age 73, died on Sunday, February 5th, after an intense battle with lymphoma.

A native of the Bronx, John was born on November 14, 1943 and lived his entire life in New York City. As a young man he attended St. Nicholas of Tolentine, and was a graduate of Manhattan College.

John was deeply committed to the City, its teachers, and its students. He began his career at a junior high school in the South Bronx before moving to the High School of Art and Design where he taught English for over 28 years. He also worked as an adjunct professor at LaGuardia Community College. After 32 years of public school teaching, he retired in 1999.

His second career began shortly thereafter when he joined the Teaching of English program at Teachers College, Columbia University. As a teacher educator, John mentored aspiring teachers in an office adorned with Shakespearean keepsakes. He modeled the timeless art of teaching literature and reading and had the uncommon ability to focus completely on the needs of the person before him. He is remembered for his quick wit, generosity of spirit, tall stature, and booming jovial voice. By his own estimation, the number of students he taught over nearly half a century could fill Yankee Stadium.

John's devotion to his family was bottomless. Although he received numerous professional awards and accolades they don't hold light to his immense devotion and love as an ever-present son, son-in-law, caring father, and adoring grandfather. He is survived by his two daughters, Alison Browne Beckman and Gillian Browne, their mother Lucille Browne, sons-in-law Craig Beckman and Brian Colavito, granddaughters Lilah Rose and Kaela Brynn, beloved partner of the last eight years Jonna Semeiks, and thousands of loving students, colleagues, and friends.

A wake will be held on Thursday, February 9, 2017 from 4pm to 8pm at Riverdale on The Hudson Funeral Home, and a mass will be held on Friday, February 10, 2017 at 10:30am at Saint John the Divine in Manhattan. In lieu of flowers, gifts may be sent to the TCFund and designated to financial aid in memory of John Browne, which will support scholarships for students in need.

Out, out, brief candle! You will be forever deeply missed.
Published on from Feb. 7 to Feb. 8, 2017