Susan Naomi Brown, 91, passed away October 16, 2016 in Deer Lodge.
Funeral services will be Friday, October 21, at 10am at United Methodist Church in Chester. Burial to follow in Chester Cemetery. Visitation will be Thursday from 5pm to 7pm at Rockman Funeral Home.
Susan was born October 14, 1925 in Hankinson, North Dakota to Olen and Ione (Hanson) Gifford. Susan married Max Brown on November 23, 1943 in Great Falls, MT. They made their home on the family farm and began raising their family. The Browns moved into Chester in 1950 when the kids started attending school and built a new home in 1957. After the children were grown, they began traveling to Mesa, AZ. They were snowbirds at Windsor Park for 42 years. The Windsor Park residents were Max and Susan’s family away from home, and were very busy with activities each winter. The summers were spent in Chester with Susan loving being a Montana farmer’s wife.
Susan loved cooking, baking, sewing, reading, and crafting. For several years she had a kiln in her basement and friends would come over to do ceramics. Susan baked for everything and just about everyone. Her cinnamon rolls were famous, but probably more famous was her wedding cakes. She decorated wedding cakes and assisted in receptions for approximately 35 years in Chester and the Hi-Line. Her kids got to eat the rejects (the baked goods that got a little too brown), and one special neighbor kid loved eating her frosting by the bowl. She made the wedding cakes for all 5 of her kids.
Max and Sue had a candy cotton machine, which they donated all the sugar and machine time for school kids fund raising projects. Susan made cheer leading outfits, costumes, formals for Rainbow Girls, and a lot of her girls’ clothes. Children and school activities were important to Susan. With their home in Chester across the street from the schools, many country kids stayed in her basement when snowstorms hit or kids needed to be in town for late school related practices. She was happiest when her kitchen table was full of hungry kids, and family.
Susan was active in many organizations and charities; if she wasn’t organizing something, she was baking and cooking for it. She was a member of the United Methodist Church, a 60-year member of Eastern Star, chairman of the Liberty County Democratic Women for several years, a member of Royal Neighbors of America, a member of Chester Lionettes, and probably more that we kids can’t remember. While Max was the organizer of many community activities, Susan was the baker!
Close to Susan’s heart was the Sunshine Acres Children Home, a home which was the children’s forever home. When they come to Sunshine Acres, it is their home until they are done with school, be that high school or college. It is non-profit and only survives with private donations. Susan held many ice cream socials to raise money for Sunshine Acres, as well as her own generosity.
In the late 70’s, Susan was unlucky to receive an imperfect flu shot, causing her to get Gillian-Barre Syndrome. Despite the medications needed, the many joint surgeries she suffered, the pain she lived with, one would never know due to her gusto for life. Where she wasn’t expected to live to be 60, Susan showed who was boss and what determination looks like, as she celebrated her 91st birthday just two days before passing. Max always said, “She never did listen to anybody.”
After Max died in October 2011, Susan moved to Deer Lodge to live with Diana and Bert; until moving into Genesis Nursing Care and Rehab Center just after her 90th birthday.
Survivors include children, Diana (Bert) Solle of Deer Lodge, Fred Max “Bud” (Charlene) Brown Jr. of Kalispell, Barbara (David) Hess of Stone Mountain, GA , Richard (Drea) Brown of Helena, and Stuart (Julene) Brown of Skagway, AK; brother, George (Sharon) Gifford of Sugarland, TX; brother-in-law, Stephen Brown of Chester; grandchildren, Tanya (Christopher) Solle Campbell, Rick (Kelly) Brown, Dawn Brown, Lora Brown, and Michael Brown, Darrien (Mindy) Hess and Dayna (Jonathan) Mooneyhan, Joshua (Erin) Brown, Rebekah (Erik) Southard, Jennifer (Christopher) Atkinson, Erik (Kim) Sundsted, and Sy Sundsted, Carlee (G.J. Mendlik) Brown, Kristen (Derek) Brown Frank, and Polly Brown; greatgrandchildren, Dakota (Jacob Miller) Campbell and Ryley Campbell, Alfons Brown, Brodrick Brown, Genevieve Brown, Lauren Weinhandl, Roland Weinhandl, Victoria Weinhandl, and Cassie (Andrew) Faber, Maverick Brown, Madeleine Hess, Caitlyn Hess, Amelia Hess, and Brayden Hess, Elysia Mooneyhan, Kiera Brown, Kamber Brown, Evan Brown, Brooklynn Brown, Savayah Brown, and Everett Brown, Breanna Southard and Liam Southard, Nathan Atkinson and Kaden Atkinson, Freyja Sundsted, Addison Frank, Elliana Frank, and Breckin Frank, and Leora Brown; great great grandchildren, Noemi Campbell Miller, Calvin and Ellis Weinhandl, Taryn, Dominick, Audrey, Mia, and Claire Faber; and many nieces and nephews.
She is preceded in death by her parents, Olen D. and Ione (Hanson) Gifford; husband, F. Max Brown; infant son, Curtis Brown; granddaughter, Janelle Solle; brothers, Wallace, Roland, Russell, O.D., and Glenn; sisters, Myra Ross and Carrie Harmonl; sister-in-law, Carol Brown Jeppesen.
Memorials can be made to Chester United Methodist Church, 510 Monroe, Chester, MT 59522 or Sunshine Acres Childrens Home, 3405 Higley Rd, Mesa, AZ 85215.
Condolences can be made to Susan’s memorial page at www.whittedfuneralchapel.com.Posted: by OverlieP