RIP Aggie Brose: tenacious Garfield advocate in memoriam
A Message from the Bloomfield-Garfield Corporation Board & Staff
Pittsburgh – In one sense, Agnes J. Brose is gone. The strong woman who, 44 years ago, co-founded the Bloomfield-Garfield Corporation, died on Wednesday, Jul. 17.
But the reality is that Aggie (on a first-name basis with her neighbors and the “powers-that-be”) is still with us, and she will forever be a part of Garfield – the neighborhood that raised her – and its evolution in the city’s East End.
Pittsburgh is famous for its distinctive neighborhoods, and the passing down of every local enclave’s lore and legend. Those who grew up in one of these little communities are familiar with the stories about its leaders, athletes, tough guys, business owners, teachers, ministers, and families of every kind – folks who give life to their histories and give each community its unique flavor.
So it is that Aggie will live on through Garfield’s lore for a very long time.
Most people will remember her as a force for good, helping to transform the community in which she had lived for decades from a hopelessly blighted area to a neighborhood filled with unlimited potential.
Aggie’s dream was to help create a community known for its diversity, one with better housing, safer streets and playgrounds, enhanced infrastructure, robust education and employment opportunities, a thriving arts district, a local grocery store and, hopefully soon, a new bank.
Those who knew Aggie best were amazed at how balanced her personality truly was. She was maternal and nurturing with family, friends, and co-workers – always willing to impart her life’s wisdom.
Yet, at the same time, she was also capable of directing outrage at the injustices she saw and the artificial limits imposed on the community by people in positions of power or influence. When she did go nose-to-nose with recalcitrant elected officials, bureaucrats, or business owners, she never stripped them of their dignity in the process.
It was a gift that enabled her to double back months or years later, and make it seem like there had never been a hard feeling or grudge of any kind in the first place. It was a graceful quality that left all of them shaking their heads. And ours, too.
May Aggie rest in peace, now that her many labors have ended.
Those who knew Aggie are encouraged to jot down their favorite Aggie stories and email them to AggieStories@gmail.com.
Check out the August 2019 Bulletin for more local stories.