An outpouring of love was shown to the family of the late Queens District Attorney Richard Brown today at his funeral service. Brown, 86, died last Friday. He served as Queens’ prosecutor for 27 years.
On Tuesday, dozens gathered to bid their final farewell to the longtime prosecutor at The Reform Temple of Forest Hills including Mayor Bill de Blasio and former mayors Michael Bloomberg and David Dinkins, Police Commissioner James O’Neill, and Queens Borough President Melinda Katz.
“The city is united in grief and mourning and in appreciation of a great man that has given us 28 years as district attorney of this borough,” said de Blasio. “When we celebrate the progress of this city, he is one of the architects of that progress. When we think how much has changed for the better, he was one of those change-makers.”
Presiding over the funeral was Rabbi Mark Kaiserman.
“In our sadness of the recent passing of Judge Brown, we bring our collective and overwhelming broken hearts together to find strength and inspiration from his life,” said Kaiserman. “The family suggested that one way to pay tribute to the judge’s life is to make a donation to the West Point Jewish Chapel Fund.”
Brown, who passed away last week, leaves behind his wife of 59 years Rhoda Brown, his three children Karen, Todd and Lynn, and his two beloved granddaughters Leah and Alana, both members of the U.S. Military Academy West Point.
Representing the Queens District Attorney’s Office at the service was Chief ADA John Ryan.
“The DA was very proud of his family,” said Ryan. “We all know how proud he was of his grandchildren. You could not walk into that office without seeing a picture [of them]. When Leah was accepted into West Point his pride beamed. The pride that the DA had when Alana got accepted to West Point was unbelievable.”
Leah will be graduating from West Point this year and Alana will officially join the academy in September, according to the DA’s office.
As Ryan commemorated Brown, Leah and Alana were presented flags that once flew over the World Trade Center and certificates for their future service to their country.
Bruce Foodman, the father of Leah and Alana and Brown’s son-in-law, spoke on behalf of their family.
“Nothing made Richard more proud than his granddaughters choosing to follow in his footsteps by choosing a career in public service and knowing his legacy will go on,” said Foodman.
Foodman also acknowledged his mother-in-law during the ceremony.
“There would be no DA Richard A. Brown without his wife of 60 years Rhoda Brown,” said Foodman. “Without question, Rhoda created an environment which Richard can thrive, in which he could prosper and achieve the limitless goals he could pursue.”