Obituary of HELENE A BRAUN
Helene Amy (Rosenspan) Braun was born in Brooklyn, NY on February 22,1956. The middle child of Ida (Brotkin) Rosenspan and Sheldon Rosenspan. Her early life was filled with mischievous adventures (Helene and her siblings are the reason why rolls of carpets are now bolted down in stores), ice skating, reading everything she could and long walks with her beloved grandfather Louis Brotkin who often had a “Bone to pick” with her.
Helene graduated John Dewy High School and went on to attend Brooklyn College where she then met and married Lable Braun (married 1974 divorced 1989). They had two children Penelope (Pesi) Braun and Lorraine (Leyot) Braun Kalp. She instilled in her daughters the value of being resilient, creative, and curious. And a love of the unexpected.
At this time they moved from Brooklyn to Staten Island. Shortly thereafter moving to NJ. Helene lived in several cities and towns throughout the state, as well as briefly residing in Marietta, GA. Wherever she lived she made lifelong friendships. Helene loved her friends deeply.
Helene was an accomplished artist. She returned to college at the age of 29 earning an Associates Degree in Fabric Design at the Fashion Institute of Technology, Bachelors and Master of Fine Arts Degrees at Kean University. She was an avid painter in the Surrealist style winning many awards in local and state competitions. She often painted for several hours a day, with the television on in the background and a dog at her feet. When asked if she thought she would regret anything in life she always said “I didn’t paint enough”.
Helene struggled with many physical ailments from a young age. She never saw her health as a limitation. Limits and boundaries were to be pushed and challenged. She took great diligence in always following the best doctor advise she could get. When told she needed to walk everyday to reverse brain damage from seizures she took it very seriously. Often she would be on her treadmill for hours watching tv, and calling friends.
Walking included the walking of the pet dogs. At one point she would walk four dogs weighing about 100lbs more than she did. But her dogs and daughters knew her size did not matter, her prowess was mighty.
From an early age her lifelong love of animals and pets was indulged by her father. Throughout her childhood they had an array of animals including dogs, a cigar box of snakes (much to Ida’s dismay) and baby alligators. It wasn’t too hard to get Helene to say yes to a new pet. At one point the menagerie included 4 dogs, 4 birds, and 2 rabbits. Many animals were welcomed into the family and predeceased Helene. She leaves behind two dogs, Amber and Coco.
Knowledge and learning never stopped. As an older adult she learned to play several different guitars, the accordion, and mastered the piano.
Helene was thrilled to become a Grandma to Gabriella Kalp. When FaceTiming Gabriella would yell “Bye Grammy”, Helene would yell “Bye Gabby”.
Helene will be greatly missed. There will never be another like her.
Helene Amy Braun passed on July 29, 2022. She is predeceased by both her loving parents. Helene is survived by her daughters Penelope and Lorraine, her son-in law Brandon Kalp, granddaughter Gabriella Kalp, her brother Alan Rosenspan, his wife Laura Rosenspan, her sister Debbie Mandel and her husband Saul Mandel. She also leaves behind many nieces, nephews their spouses and children. And a legacy of advocating for your needs.
In lieu of flowers please donate to your favorite animal charity.