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June 20, 2013


Well-Known & Longtime Montclair Resident Passed on March 23rd

(Newark, NJ) – The late Alonzo “Lonnie” Brandon, Sr., of Montclair was remembered by the Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders when members of his family were invited by Freeholder Brendan Gill to attend a presentation in his honor during the Board’s Wednesday, June 19th, meeting held at Montclair Town Hall.  Freeholder Gill, a Montclair resident himself, presented the Board’s In Memoriam commendation to Mr. Brandon’s widow, Naomi, who was accompanied by a large contingent of Brandon Family members.

Naomi Brandon, the widow of the late Alonzo Brandon, Sr., is joined by her son, Alonzo “Lonnie” Brandon, Jr., and members of her family during a presentation in her husband’s memory sponsored by Freeholder Brendan Gill (right) during the Freeholder Board’s Wednesday, June 19th, meeting held at Montclair Town Hall.  (Photo by Glen Frieson)

The late Lonnie Brandon was born on May 12, 1924, and raised by his grandmother, a former slave, in Halifax, Virginia.  He left school after only one year of high school in order to go to work to help support a large extended family, before enlisting in the U. S. Army in 1943 to serve his country during World War II in England and France as a member of the Quartermaster Corps.  Following the War, he lived in Philadelphia before relocating to Montclair where he met and married his wife, Naomi (nee Booker), in 1949, and where they raised their family of three sons (Lonnie, Jr., Barry and Craig) and one daughter (Roslyn).  Mr. Brandon, a man of keen intellect, a quick and sharp wit, and a wry sense of humor, enjoyed a 35-year career with the Singer Sewing Machine Co. of Elizabeth until his retirement in 1982.

“This marks 3 months to the day that we lost Lonnie Brandon, Sr., who was a neighbor and role model for our township and all of its communities”, said Freeholder Gill.  “He chose to make Montclair his home; he saw something special about our town, a place where he could live, work and start a family, which he did once he met Naomi Booker… and over the next 60+ years, he was able to touch the lives of all who passed him by; children, elected officials, teachers and community leaders, from the day he moved here until the day he passed from this life on Saturday, March 23rd, 2013, at the age of 88.”  Gill went on to say, “It is my honor to present this proclamation to the family of Lonnie Brandon, who I would also like to thank for all that our community gained thanks to their father and grandfather, and our friend, the late, great Lonnie Brandon, Sr.”

“I want to thank the Freeholders for this award… we appreciate it very much”, said Naomi Brandon, Alonzo, Sr.’s widow, who added, “I grew up in this town, went to all the schools here, and I don’t want to live any place else.  This is home, and it has always been my home, and I appreciate everything everyone has done for us.”

Lonnie Brandon, Jr., who formerly served as Montclair’s Director of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs, introduced all the family members present, including his mother, Naomi, his brothers, Barry and Craig, and his sister, Roslyn, who was accompanied by her husband Roger Terry, a former Montclair Councilor-At-Large, Deputy Mayor and Deputy Police Chief.  He concluded the ceremony by saying, “I have just one last thing I would like to add, and this is for my father, who never, ever wanted any kind of public recognition, he actually would run away from it… so, Pop, we want you to know that we got you!”

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For Additional Information:
Gary Kroessig, Public Information
Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders




Board of Chosen Freeholders, County of Essex
Hall of Records - Room 558, 465 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Blvd., Newark, New Jersey 07102
Tel: (973) 621-4486 Fax: (973) 621-5695