Neshaminy honors Ella Brown

Andrew Kim

Joe Smith, head security guard at Neshaminy High School for the past seven years, is committed to the students, staff, and community of this school. Recently, however, Smith’s sister, Ella Brown, tragically passed away. 

Smith has always been described as a humorous and kind person that’s always engaged with students, whether it be during his rounds in the hallways or as he patrols the cafeteria, and we, at the Playwickian would like to honor his dedication to NHS and his beloved sister. 

“I come to school to get the inspiration … to keep myself moving forward,” Smith said.

Lately, Smith’s life has been hit with multiple unexpected tragedies.  

“I’ve been through a lot within this year by itself,” Smith explained. “I lost my niece [on] April 1… I  lost my mom [on] April 8.”

And on October 21, 2022, his sister Ella Brown passed away after a battle with stage four breast cancer. 

“She has faced stage 4 cancer for the last 5 years… the first year she had it, she told me not to tell the family,” Smith explained. “When it came back the second time, I told my sister I can’t keep [the secret] this time… we broke down and cried together.”

The death of a loved one is something so painful for someone to go through alone. 

“[Neahminy is] my second family,” Smith expressed. 

In this trying time, it is important to be there for him and show him kindness and love just as he has always shown us. 

 “She’s been a god-feared woman all her life,” Smith elaborated. “She’s [here] right now. Even though she’s not with us right now, she’s still with us in spirit. The spirit of her still lives with us.”

Neshaminy’s own Interact club, run by Suzi Drake, raised $700 to donate to Smith and his family, honoring his commitment and dedication to NHS and to honor the life of his sister. 

The Playwickian honors Ella Brown and sends our deepest condolences to Joe Smith and his family.