His mother, George said, was “was somebody who symbolized home and the history of the family.”
She was close to her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, even family who lived far away.
“She took them under her wing,” said George, a retired Peru Central School teacher who lives in Loon Lake with his wife, Larie. “Breakfast at Grandma’s was always a big deal.”
A native of the Bronx, Mrs. Waddy and her husband, George, moved to the North Country in 1952. She had left school in the 1930s to help support her family, and was a patriotic woman, her son said. A freelance interior decorator, she was also an accomplished musician and artist.
George said his mother had read prolifically when she was younger and still did crossword puzzles every day.
Brusgul, 87, left a deep impression on former neighbor Vickie Trombley of AuSable Forks, who remembered her love of animals.
“Anything and everything for Jo revolved around animals.”
She had cats and dogs herself, and she was always eager to help out animals in need.
“If you were doing a fundraiser or a delivery to a shelter, she would always insist on participating,” Trombley said.
Although Brusgul lived on a fixed income, she would give what she could — perhaps even just a few cans of food, her former neighbor said.
She had been a registered nurse who had worked at Will Rogers Hospital and Uihlein Nursing Home, among other facilities, and was retired at the time Trombley knew her.
“She was very honest,” she added. “What you saw was what you got.
“We really miss her. She was an amazing lady, very kind, with a terrific love for animals.”
Known as Jo, Brusgul leaves two sons, two daughters, six grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
An avid Yankees fan, she lived in the Adirondacks for 53 years.