Maurice Braithwaite, a long-time fixture on the civic scene in Eastern and Northestern Queens, died on July 20. He was 72.
Braithwaite, a native of Guyana, lived in Fresh Meadows. He served for many years on Community Board 8.
Ken Cohen, president of the Flushing Suburban Civic Association, succeeded Braithwaite as president of the organization, though the latter still was serving as treasurer for the group, through which Cohen said they had a long association.
“He was a soft-spoken giant,” Cohen said in a telephone interview on Monday. “He didn’t have to jump up and down, yell or scream to make his point, which he usually achieved.”
He said Braithwaite also was proud of his Guyanese heritage. He was married with two children.
Braithwaite’s photograph, along with a request for prayers for his family, was the top item Monday on the website of St. Francis Preparatory School in Fresh Meadows.
Braithwaite gave his time and raised money for the school’s Duns Scotus Speech and Student Congress. His Facebook page prominently features photos of him with the club’s outstanding students.
Cohen said he volunteered with a similar program in a school Beacon program, all in an effort to help students with their speaking and debate skills, or just to help people get over the fears and difficulties of public speaking.
His funeral was Tuesday at St. Nicholas of Tolentine Church in Jamaica.
Braithwaite’s family asked that any memorial donations be made to the St. Francis Speech and Debate Club, or the Guyana Heritage Day Camp, another organization he supported.