Obituary Details

Carmela Marie Brustofski

January 23, 1932 - August 4, 2020

Birthplace & Residence

Information withheld per family request

Viewing

Information withheld per family request

Funeral

Information withheld per family request

Cemetery

Information withheld per family request

Notes

Carmela Marie Brustofski (Marie), 88, of Raleigh, NC, passed peacefully in her sleep to join our Lord and the angels on August 4, 2020. Marie was born on January 23, 1932, the daughter of the late Silvio and Angelina Graziadei.

She grew up in Ottawa, Canada with her brothers Rocky, Tony and Lenny, and made the happiest of homes in Brooklyn, NY, Hackensack, NJ and Raleigh, NC. Marie was married to Edward Brustofski on May 4, 1957 and they were blessed with 4 boys: Lawrence, John, David, and Paul. She joins Eddie and Johnny in heaven. Her beautiful soul and light will be forever cherished by her sons, her daughter-in-law, Gayle [Paul], her ex daughter-in-law Kim [Larry], her grandchildren: Allison, Connor, Nicole [and John Thornburg], Jessica, Lauren, and her family and friends throughout the US and Canada.

A memorial service will be held at a later date TBD. In lieu of flowers, Marie would have loved it if you helped make this world a better place by contributing to a charity of your choosing. If you’d like to learn more about Marie, please see our celebration of her life on the Tribute Wall. Mom, Grandma - keep smilin’ - we love you to the moon and back!
Posted by:
Joseph Richard Smolenski
Posted on:
August 13, 2020
1 file added to the tribute wall
Posted by:
Joseph Richard Smolenski
Posted on:
August 13, 2020
1 file added to the tribute wall
Posted by:
DorothyLockett
Posted on:
August 12, 2020
Heaven is a better place because Marie is there. Her light will never dim. Please keep your arms open to greet us when we see you again. Thanks for trusting me with your precious children and for taking in little Oliver, even though you pretended that he was a bother. You didn’t fool us. I smile thinking of you. You are at peace now and we will always love you very much. Goodbye my friend for now. Dorothy
Posted by:
Melissa McCormick
Posted on:
August 12, 2020
Larry, Thank you for sharing this. I loved reading about all the things I did not know about her as I had worked with her the last two years at Litchford. She was a special, strong lady. Love and prayer to your family.
Posted by:
Jean Lorello
Posted on:
August 12, 2020
Your writing...we see her in her wonderful life. God bless you Carmela:bangbang::heart::flag-it:
Posted by:
Larry Brustofski
Posted on:
August 11, 2020
Dear family and friends,
Our beautiful Mom, Carmela Marie Graziadei (“Marie”), was born on January 23, 1932 and was reunited with our Lord peacefully in her sleep on Tuesday morning at the ripe old age of 88. Marie was born in the great Canadian city of Ottawa, Ontario, and raised with her brothers Rocky, Tony and Lenny in a large, loving, Italian (and therefore loud) family. She was a thoughtful girl, shy in many respects, but sweet as a summer day is long.
Mom seriously considered becoming a nun in her younger years, and though she was called in a different direction, she never gave up serving the Lord in her own ways.
As a kid, she would often take trips to New York City with her mother Lena to visit relatives ?for several weeks or months at a time. Those trips gave her the desire and confidence to move to New York in her 20s. Looking back at pictures of Mom at that age, she was one gorgeous young lady that we all thought had a Jackie Kennedy presence about her.
It’s no wonder that a former Air Force Staff Sergeant who served in the Korean war, Eddie Brustofski, fell head over heels for her when she walked into National Color Studios (where Dad worked at the time) looking for employment. Eddie and Marie got married soon thereafter and made the happiest of homes in Brooklyn, NY, Hackensack, NJ and Raleigh, NC over the years.?
Mom was a gifted and prolific artist. She was trained in Paris while working as an au pair, but was mostly self-taught. Much of her earlier work was in charcoals, but over the years, she developed a love for watercolors, which allowed her to interpret and express the subtle beauty of a landscape, a vase, a flower, a face. In many of Mom’s portraits, her subjects look deep in thought and always at peace, as if Mom were projecting her own feelings onto the subject.
And what do you get when you put a proud Polack together with an adorable little Italian girl? Well, it started with a lot of passion – 4 boys in 5 years - enough said on that topic. Dad and Mom even visited the priest asking for counsel on how to keep it to four (Larry, John, David and Paul). They didn’t get the answer they were looking for, but somehow God answered their prayer. Like many marriages, there were arguments, and many times when our Mom and Dad’s love for one another was tested. But mostly there were fun times - family vacations to Luray Caverns in Virginia, Maids of the Mist boat rides at Niagara Falls, sleepovers with our friends, or even just a Planet of the Apes movie at the local drive-in theater, watching from the back of our red station wagon filled with pillows, blankets, snacks and kids. Mom always put her children first, above all else, even while chasing us with the wooden spoon yelling “wait ‘til your father comes home!” And through it all, Mom and Dad kept it between the buoys and taught us all the true meaning of “through better or worse”.?
We will always have the fondest memories of our family trips to Montreal and Ottawa to visit Arnie and Lorraine and their kids, her loving cousins up North, and mom’s best friends growing up. Great times with wonderful family, and we can remember Mom’s million-dollar smile and infectious laugh after a glass or two of wine sharing stories by the lake or poolside (yes, they have pools in Canada). Our Mom loved life and laughed a lot, but she laughed the hardest when around the Graziadeis, whom she affectionately referred to as the “Crazy-adeis”....
