By Tom Davidson
As 2022 started, Brookfield lost two women who cared about the region, both on Jan. 5.
Mrs. Sirianni (I never called her Charlotte) was a beloved Brookfield Middle School math teacher who gave generations of students their first taste of algebra. Linda Noble Jones was a nurse and mom of two who also left an impression on many in my hometown.
I don’t know whom I met first. Mrs. Jones was certainly a room mother who brought in the cupcakes we enjoyed monthly at Curtis, Stevenson and Addison elementary schools that I attended with her eldest son Brian (he goes by Noble now, a pithy tribute to his mother) and Keith, who went to school with my younger sister Trisha.
Mrs. Sirianni was our seventh-grade math teacher. She’s the one who taught us how Xs and Ys fit into 2+2. Both were instrumental in my formative years. Mrs. Sirianni was also the adviser of the junior high newspaper, which I contributed to long before I knew journalism would become my chosen profession. She gave me my first taste of deadlines, writing and real math, something reporters always struggle with.
Mrs. Jones was a great mom and a wonderful person. As I grew older and became friends with her sons, she was a solid role model: wise, witty, always ready to talk. She and her husband, the late Lewis Jones, were a big part of my early adult life. Mr. Jones was also a beloved teacher, at Sharpsville, and they endured as a group of us boys engaged in coffee talk (and too many cigarettes) at Truck World most nights, in days after high school and through college. We solved the problems of the world there before cable news did it for us. Before we departed for an hour or three or sometimes six or seven, Mr. and Mrs. Jones were there to talk with us. After my own father died and when my mom suffered a health emergency, Mrs. Jones was there to listen, offer wisdom and a hug. As my professional career blossomed, I lost touch with the Joneses. But I treasure their memory. I also treasure Mrs. Sirianni and how she gave me my first taste of the craft I was called to. They were both classy women. May their memories be a blessing.
Tom Davidson is a news editor of the Tribune-Review based in Greensburg, Pa. He lives in Pittsburgh but grew up in Masury.