Elizabeth "Betty" Louise Brown 88, of Ashwaubenon WI, passed away peacefully on June 9, 2019. Born and raised in Green Bay, WI, the daughter of Blanche (Johnston) and Benjamin Lancelle. Attended Jackson Elementary and was a graduate of West high school.
Betty met her future husband Cletus Victor Brown of Sheboygan on a blind date at a West High school concert where Betty was playing the violin. Betty moved to Faribault, MN. to care for nephew Franny and niece Donna, who had recently lost their mother Violet. Cletus returned from the Korean war shortly after to help his brother in law with the farm. This tragedy created a lifelong bond with Franny and Donna who were considered members of the family. Cletus and Betty were married in 1951. Returning to Green Bay in 1954 to begin their own family. Betty cared for her husband and children, while working part-time at Prange’s Dept. Store. They remained by each other’s side through the ups and downs of life for 67 years, until Cletus passed away on September 11, 2018.
In 1971 Betty followed her dream of being a nurse, graduating from North East Wisconsin Technical Institute. Betty was tireless, graduating with High Honors after attending school full-time, caring for a husband, three children, while employed at Prange’s and Woodside nursing home part time on weekends.
Betty’s nursing career at St. Vincent’s Hospital pediatric ward would end after 22 years due to failing eyesight. Retirement allowed her to help her daughter Renee with her newborn son Adam, following Renee’s diagnosis with cancer. After Renee’s passing Betty dedicated herself to looking after Adam keeping a promise she made to Renee. She kept this promise until her death.
Betty was a founding member of Nativity Parish, the Women’s Auxiliary of United Commercial Travelers a Stephens Minister and a member of the “Marhill Girls”.
Betty could do just about anything she put her mind to, through necessity and plain old school stubbornness. Betty enjoyed gardening, knitting, crocheting, baking, canning, sewing, traveling and camping at Pine Grove Campground. Where they made many lifelong friends playing cards and sitting by the campfire. Betty was always game for fun and had a great sense of humor. Betty loved her husband, her children, family and friends and anyone in need. Betty always saw the best in people and the potential within. Imagine Betty in Tijuana, Mexico back in the 70’s, with a purse full of change won in Las Vegas. Handing out coins to an ever growing horde of street children. To this day I am amazed we got out of there alive.
A kind and generous person, who made everyone feel welcome, she put the needs of others before herself. Guests were always given a red carpet welcome, famous for her, home-made meals and made from scratch, cookies, cakes and pies. Mom knew everyone’s favorites and made sure to surprise them when they arrived with a fresh Apple Betty Crunch or a Cherry pie. Betty was fond of saying “There is always room for one more, we will just boil the soup bone a little longer” and laugh, recalling it was something her mother had always said.
Preceded in death by her beloved husband, Cletus; mother, Blanche; father, Benjamin; brothers: John, Leonard, Benjamin, Buddy, Howard; sisters, Lois and Norma; daughter, Renee (Brown) Hoppe and nephews, Francis Becker and Mike Robbins.
Survived by her daughter, Cindy (Neal) Ewing; son, David (Lisa) Brown; grandsons: Adam Hoppe, Jackson Brown, Noah Ewing; granddaughter, Casey Brown, great granddaughter, Noella Ewing and great grandson, Zachary Phillips.
Visitation will be held at Nativity of Our Lord Parish (2270 S. Oneida St., Ashwaubenon, WI), Friday, June 14, 2019 from 10 to 11 AM. A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at 11 AM, with Fr. Mike Ingold, celebrant. Entombment will be in Allouez Catholic Mausoleum.
The family would like to thank all who provided care and support over the years: daughter-in-law, Lisa Brown, Steven and Janet Gierczak, sister-in-law, Doris Lancelle and life-long friend, Judy Wilson. The residents of West Marhill Road for the 50 years of memories and friendship. Nurses, CNA’s and staff at Woodside Manor Care 2 Assisted Living, Caregivers, Brenda Young and Gloria McGuire and Unity Hospice. These nurses and caregivers do a fantastic job under very difficult conditions, providing comfort and support through a very trying period completing the circle of life. The warmth and kindness that she showed to her fellow human beings was genuine. Betty’s generosity and determination to make things right or at least better will be missed by all that knew her.
May you find eternal peace in the kingdom of heaven and the eyesight of an Eagle!