Irma Lee Brownlee

Published 9:24 pm Monday, August 27, 2012

Irma Lee Brownlee was born to Marie and James Arrington on Oct. 5, 1938, in Suffolk, Va. She went to New York City at an early age.

She received her associate degree in art from NYC Community College and a bachelor’s degree in deviant behavior from John Jay Criminal College in 1979. She was a member of Gethsemane Baptist Church in Brooklyn, N.Y., where she served on many ministries and committees until her health began to fail.


Irma was employed as a habitation specialist at the Brooklyn Developmental Center. Irma served as chairperson for many organizations including the Division 244, the Women’s Satellite Program at Brooklyn Developmental Center, where she organized the toy drive and the Black Caucus. Irma was a member of the Eastern Star, New York City Coalition of Labor Union Women, New York City Coalition of Black Trade Unionists, New York State Careerists and the National Negro Women. She served on the advisory Board of the 55th Assembly District and was honored by Eiseman Junior High School, contact Day Care Center and Region 11 PEF. She became president of CBCC Foster Care Program.

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Her husband, Donnie Brownlee Sr., preceded her in death. She leaves to cherish her memory her mother, Marie Arrington Sykes; six children, Allison Porter (Victor Islar), Robin Brownlee, Sharyol Brownlee, Naheama (Robert) Briggs, Shawn Brownlee, Shamel Brownlee; four children that preceded her in death, Jackie, Donnie Jr., Steven Darnell and Reginald; five sisters, Estelle Pruden, Elaine Cross, Denise Arrington, Carolyn Bess, Verlina Carroll; two brothers, Edward Arrington Jr. and Leon Carroll; 17 grandchildren; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, other relatives and friends.

A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m., Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2012, at Gethsemane Baptist Church, Brooklyn, N.Y. Funeral arrangements entrusted to Gramby Funeral Home, Bronx, N.Y. Information provided by Crocker Funeral Home Inc.