Albert Joseph Brown Jr., 86
Albert Joseph Brown Jr., 86
Albert Joseph Brown Jr., 86, of Latham, died Nov. 15.  

A longtime Loudonville resident, Brown was born on Dec. 18, 1934, in Cohoes, the son of the late Pauline Kopcza and Albert J. Brown Sr. He was raised in Cohoes and Crescent and helped build and run his parents’ service station at the foot of the Crescent Bridge. At his parents’ urging, he focused on education, graduating from Christian Brothers Academy in Albany as Lieutenant Colonel in 1953 and becoming the first in his family to earn a college degree when he graduated from Manhattan College in 1957.

Thanks to a blind date in college arranged by his best friend, Paul Cooney, and his then-girlfriend (now wife), Phyllis, Brown met the love of his life, Susan Elizabeth Gladding. It was a match that thrived for 61 years; the couple was married at St. Vincent de Paul Church in Albany on Feb. 7, 1959. She predeceased him in 2020.

After serving in the U.S. Army, Brown began a distinguished 33-year career with National Commercial Bank and Trust Co., known today as KeyBank/KeyCorp. Brown was appointed president of KeyBank of Southeastern N.Y. in 1977, and in 1981, was promoted to executive vice president of KeyCorp in Albany. He founded Key Mortgage Funding, serving as its first president and CEO, and as chairman of KeyBank USA. He also authored three industry books on banking and was a mentor to many banking professionals.

In retirement, Brown founded The Belvedere Group banking consultancy, authored children’s books on the importance of kindness and wrote a regular column for the Albany Business Review for several years. Brown and his wife later divided their time between Loudonville and Davenport, Fla.

Brown devoted his time and resources to a wide range of educational, religious, community and philanthropic pursuits. He served as chairman of the board of Maria College in Albany, Child Find of America and the Oneonta Community Chest, as well as director of the St. Joseph’s Housing Corp., in Albany, president of the Albany Diocesan School Board, and as a member of the La Salle Institute Board of Trustees in Troy, where he co-chaired a major capital campaign in the late 1990s.  

Lifelong advocates of Catholic education, Brown and his wife supported numerous school programs in the Diocese, including two libraries and countless books donated in memory of their cherished daughter, Catherine Mary Brown, who died in 1969. In 2001, Brown was awarded the St. John Neumann Award for support of Catholic School Education, and in 2010, the Albany Diocese honored Brown and his wife for their years of dedicated support of Catholic education with its Beacon of Hope award. They sponsored tuition and the building of homes for children in Kenya and many other projects for organizations in the Albany and Orlando dioceses, including Mercy House in Albany, Community Maternity Services/Farano Center for Children, CBA, La Salle, Manhattan College, The College of St. Rose and the Beta Center in Orlando, Fla.

Brown was a longtime parishioner and trustee of St. Pius X Church in Loudonville, where as Parish Council president he led a major capital campaign to update and expand the church and school. It was at St. Pius where he formed a lasting friendship with the late Father Michael Farano that was built on vision, faith and wit.

Brown was a member of the Albany Country Club and always enjoyed a round of golf with his children, sons-in-law and grandchildren. An artist and tinkerer at heart, he regularly constructed and painted custom dollhouses for his children and grandchildren, as well as the Sunshine Foundation Dream Village for children in Davenport.

Brown spent his final years beside his beloved wife, providing an example of love, devotion and tender care that touched all who knew him. He is survived by nine children:  Margaret Brown of Cohoes, Patricia Derocher (Bob) of Loudonville, Jennifer Horn (Bill) of York Harbor, Me., Cynthia Brandolini (Joe) of Gastonia, N.C., Matthew Brown (Julie) of Harrington Park, N.J., Anita Mahon (Ken) of Budd Lake, N.J., Andrew Brown (Julie) of Pearl River, N.Y., Carolyn Ustin (Mark) of Albany, and Elizabeth Goyette (late Chris) of Latham; two sisters, Marleen Riley (late Jim) of Penfield, N.Y., and Judy Cox (Terry) of Edgewater, Fla.; a brother, Bill Brown (MaryLou) of Rochester, N.Y.; sisters-in-law, Frances Gladding (late Dick) of Clifton Park and Mary Gladding (late Bill) of West Sand Lake; 34 grandchildren, Kailey Hicks (Eric), Catherine Brandolini, Patrick Derocher (Will), Michael Brandolini, James Horn (Katie), Timothy Derocher (Jess), Tho­mas Horn, Alexis Richards, David Brandolini, Rosemary Derocher, Allison Brown Forrester (Neil), Zacchaeus Horn, Matthew Richards, Jefferson Horn, Elizabeth Brandolini Caulley (Ryan), Justin Brown, Megan Mahon, Nicholas Brown, Daniel Derocher, Mikael Brown, Susan Brandolini, Andrew Brown, Kristen Brown, Emily Mahon, Theresa Brandolini, Grace Ustin, Liam Brown, Anna Ustin, Peter Goy­ette, Miriam Ustin, Stephen Goyette, Brendan Goyette, Owen Goyette, and Sarah Goy­ette; four great-grandchildren, Hunter Hicks, Otto Hicks, Logan Horn, and Blake Horn; and many nieces and nephews. 
A Mass of Christian Burial was held Nov. 18 in St. Pius X Church, with interment in St. Mary’s Cemetery in Waterford. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Farano Center for Children via Catholic Charities-Community Maternity Services at www.cccms.org or St. Catherine’s Center for Children at www.st-cath.org.