Erwin "Johnny" Brabaw

Obituary of Erwin "Johnny" Brabaw

Erwin "Johnny" Brabaw passed away surrounded by his loving family at his home on August 14, 2020 after a battle with esophageal cancer. He was 77 years old. Born in Pyrites, New York on March 11, 1943, Johnny was the son of the late Merwin and Fern (Dafoe) Brabaw. He attended school in Pyrites and Canton before pursuing a career in construction where he rose to the level of foreman. As a man with a true entrepreneurial spirit, he later ran three family businesses (a dairy farm, Brabaw's General Store, and with his son Stuart, SJB Firewood and Logging) before working for St Lawrence-Lewis BOCES until his retirement. Johnny married Regina (Hendrick) on February 18, 1972 and the couple shared 48 years of marriage. He is survived by his wife, his beloved dog Corky, and his five children: John (Brenda) of Texas, Kimberly (Calvin) Hayes of Alabama, Stuart (Sherry) of West Hermon, Lisa (Mark Salisbury and formerly Robert) Gotham of Pulaski, and Janice of DeKalb Junction. Johnny is also survived by 13 grandchildren and 22 great grandchildren (with one on the way). Two sisters, Gloria (Elias) Gaurin and Sandy (Kermit Burns) Delorme both live in Pyrites. He was predeceased by his parents and one sister, Judy (Paul) Coffey. An avid hunter and outdoorsman, Johnny always loved deer season and fishing. In his retirement he was finally afforded long overdue recreation time after a life of hard work and providing for his family. Johnny purchased two acres of riverfront property which he named "Blackwater" and spent his final years, even during his cancer treatment, dedicated to creating a legacy for his children and grandchildren. He enjoyed nothing more than summer on the river barbecuing and boating with his family and his dog. He was a larger than life man with a big heart and a fast wit. He prided himself in his work ethic and could be heard singing to himself while he labored, his voice carrying across the barnyard. He was an honorable and good man whose strength and spirit serve as an inspiration for his family. He and his baby blues will be missed by all who loved him. There will be no traditional calling hours but the family invites all of those who would like to pay their respects to Johnny to join them for a (socially distanced) celebration of life event on Sunday, September 6th at the family camp (his final resting place) at 379 Horseshoe Road in Heuvelton at 2 pm. Condolences may be shared online at
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Funeral Service

2:00 pm
Sunday, September 6, 2020
His Family Camp
379 Horseshoe Road
Heuvelton, New York, United States
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Erwin "Johnny"