Brown, Shirley Merle

Brown: Grateful for her long and happy life, the family announces the peaceful passing of Shirley Brown on Saturday, November 12, 2022 at the Souris Personal Care Home at the age of 98.5 years. She will be sadly missed by her daughters Lois and Ella (Tony West) and sons Hugh (Thelma) and Glen (Jan Greenwood). A celebration of Shirley’s was held at St. Paul’s United Church, Souris on Saturday, November 19, 2022. Private interment in the Carroll Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, in memory of Shirley, donations may be made to Souris Glenwood Foundation Box 518 Souris, Manitoba R0K 2C0.

Shirley was born May 19, 1924 in Neepawa MB, the 9th of 10 children born to Hugh and Mathilda Campbell. She grew up on the Campbell farm at Franklin. She was educated at Iroquois, Franklin and Eden schools through grade 12 as her father believed strongly in educating his seven daughters.

In 1942, being wartime when teachers were scarce, Shirley returned to Franklin two months after graduating from high school, to teach ‘on permit’ at Iroquois school. She attended Normal School in Winnipeg in 1943, after which she taught in multi-grade single room schools at Iroquois, Inkerman and Stockton.

In 1946, she met Wilf Brown in Neepawa at a baseball tournament and dance. They married October 23, 1948 and Mom moved to the Brown family farm in the Hebron district where the family grew to include Hugh, Lois, Glen and Ella. She was an active member in the communities of Hebron and Carroll.

Shirley returned to teaching in 1965 when the local Hebron school had a vacancy. She taught all eight grades there until 1968 when the little country school closed and was amalgamated into Souris, where she transferred to continue teaching. She taught grade 4 and later 5 until she retired in 1985.

In 1970 Shirley enrolled at Brandon University to upgrade her teaching qualifications with a degree. This meant that for the next four years she taught full time, was raising four children and studying for a university degree in the evenings, weekends and summer holidays, all at the same time as her husband, Wilf, fell terminally ill before dying in late 1971. Not letting any of this get in her way, she simply got on with it and proudly graduated with a Bachelors of Teaching in 1974.

Shirley was an active member of the Rebekah Lodge, St Paul’s UCW, Fellowship Club, golf and curling clubs, was a representative for the Souris Valley School Division Teacher’s Association, worked out over 1000 times at the Curves gym and was an enthusiastic aquacise devotee until she gave that up at age 90. In her mid 80s, she embraced technology and mastered email, Skype and FaceTime which served her well during the Covid lockdown times. Two days before she suffered her stroke, she FaceTimed her daughter for a chat.

Shirley moved to Victoria Park Lodge in 2009 which she loved calling home for the next 11 years, enjoying the combination of independent living with plenty of in-house social activities. In 2021, realising she needed more support, she moved to the Personal Care Home where she thoroughly enjoyed the staff, the activities, her room and bird life outside her window.

Shirley had a long and healthy 98.5 years, maintaining a positive and practical attitude toward life throughout. Safe travels, Mom, and rest in peace.

16 thoughts on “Brown, Shirley Merle”

  1. She was such a lovely lady. She modelled many times for me and I always enjoyed my visits with her. One of my favourite teachers too! Deepest sympathy from us.

  2. Dear Ella, Lois, Glen and Hugh,
    Sincere condolences from our family.
    Your Mom was my Grade 4 teacher. An independent and hard working woman who always carried herself with grace and a smile. It was a pleasure to exchange greetings with her in the community and at the personal care home. Thinking of you all as you celebrate her life.
    Pam Whitfield
    Ralph and Averill

  3. Deepest sympathy to the Brown family in the loss of Shirley. Such a lovely lady!!! Know that you’re in our thoughts at this sad time.

    The Turner’s at Carroll

  4. Please accept our sincerest and deepest condolences. May the love you have be a support to each other and the beloved memories you can look back on of your mom provide some comfort. You will be in our thoughts and hearts…

  5. So sorry for your loss- she was a beautiful lady. Grace really enjoyed being “table mates” with your Mom and we were so happy they had each other to visit with. Condolences to you all. Trevor and Ruth Mealy

  6. Ella,Lois,Hugh,and Glen
    Very sorry for your loss. I always enjoyed talking with your mother when I was working. She was always ready to proudly talk about all of you. She will be missed.
    Elaine Phillips.

  7. Aunt Shirley will be missed and thought of. She was such an interesting lady. Always enjoyed her emails, and her opinion of things. Thoughts to all of you.

  8. I have so many fond memories of your Mom from the ‘Hayfield’ days to the present. She was a very strong, independent lady. She lived a long and very interesting life. I always enjoyed my chats with her. Thinking of you all at this sad time.

  9. Our condolences to all of Shirley’s family. She was a classy lady, but one that didn’t let you get away with a thing! She was a kind and generous. We both remember her with fondness for the picnics at Oak Lake with friends and to her enjoying the music played by the Twilighters at Crescent Manor while she was in the VPL. Your memories will abound from her life well lived.
    Sincere sympathy. Marge Edgerton and Ardelle Woods

  10. Dearest Lois, Ella, Hugh, and Glen,
    We have such fond memories of your mom! She and your dad were so welcoming to mom when she joined the Hayfield community after marrying my dad. Your mom taught both my sister Susan and me in the one room school house in its final years.
    She really made learning fun! She was a wonderful teacher, mentor, and all round great lady! We feel blessed to have enjoyed visits with her and other Hayfield neighbors in the past few years. She will be missed.
    Love and blessings, Sandy (McClement) Sinclair and Gwen McClement

  11. So sorry to hear of your mom’s passing she was a great lady and always delightful to have a chat with. Our sincere condolences to Shirley’s loved one’s. Sincerely Traci & Clive

  12. Sincere Condolences to Shirley’s family.
    Shirley was a wonderful, kind, considerate and understanding lady.
    Most definitely all were great Teacher traits she had.
    I would call her Teach once in awhile and she would smile.
    It was a pleasure to know her.
    Thinking of you all at this sad time, may your memories be comforting.
    I send you all healing prayers and a comforting hug.
    R.I.P. Shirley

  13. Both Brian and I are sad to hear of your loss. Your mother was a big influence on my life. She mothered me gently when I arrived in Souris as a young, naive beginning teacher. I was welcomed into your family as was Brian when we got married. Your mom was special in so many ways, to so many people. She will be missed and remembered fondly. We send our sympathy with hugs and love.

  14. Lois, Ella,Hugh and Glen,
    Our sincere sympathy to you in the loss of your mother.
    Colin & Pat McKay

  15. Lois. My sincere condolences on the loss of your mom, but how fortunate we are to have our moms so long Hope to see you next time we are home. Marion McEntee

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