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Beulah L. Brown

November 13, 1933 ~ October 31, 2022 (age 88) 88 Years Old
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Obituary

Beulah Louise Brown, better known as “Bootsie,” was born to the late Thelma A. Stoner and William A. Burwell II on November 13, 1933. Bootsie was one of three children, and was the middle child in between two brothers, Sonny and Buck. A native to South Philadelphia, Beulah loved playing sports. Growing up, she played pick up games with her brothers and neighbors, and would beat everyone on the courts, especially the boys! She was educated in the Philadelphia Public School District and attended Barrett Junior High School and South Philadelphia High School (Southern). She also attended Settlement Music School where she sang and learned how to play the piano. During her time at Southern, she was a star player on their girls varsity basketball team, averaging 17 points per game, and excelled academically. Her favorite subject was English. It was also at Southern where she met the love of her life, John “Lacy'” Brown.

 

Bootsie’s talent and love for sports extended beyond being an avid basketball player, as she built a reputation in South Philly for coaching as well. She coached a number of teams in the Bill Berry League, and served as the Head Coach for the Annunciation Girls Basketball Team. Bootsie excelled in softball too, and played in various leagues throughout her youth and adult years. One afternoon, a dear family friend named Portee Williams pitched Bootsie a fast ball that she hit far out beyond the schoolyard and over the roof! This is a story she recounted often, even up to her final days, and laughed about it recently with Portee a month before she transitioned.

 

As Bootsie and Lacy both shared a love for sports, they also shared a love for each other. On March 13, 1951, they joined in Holy Matrimony, and from this union of 61 years came six children: John “Skip”, Royal “Gene”, Thelma, Elizabeth “Pooh”, Maria “Ree”, Robert, and an adopted son, Paul Barksdale.

 

Bootsie had a generous spirit. Her love for her children and grandchildren was beyond measure, as she was a fierce advocate and protector. She poured into them with everything she had, and played an influential and impactful role in raising multiple generations of her family. She would often say that she dedicated her life to them so they could thrive at best, and at bare minimum, be ok. She was affectionately known as “GeeMom” to her grandchildren. Bootsie was known to give great advice, she didn’t hold back punches, was quick witted, and always said the things that were difficult to say but everyone needed to hear. Bootsie loved to sing and cook for her family, as her dinner rolls and Christmas cookies are famous! She used to be a Pittsburgh Steelers fan but switched to loving the Green Bay Packers. She also loved watching westerns, Jeopardy, tennis, baseball, and college and women’s basketball.

 

Bootsie was preceded in death by her parents, brothers and husband, Lacy, but leaves to cherish her memory and continue her legacy, her six children: John “Skip” (Alita), Royal “Gene”, Thelma Wright, Elizabeth “Pooh”, Maria “Ree”, Robert, and an adopted son, Paul Barksdale; fifteen grandchildren: John, Kimberly, Brian, Erinn, Ineeta, Jonathan, Jackiem, Jessica (Oscar), Lacy (Lizette), Eugena (Khoury), Royal-Loren (Joe), Taniqua, Imani, Robin, and Damien; 15 and ½ great grandchildren: Johnyta, Kiara, Terrell, Conchetta, Siani, Ciani, Cameron, Christian, Christopher, Carinne, Lluvia, Beau, Luna, Hendrix, Sonny and soon to be Baby Cooper; Her closest friend, Jeannette Bordon; And a whole village extended family members, friends and neighbors.

Beulah Louise Brown, better known as “Bootsie,” was born to the late Thelma A. Stoner and William A. Burwell II on November 13, 1933. Bootsie was one of three children, and was the middle child in between two brothers, Sonny and Buck. A native to South Philadelphia, Beulah loved playing sports. Growing up, she played pick up games with her brothers and neighbors, and would beat everyone on the courts, especially the boys! She was educated in the Philadelphia Public School District and attended Barrett Junior High School and South Philadelphia High School (Southern). She also attended Settlement Music School where she sang and learned how to play the piano. During her time at Southern, she was a star player on their girls varsity basketball team, averaging 17 points per game, and excelled academically. Her favorite subject was English. It was also at Southern where she met the love of her life, John “Lacy'” Brown.

 

Bootsie’s talent and love for sports extended beyond being an avid basketball player, as she built a reputation in South Philly for coaching as well. She coached a number of teams in the Bill Berry League, and served as the Head Coach for the Annunciation Girls Basketball Team. Bootsie excelled in softball too, and played in various leagues throughout her youth and adult years. One afternoon, a dear family friend named Portee Williams pitched Bootsie a fast ball that she hit far out beyond the schoolyard and over the roof! This is a story she recounted often, even up to her final days, and laughed about it recently with Portee a month before she transitioned.

 

As Bootsie and Lacy both shared a love for sports, they also shared a love for each other. On March 13, 1951, they joined in Holy Matrimony, and from this union of 61 years came six children: John “Skip”, Royal “Gene”, Thelma, Elizabeth “Pooh”, Maria “Ree”, Robert, and an adopted son, Paul Barksdale.

 

Bootsie had a generous spirit. Her love for her children and grandchildren was beyond measure, as she was a fierce advocate and protector. She poured into them with everything she had, and played an influential and impactful role in raising multiple generations of her family. She would often say that she dedicated her life to them so they could thrive at best, and at bare minimum, be ok. She was affectionately known as “GeeMom” to her grandchildren. Bootsie was known to give great advice, she didn’t hold back punches, was quick witted, and always said the things that were difficult to say but everyone needed to hear. Bootsie loved to sing and cook for her family, as her dinner rolls and Christmas cookies are famous! She used to be a Pittsburgh Steelers fan but switched to loving the Green Bay Packers. She also loved watching westerns, Jeopardy, tennis, baseball, and college and women’s basketball.

 

Bootsie was preceded in death by her parents, brothers and husband, Lacy, but leaves to cherish her memory and continue her legacy, her six children: John “Skip” (Alita), Royal “Gene”, Thelma Wright, Elizabeth “Pooh”, Maria “Ree”, Robert, and an adopted son, Paul Barksdale; fifteen grandchildren: John, Kimberly, Brian, Erinn, Ineeta, Jonathan, Jackiem, Jessica (Oscar), Lacy (Lizette), Eugena (Khoury), Royal-Loren (Joe), Taniqua, Imani, Robin, and Damien; 15 and ½ great grandchildren: Johnyta, Kiara, Terrell, Conchetta, Siani, Ciani, Cameron, Christian, Christopher, Carinne, Lluvia, Beau, Luna, Hendrix, Sonny and soon to be Baby Cooper; Her closest friend, Jeannette Bordon; And a whole village extended family members, friends and neighbors.

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Services

Public Viewing
Thursday
November 10, 2022

9:00 AM to 10:00 AM
National Shrine of St. Rita of Cascia
1166 S. Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19146

Funeral Mass
Thursday
November 10, 2022

10:00 AM
National Shrine of St. Rita of Cascia
1166 S. Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19146

Interment

Ivy Hill Cemetery
1201 Easton Rd
Philadelphia, PA 19150

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In Loving Memory Of

Beulah Brown

November 13, 1933-October 31, 2022




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