Jeanne Davis Brody, Gedney Farms resident since 1954, passed away doing what she loved most: taking a nap, on Friday morning, February 11th – 3 weeks past her 99th birthday. In addition to being a beloved doctor’s wife, mother of three, and grandmother, Jeanne early on established herself as a kind of rebel-spirit, in several of her life’s passions. Self-described from childhood as a tomboy, Jeanne started an all-women’s softball team who practiced and played at Gedney Fields (published in The Journal News/Reporter Dispatch, 1960s). With a select group of daring parents, Jeanne performed in school shows. She belly-danced at Ridgeway Elementary, and was featured in musicals at Eastview Junior High in the early ’60s, directed by celebrated music teacher Gene Bissell, whose productions drew enthusiastic crowds. Jeanne often appeared in her tennis whites, played competitive doubles and paddle-tennis, at Gedney Courts and her favorite club, Armonk Tennis, where she continued as a member even after giving up active playing, well into her 90s, loving to spend time at the club’s outdoor pool with friends and grandchildren.
After her husband Dr. Selwyn Brody’s death in 2004, Jeanne lived happily and independently for 15 years. Inevitably, she struggled with the hardships of old age. She reluctantly gave up driving at 93. Her oldest daughter, Patricia, returned from NYC to her childhood home to care for her mother, with the help of Patricia’s husband, Tom Kostro, and their three children, who considered it their part-time job to care for beloved Grandma. Even in the hardest times, including surviving COVID-19 (pre-vaccine), Jeanne was brave, bold, and strong. She continued to climb the full flight of stairs in her home, and kept her unique sense of humor, to her last days. A huge debt of gratitude is owed to the LPNs and aids who assisted Jeanne and helped her family to keep their loved one at home.
Remarkably, Mrs. Brody rejoined the professional workforce at the age of 73, becoming an award-winning Parent-Child Home Visitor in the Westchester Jewish Community Services Parent Child Home Program. She worked for WJCS for over 13 years. A lifelong animal lover, she then volunteered at the Armonk Animal Rescue.
Jeanne Marjorie Davis was born January 16, 1923, to Morton I. Davis and Elsie Schwartz Davis, in Far Rockaway, NY, and raised in Manhattan. She attended Ethical Culture and Fieldston Schools. In her teens, she spent summers on a ranch in Arizona, where she fell in love with cowboys and horses, her own horse she named, “Taxi.” She graduated from Smith College in 1945, having taken a year off to marry her college sweetheart, Lieutenant Fred Carey, whose plane went down at the end of World War II. During her 20s, Jeanne worked as a stewardess for American Airlines, flying DC-7s for the eight-hour trip to Chicago.
Later, through a mutual psychiatrist friend, Jeanne met Selwyn Brody, a psychiatrist from Nova Scotia, living and practicing in New York City. The couple married Aug. 5, 1948, three months after meeting, and sailed to Europe on the Queen Mary for their honeymoon. They resided in New York City until the birth of their third child, then moved to Gedney Farms, White Plains. Their children would agree, they were not the typical suburban couple. They preferred to travel off the beaten path, from Morocco to Sicily, chose not to join exclusive country clubs, and rarely bought new cars – although Mrs. Brody was well remembered in her neighborhood and community for driving in her bright red Mustang convertible, top-down, her blonde ponytail flying in the wind.
Mrs. Brody is pre-deceased by her husband Dr. Selwyn Brody, her brother Morton I. “Buddy” Davis Jr, and her son-in-law, Nick Camp. She is survived by her children, Patricia Brody, MSW (NY), Jill Brody, MD (RI), and Thomas Brody, MS (MA); her son-in-law Tom Kostro; grandchildren Zak, Katrina and Cody Kostro, and Michael and Sabrina Camp. The Brody family extends profound gratitude to five amazing women for expert, life-extending care: Thank you Janise, Grace, Earline, Carmen and Dorothy, for helping us keep Mom in her own home. Jeanne is also survived by her beloved cats, Sammy and Daisy, who miss her so much.