Diem Brown’s Funeral Held in New York City: MTV Challenge Star Mourned by Family, Friends

Diem Brown funeral NYC died 32
Diem Brown was mourned by family and friends at New York City's St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church on Nov. 18, four days after her death at age 32 -- get the details. Mike Coppola/Getty Images

Diem Brown was laid to rest on Tuesday, Nov. 18, in a touching funeral service at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in NYC. The beloved reality star, who skyrocketed to fame on MTV's The Challenge and subsequently inspired millions of fans during her long and brave battle with cancer, died last Friday, Nov. 14, at age 32.

Brown's indomitable warmth and fight to survive left a lasting impact on her loved ones. Many of her fellow MTV stars, including her longtime love Chris "CT" Tamburello, Evan Starkman, Kenny Santucci, Mark Long, Johanna Botta, Ace Amerson, Paula Meronek, KellyAnne Judd, Ruthie Alcaide, Aneesa Ferriera, Laurel Stuckey, Cara Maria Sorbello, and Johnny "Bananas" Devenanzio, were in attendance at Tuesday's service.

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Brown's casket was brought into the church to the tune of the hymn "On Eagle's Wings." Pallbearers included her brother Jarrod Brown, uncle Allen Brown, cousin Joey Brown, Jeff Clarke (her sister Megan's boyfriend), Mike Ross (the husband of her best friend Alicia Quarles), and Sasan Soleimani. Photos of Brown's warm face, nestled beside those of her family and friends, were posted throughout the church.

Following the opening precession, country singer Trisha Yearwood performed, after which Father Peter Fink and Pastor Kane Keatinge of NYC's Hillsong Church addressed the gathered mourners. Keatinge was the pastor who visited and prayed with Brown in the hospital during her final days.

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Brown's close friends Julie Rotondi and Erin Robbins delivered scripture readings from Proverbs 3:1-7 and Corinthians 4:16-18, respectively. Quarles, meanwhile, recited the Prayer of the Faithful.

Another friend, Carrie Ainsworth, read a poem she had recently written with the late star, which left not a dry eye in the house. According to Ainsworth, Brown, a self-proclaimed cancer "warrior," wanted to write a children's book about the illness.

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Brown's younger sister Megan delivered a touching eulogy, sharing sweet stories from their childhood. Megan said she prepared to deliver her remarks by visiting some of Diem's favorite spots in New York City, including Central Park and The Plaza for a cup of tea.

She told one particular story about her late big sister that really exemplified Brown's will to succeed and thrive. When the girls were younger, Diem helped Megan sell the most Girl Scout cookies by busting out a phone book and filling out an order form after scrawling in the names listed in the directory. While Megan ultimately won the award for selling the most number of cookies on the East Coast, the girls didn't know what to do once 900 boxes of cookies had arrived.

Brown's father, as well as her two sisters and brother, sat in the first pew. 

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As her casket was being walked out of the church, a video montage of her life was flashed across several TV screens. Photos ranged from the star's childhood in Georgia to her sorority days at Florida State University, as well as her reality TV career on MTV.

The back of Brown's funeral program was inscribed with the verse from Proverbs 31:25: "She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future."

Below the verse on the program was a message which read: "Our dancing angel, Danielle Marie Brown is watching from Heaven’s window with her mother, Jillian Catherine Brown." Diem is being buried beside her mother, who passed away 15 years ago.

In lieu of flowers, the family requested that attendees please donate to MedGift.

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