Alma Brown-Keller entered her eternal home on March 8 at age 98 in Honesdale, PA. Alma was born in Washington D.C. to Harry Brown Sr. of Brooklyn, NY and Margaret Reed Brown of Washington D.C. Her father was a WWI disabled veteran. Alma was raised in Brooklyn, NY and attended Girls Commercial High School where she became an expert seamstress. Alma’s first job was with the Sunshine Bisquit Company. She then worked for the Singer Sewing Machine Company, teaching customers how to use the latest models and giving sewing lessons. Alma then became a long-distance operator for AT&T. She also worked part time as a florist. After Alma retired from AT&T at age 40, she moved to Lackawaxen, PA.
Her property, which borders the Roebling Bridge, was overgrown, hiding her 1875 house from the road. She cleared the land, saved the apple orchard, planted a vegetable garden, built a chicken coop and a two-seater outhouse. Alma surrounded her property with flower beds that were recognized by the garden society. Alma was a 4-H sewing instructor. Many of her students became expert seamstresses and won ribbons at the Pike County Fair. Alma won ribbons for her apple pies. She later started to volunteer at the firehouse as an ambulance EMT. It was then that the need for a Senior Center and Meals on Wheels was realized. After many volunteer hours, the Pike County Agency on Aging hired Alma to manage both programs.
After retiring from the senior center, Alma bought a condo in Florida and spent her winters there near family. Alma’s first husband, James Willis, died in 1986. Her second husband, John Keller, died in 2001. Her brother Harry Brown Jr. died in 2004. Her sister, Bertie Lou Matses, and brother, Richard Brown, are living in Florida.
A memorial service on her property with a luncheon to follow at the firehouse will be held later this year. Alma, a devout Roman Catholic, will also have a Memorial Mass when the churches are allowed to reopen. Her family is requesting donations in honor of Alma be made to the Lackawaxen Volunteer Fire Deptartment and the Pike County Agency on Aging.
Funeral arrangements are under the care of the Harrison Rasmussen Funeral Home, Barryville, NY, 845/557-8010.