Obituary of J. Christabelle Dilworth
November 27, 1920 - November 11, 2013
Today, we celebrate the life of our beloved Aunt Christabelle. She was born in Stamford, Connecticut, the third and youngest child of Jesse and Evangeline (Swain) Bragg.
She attended the Stamford Schools and graduated from Orange High School Orange, New Jersey in 1938.
Christabelle attended the St. Agnes Hospital School of Nursing in Raleigh, North Carolina, one of the first African American Nursing Schools, which has now evolved into St. Augustine's College.
Christabelle graduated with the highest average in her class, she became clinical director, and assistant director of nursing, serving her alma mater until 1948.
Christabelle then relocated to New York City becoming employed at Manhattan Hospital. She excelled as one of the first African Americans in the field of Nursing Administration. Her accomplishments were cited in Jet and Sepia Magazines as "A Woman On The Move" (1962).
During this time she furthered her education, receiving her bachelor and masters degrees from Jersey City State College Jersey City, New Jersey. She was also employed in other hospitals in New York City, retiring as Assistant Director of Nursing of Cabrini Hospital Dobbs Ferry, New York in 1993.
For many years, Christabelle lived in Harlem, New York in the area known as "Sugar Hill" during the height of the Harlem Renaissance.
She was privileged to have known noted poets and entertainers such as Langston Hughes as neighbors.
Here she met and married the love of her life, Charles Dilworth. Together, they entertained at home and traveled extensively abroad until his illness and death.
Christabelle was an accomplished gourmet cook, and gracious hostess, always seeking perfection in her dinner parties, which often made the social pages of the Amsterdam News.
Christabelle was also an excellent seamstress, designing most of her evening gowns, attending formal affairs with her husband, family and friends.
Her favorite event was the Fellas Annual Dinner Dance, which she attended until 2010.
Another favorite hobby was bowling. She was a member of the Mt. Ararat Bowling Team in Rutherford, NJ and several leagues in the Yankee Stadium Bowling Lanes of New York playing until the age of 90.
Although she had no children of her own, she was aggressively involved in the education and welfare of her nieces, nephews, and godchildren, who affectionately called her "Godmommy".
She was preceded in death by her husband, Charles Dilworth, her parents, Jesse Bragg and Evangeline Bragg Chase, her brothers, George Bragg and Carnie P. Bragg, Sr., her sisters-in-law, Louise Bragg and Eunice Bragg and her goddaughter, Jannine Cuffy.
She will be fondly loved and remembered forever by her stepdaughter, Yvonne Harris; her nephew, Carnie P. Bragg, Jr.; her nieces, Constance Wright and Leona Bragg; her godchildren, Gregory, Jem and Jannine Cuffy; her dearest friend, Raynetta Cuffy; and a host of great and great-great nieces and nephews and friends.
Most of all, we will remember Aunt Chrsitabelle's tenacity to stay young, her quick, cutting wit, and her love for a good laugh.
We peacefully relinquish her to you Lord, you have given her a full, abundant life with us.