May 20, 1914 – October 31, 2012
Her father was the nation’s first dairy czar. Her husband was a widely admired author, critic and professor of English.
Eileen Larson Brady shone in both their worlds while carving a niche of her own – first as a dairy scientist and bacteriologist, then as a homemaker and mother of six, later as the matriarch of a growing clan.
At her death Wednesday night in the McAuley Residence in Kenmore, Mrs. Brady had been a Western New Yorker for 77 of her 98 years.
Born Mary Eileen Larson in State College, Pa., she grew up chiefly in Washington, D.C., where she knew her father’s boss, Calvin Coolidge, pulled taffy with her father’s friend, Herbert Hoover – and was enrolled in the country’s first Brownie troop.
She came to Buffalo in 1930 when her father, Dr. Carl W. Larson, who had been director of the American Milk Supply in Belgium and Northern France during World War I, became managing director of the General Ice Cream Corp.’s Western New York Division.
A 1932 graduate of St. Mary’s Seminary, Mrs. Brady was, at her death, the school’s oldest living graduate. She also held a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University – where she was the only female student in the dairy and bacteriology department of the College of Agriculture.
Before her marriage to Charles A. Brady, then a young professor of English at Canisius College, she headed the first home service department of the Whiting Milk Co. of Greater Boston, Mass. Mrs. Brady also did stints over the years as a dairy and nutrition consultant and as an ice cream and cheese taster, using her training in bacteriology and dietetics as a volunteer at Sisters Hospital during World War II.
For close to 58 years, she was first reader of her husband’s novels and other writings and was co-author/illustrator of one of his children’s books, “The Elephant Who Wanted to Pray.”
Half of almost every summer throughout her marriage she spent at Crescent Beach in Ontario.
She was a charter member of the board of directors of Women of Studio (later Studio Arena) Theatre, a supporter of Albright-Knox Art Gallery and a longtime season’s ticket holder for performances of the Irish Classical Theatre and the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra.
A Boston Red Sox fan for nearly eight decades, she was also an 80-year member of Delta Gamma sorority and president of its Cornell chapter her senior year in college.
After 55 years in homes in Kenmore and the Town of Tonawanda, she and her husband moved in 1992 to Buffalo, where Mrs. Brady served as a Eucharistic minister at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church.
Her husband died in 1995; a daughter, Dr. Kristin M. Brady, was killed in an auto accident in the South of France in 1998.
In 2005, Mrs. Brady moved to Alterra Wynwood of Kenmore and in 2008 to the McAuley Residence.
Survivors include three daughters, Karen Brady Borland, Moira Brady Roberts and Sheila Brady Nair, and two sons, Erik L. and Kevin C. Brady.
A memorial Mass will be offered at 10 a.m. next Saturday in Blessed Sacrament Church, 1035 Delaware Ave.