Thomasina Brayboy passed away peacefully at home on January 25th, 2022. A longtime Montclair, NJ resident, Tommy was born in Camden SC. She attended Mather Academy, Camden and Bennett College, Greensboro SC and was awarded a Master’s in Teaching from Boston University.
Tommy married Dr. Thomas Brayboy in 1961. This made for a cozy extended family as her sister Jeanne Martin Brayboy of Charlotte NC was already married to Dr. Jack S. Brayboy Jr., Tom’s brother. She immediately became mother to Tom’s daughters Beth and Patty, and later had a son, Martin. She was a fabulous mother and excellent cook, whose recipes were greatly in demand.
Tommy was a beloved elementary school teacher at Montclair Kimberley Academy for 25 years, where she helped implement the merger of Brookside, The Kimberley School, and Montclair Academy, and made numerous lifelong friends among the faculty and staff.
An accomplished singer, she traveled the country in college as part of Bennett’s College choir. More recently, she sang for many years in the Montclair First Congregational church choir, and also the Oratorio Society of NJ.
After retiring from teaching, she became a docent at the Montclair Art Museum, and introduced many groups of school children and adults to art. She was known for her encyclopedic knowledge of artists and how they influenced one another’s artistic development.
Tommy was an enthusiastic member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Inc. sorority and The National Smart Set and The Links, Inc. national and civic organizations respectively, whose members continued to provide support to her long after she was able to attend meetings.
She was very much a world traveler, having visited Britain, France, Italy, Greece, Ireland, Hong Kong, India, Nepal and China. Through her docent work, she also visited Cuba on a cultural exchange, long before travel there re-opened.
Befitting her role as an educator, Tommy was skilled at all things having to do with vocabulary, was a tough Scrabble competitor, and someone who relished completing a Sunday New York Times crossword puzzle without help.
She was predeceased by her parents John Wendell Martin and June Singleton Martin, as well as her husband Dr. Thomas Brayboy, and is survived by her sister Jeanne Martin Brayboy of Charlotte, NC, daughters Beth Brayboy-Andrews (Brent Andrews) of Freehold, NJ and Patricia Singleton of Levittown PA, and son Martin Brayboy (Elizabeth Gaines Brayboy) of Harwinton CT. Her children would like to thank her dedicated caregivers who were excellent companions in her last years.
In lieu of flowers, donations to the Montclair Art Museum, 3 South Mountain Ave Montclair, NJ 07042, or the First Congregational Church, 40 S Fullerton Ave Montclair, NJ 07042 would be greatly appreciated. A Celebration of Life will be scheduled for a future date.
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