Audrey Govine, selfless community leader, dies

Our community lost a dear friend on Dec. 1, when Audrey Govine was called home. She left knowing her life made a difference for she made North Brooklyn a better place. She knew how to make it better because she knew Brooklyn, being born, raised, and educated there. She was 79.

audrey-govineFor 60 years Audrey Govine was a resident of Williamsburg Houses and served for a time as its president of the Williamsburg Houses Resident Council. While serving as president she was called to action when she learned that NYCHA planned to remove all of the fourth floor residents in the four-story complex and disperse them citywide. Knowing this change could cause the loss of school, family, and community connections to those residents she decided to stand up to the powers-that-be and find a compromise that wouldn’t compromise the lives of her neighbors.

Audrey was part of the leadership that formed the 4th Floor Committee and then joined forces with St. Nicks Alliance and Brooklyn Legal Services Corporation A and united they pushed for an agreement in writing that would commit NYCHA to keep the 4th floor residents within their neighborhood. When NYCHA wouldn’t listen, Ms. Govine and the residents went to court and prevailed. Part of the overall settlement was a commitment to build the Williamsburg Community Center.

Those at St. Nicks Alliance were impressed with Ms. Govine’s leadership and deemed she was a true community builder, because her reach outstretched community wide. She would extend her energies to make sure everyone was involved. She was also not one to take personal credit; she was there to work closely with her neighbors and those allies that could be of assistance in achieving the goal. Ms. Govine soon joined the St. Nicks Alliance Board of Directors. She served on three different committees over her tenure, Workforce being the first. She felt what St. Nicks Alliance did around employment was so important, in particular helping young people find a career path that was vital to their own long-term success and the support of their families. She also made strides when she served on the housing and executive committees.

Although she was honored by the countless awards for her civic duties and community leadership, her proudest roles were: mother, mother-in-law, grandmother, and great-grandmother. She loved her family dearly. She always was a source of loving encouragement and positive values.

Her memory will be forever cherished by here devoted children: Anthony Govine, Adriane Govine-Willis, and Andre Govine; her loving grandchildren: Darnell, Jasmine, and Christopher Willis; Mr. & Mrs. Kummih Govine, and Kwame Govine; great grandchildren: Harmony and Lyric Govine; and a special son-in-law, Michael Willis. She will also be deeply missed by cousins, nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, and a host of friends and colleagues.

Author: Lori Ann Doyon

Managing editor, head writer, and lead photographer of Greenline | North Brooklyn News since October 2014. Resident of Williamsburg, Brooklyn since 1990.

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