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Dorothy L. Brown, social worker, block club leader

July 14, 1948 – Feb. 3, 2016

Dorothy L. Brown, a retired youth social worker and former president of the Cambridge Avenue Block Club, died Wednesday in Sisters of Charity Hospital, St. Joseph Campus, in Cheektowaga, after a lengthy illness. She was 67.

Born Dorothy L. Perry in Demopolis, Ala., she moved to Buffalo as a child with her family. She was a graduate of East High School and the University of Buffalo, where she studied computer science. Mrs. Brown worked briefly for the Buffalo Public Schools before being hired at Westinghouse Credit Corp., where she spent 17 years. She later was employed by Erie County as a youth social worker at the county’s youth detention center on East Ferry Street, where she worked 12 years until her retirement. Later, she worked as a licensed private investigator, often doing contract work for area attorneys.

Mrs. Brown maintained a connection with the detention center and its youth by providing short-term foster care in her home for hundreds of children over nine years. Many of the foster children assigned to her by family court had spent some time at the detention center.

“They loved her. Her personality was so bright and so welcoming and so warm,” said Mrs. Brown’s daughter, Martina Brown. “Many of them still remained in contact with her,”

Mrs. Brown, who lived for many years on Cambridge Avenue, was active in her neighborhood of close-knit residents. In addition to serving as president of the block club, she served on the board of trustees for the Delavan and Grider Council and on the board of the Masten Block Coalition.

“She loved helping people. She was just a community activist,” her daughter said. “She would clean up the streets. It was her street and she wanted to keep it clean and keep riffraff off of it.”

In addition to her daughter, survivors include her husband of 48 years, Marvin; two sons, Sylvester Johnson and DeMario Brown; two sisters, Ada Pope and Beverly Davis; and a brother, Bruce Perry.

A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday in Love Alive Fellowship Church. 145 Lewis St., immediately following a wake from 9:30 to 11 a.m.