Carmela Marie Brustofski

January 23, 1932 - August 04, 2020

Obituary for Carmela Marie Brustofski

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!

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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. Its 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 Moms 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 - eno
- Larry Brustofski
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 didnt 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
- DorothyLockett
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- Joseph Richard Smolenski
1 file added to the tribute wall
- Joseph Richard Smolenski
Your writing...we see her in her wonderful life. God bless you Carmela:bangbang::heart::flag-it:
- Jean Lorello
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.
- Melissa McCormick
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 - Gods 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 Moms life, and she would tell us stories of her uncle Da
- Larry Brustofski
Mom never drove a car, but that didnt 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, farmers 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 Gods 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 dont 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
- Larry Brustofski

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