Maria Hallenbeck-Brown’s son, Christopher Hallenbeck, speaks Friday, Sept. 15, during a Mass of Christian Burial held at the Church of the Holy Spirit in Gloversville. (Dusten Rader/Express Editor)
By DUSTEN RADER
GLOVERSVILLE — The life of Maria A. Hallenbeck-Brown was celebrated Friday, Sept. 15.
The Gloversville Enlarged School District closed for the day in honor of retired teacher Hallenbeck-Brown so that area residents could attend funeral services.
Services began with a 10 a.m. Mass of Christian Burial held at the Church of the Holy Spirit on South Main Street, which is where the Maria and the Hallenbeck family attended church every Sunday. Every seat in the church was filled with an estimated more than 300 in attendance. The Rev. Donald Czelusniak celebrated Hallenbeck-Brown’s life of service and love.
“We offer condolences for your loss — it’s a big one,” Czelusniak said. “… Maria was extremely big hearted and gave her heart to others. … That spirit that she had, let it continue through you.”
The Mass also included readings of Ecclesiastes 3:1-12 by Abby Garguilo and Corinthians 13:4-14 by Diana Hallenbeck.
Hallenbeck-Brown’s son, Christopher Hallenbeck, also took to the podium to speak about how his mother was a born educator and left behind three lessons.
“When I was young I used to ask my mom: ‘Mom, what made you decide to be a teacher? And, she replied: ‘I just could never see myself doing anything else,” Christopher said. “My mother was born to be an educator, and she was greatly respected in the classroom by both her students and colleagues. Throughout her entire career, she was admired and loved for her character, personality, and friendship offered.
“My mother retired from teaching in 2016, however she is still not done teaching — the final three lessons were not scheduled to be delivered until today,” Christopher continued. “The first lesson is the shortest and easiest to remember. My mom possessed a caring personality, a genuine character and reputation for being a thoughtful and kind woman. The way that she lived her life can be described simply with the inspirational saying: ‘Think of other people before you think of yourself.’
Before the concluding prayer and recessional hymn, Brian Brown, Maria’s husband who she married in 2011, signed the Book of Life.
Following the Mass, family members gathered for burial services at Mount Carmel Cemetery in Johnstown. A reception for the public was also held at the Knights of Columbus Hall on North Main Street in Gloversville.
See the Thursday, Sept. 21, edition for an obituary.