Mary Ellen Brown, 96 years of age, passed peacefully at her home in Dousman, Wisconsin surrounded by family on September 12, 2022.
Mary was born in Chicago, Illinois, to Francis Fitzpatrick and Helen Fitzpatrick (nee Vogel) on October 24, 1925. Growing up in Berwyn, Illinois and being the eldest of five children and the older sister to four brothers, she nurtured Jack, James, Paul and Thomas after the loss of their mother at a young age and remained very close to her siblings throughout her life.
It was in Berwyn, that at the age of five she lived in a home two doors down from the neighborhood boy who would later become her husband, Robert George Brown. Mary graduated from Nazareth Academy and went on to work for the Chicago Board of Trade. After a courtship that lasted several years - based on Mary’s recollection of knowing at a young age that she would one day marry this Bobby Brown - on February 28th, 1946, they finally and truly were married in a ceremony in the (1831) log chapel that was the first building of what later would become the University of Notre Dame.
The young couple lived in South Bend, Indiana while Bob attended Notre Dame, finishing his engineering degree, and welcoming the birth of their first 2 children. Later moving to North Dakota and eventually settling in the Milwaukee area where the family grew to twelve children, Mary became the loving matriarch of a large household that would fulfill her wishes for raising a family.
Building an extraordinary life together, Mary and Bob were devoted partners, each sharing in equal measure the gifts of kindness, grace and acceptance, and with this they made lifelong friends and grew an extended family. Mary was an avid gardener, reader, world traveler, loyal Fighting Irish fan and expert cook (by necessity for a large brood). She loved to host the large family reunion gatherings that became a cornerstone of a growing extended family as well as enjoying time spent in Bear Valley, Wisconsin with her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and many friends.
Most important of all to Mary was her faith, which informed her path and was the basis for living the life of grace she generously shared with others. She now rests in peace with the assurance of her acceptance in His loving arms.
Mary is preceded by her loving husband of 48 years, Bob, parents Francis and Helen, and brothers James and Thomas.
She is survived by all of her children and their families:
Michael, Patrick (Cyndy Millikin-Brown), Jeffrey, Margaret Kruck (David), Bridget Flood (Patrick), Paul (Susan nee Varner), Martin (Grace Chu), Elizabeth Suszek (Mark), Laura Cox (Steven), Robert (Kathleen Restic), Ellen Gvora (Thomas), Thomas (Heather nee Sanes), Macauley (Gloria) along with 24 Grandchildren and 18 Great-Grandchildren and brothers Jack and Paul.
Visitation and sharing of memories will take place Saturday, September 17, 2022 at Schmidt & Bartelt Funeral Home, 121 S Cross St, Oconomowoc, WI 53066 from 9:00 am to until a sharing of memories at 11:00 am. Memorial services continue on Saturday, September 17, 2022 at Three Pillars Senior Living Communities, Community Room, 375 Highway 67, Dousman, WI 53118 in Dousman, Wisconsin from 1:00 – 2:30 pm. A mass of Christian Burial will be held Tuesday September 20, 2022 at 11:30 am at St. Mary's Catholic Church, 32605 Durst Ln. Richland Center (Keysville), WI 53581. There will be no reception after the mass. In lieu of flowers, donations are requested to be made to Three Pillars Senior Living Communities.