Part 1 of 3
Posted by:
Larry Brustofski
Posted on:
August 11, 2020
Mom was truly a trailblazer and inspiration to so many she knew. From Yoga to Transcendental Meditation, new-age healing, light therapy, and modern jazz music, long before they were in fashion. Mom was a devout catholic, but more than anything, in touch with her own spirituality. She was open to all religions and an avid reader of books on healing, love, faith, and teachings from the Dalai Lama to Mother Teresa, Jim Goure, and Anne Frank. She would host large groups at our house that would often include spiritual readings, meditation sessions, and, of course, food. Not many houses in the quiet New Jersey suburbs were so alive with such rich viewpoints and diversity.
Mom would not just pray for her family and friends. She would pray for the poor and hungry in less fortunate countries and for years she sponsored various children that we would follow through pictures and letters. She would pray to end wars, stop famine, and heal the sick. She would pray for those she loved, and those she never met but just needed a prayer, so she probably prayed for you! Over the last few years, Mom could often be found reading the bible, and would tell us “everything you need to know about Jesus is in the book of John.” Mom would often put the image of light around people in difficult circumstances. And there were many times when our family looked to Mom for a little dose of that light - God’s light - when we were in need of a prayer, even if it was just to help our kids get through a tough final exam. Somehow things always turned out alright.
?Oh, and did Mom love music! From jazz (Miles, Dizzy, Gilberto, Brubeck, Getz) to the great singers of the American songbook (Ella, Sinatra, Bennett, Lady Day). Our family grew up listening to the sounds of WNEW am radio (The Make-Believe Ballroom hosted by William B. Williams) and LPs on an enormous console record player (which we called the stereo). Music was a big part of Mom’s life, and she would tell us stories of her uncle Danny Alvin, an accomplished drummer in the Dixieland Jazz days of Chicago, and the harp she and others played that would fill her childhood home with beautiful melodies.
?Amid raising four rambunctious boys, Mom always found the time to cook a big gourmet meal to bring the family (and usually guests) together every night. We will miss her stews, soups, sauces, gravy, pasta, meatballs, roasts, pecan pies, lasagna, and so much more. She probably could have been a top chef in the restaurant industry, but thankfully our family hired her first. Lucky for us, she wrote down many of her secrets and we look forward to bringing back some of our favorites and keeping good food a part of our family traditions. We are sure that Heaven is clearing a space at the stove because one heck of a cook has just arrived.
?Amazingly, Marie did all this while battling depression. Mom was bipolar back in the days when it really didn’t have a name or any proven forms of treatment. So for many years she just had to ride the roller coaster of emotions that came along with it and do her best to cope. From the manic highs to the lowest of lows. Periods of euphoric creativity to times where she needed full time care at a clinic to get her through the days and our own au pair and close family friend, Dorothy, would help to take care of us. Looking back Mom, you handled it with such grace, which taught us all how to deal with difficult circumstances in life and always show compassion to others ...
?Part 2 of 3
Posted by:
Larry Brustofski
Posted on:
August 11, 2020
Mom never drove a car, but that didn’t stop her from exploring and enjoying all the cultural and culinary bounties where she lived. In New Jersey, that meant frequent bus trips to New York City with her friends to take in some live music, a museum and a cafe. In North Carolina, Mom and Dad would often visit her mountain property in Swannanoa, the coastal towns, farmer’s market, the museum of art and countless day trips to places of interest.
?Mom treasured her time with her grandchildren – Nicole, Jessica and Lauren (Paul and Gayle), and Allison and Connor (Larry and Kim) – all now in their 20s. She was always so patient with them, and loved teaching them to draw, color and paint, or just holding their hands on a walk to the park and cooking them big family meals. Mom loved her long lively talks with Kim, and her visits from Gayle during her stay at Litchford Falls, especially the brown bread that Gayle baked that Mom would say is the best bread she ever had.
?Mom, looking back at the photos of us growing up makes us want to jump into the picture frame and give you a great big hug like we used to do. So many warm, happy memories with you, Dad, family and friends. We will treasure those pictures and those memories forever. ?Mom, at this time, and always, may you be surrounded by God’s love and light – but just fyi, we will continue to look to you to send a little light our way when we are in a pinch.
?So please hold a spot for us at the table, Mom. We look forward to catching up and having a good laugh over a bowl of your Italian sauce and meatballs with angel hair pasta. And speaking of angels, you will always be our angel, our guardian angel, and don’t ever forget it. In closing Mom, remember what we used to say when we were those little bunums (as grandma called us) running around the house in our matching PJs . . . “We love you to the moon and back!“
Part 3 of 3
Report This Comment
Let us know why you would like to report this Comment.
Your report will be kept anonymous

Viewing

Unknown Location

Funeral

Unknown Location

Cemetery

Unknown Location