Eulogy for Anne King Brown
October 27, 2018
by Pastor John Partridge
Anne King Brown was a preacher’s kid like me. She grew up following her itinerant Methodist pastor dad from town to town and from church to church. She was the big sister and she always took that role seriously, especially when it came to David. Certainly, some of her devotion could have come about naturally, but it is also likely that some of it grew from the time that David had Rheumatic Fever and nearly died. Anne King adored David and was always a doting big sister even as an adult. She liked to do things for him and would push him aside when he was washing or drying dishes and take his place at the sink. She was always watching over him.
But that doesn’t mean that they didn’t have any normal sibling squabbles. When the family lived in Camptown, Pennsylvania David was on the swing set when Anne came and asked to have a turn. David let her on, but she wouldn’t get off. And so, little brother eventually got so mad that he threw a rock at her and hit her right between the eyes. And that, in turn, resulted in Anne crying and Dad administering some parental justice, if you get my meaning. Later she was swimming in Lake George, New York with David on her shoulders and stepped into water that was deeper than she was tall. When she finally surfaced she told David that he’d nearly drown her. I think that scared them both, and probably David worst of all. Still another time, David was admiring Anne’s new (to her) ’56 Ford. Having never seen one before, David was studying the cigarette lighter and unintentionally branded her vinyl seats with it. He later tried to cover it up a little with magic marker, but we all know that didn’t really fix it. Anne always harassed David along the lines of, “I love you, but you’re always breaking my stuff.”
But those of you who knew her also knew that it wasn’t just David. He may have been Anne’s favorite, but Anne was a nurturer at heart and she always put the needs of others ahead of her own. She rarely chose the restaurant when she was in a group and almost always said, “Wherever you want to go is fine.” Anne King, as her family called her, was a hard worker, but a gentle soul who was not generally assertive, and most often introverted. She loved reading and was a voracious reader. She liked to travel, liked cruises, and once took a trip on the Queen Elizabeth II to England. She loved playing bridge with the ladies at the Alliance Women’s Club. She liked going on trip with friends to visit historical places and liked history in general but was especially fond of studying the Middle Ages. She went on family vacations to California, seeing Disneyland and Knott’s Berry Farm, and played canasta with her parents in the evening. Like many young people, while her parents were “Ooh”-ing and “Ahh”-ing over the scenery, she and David were in the back seat of the car reading books or otherwise ignoring the scenery entirely.
But one of Anne’s greatest achievements, at least in her opinion, had to be becoming, and being, a teacher. Anne worked for, and retired from, the Alliance school system and she was proud of the fact that many of her students surrounded her in our community as administrators, teachers, business leaders, and many others. It was not uncommon for her to be approached in the grocery store or at public events and have someone introduce themselves and say, “You were my teacher.” Anne was proud of being a good teacher and her life touched a lot of people. While not everyone liked the tight ship, she ran in her classroom, her fellow teachers did, and some of her students would later admit that her teaching, and her strictness, was good for them even if they didn’t especially like it at the time. Anne appreciated that her rescuer and redeemer, Jesus, was also a great teacher. In Luke chapters 20 and 21 we hear these words:
20:1 One day as Jesus was teaching the people in the temple courts and proclaiming the good news, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, together with the elders, came up to him. 2 “Tell us by what authority you are doing these things,” they said. “Who gave you this authority?”
3 He replied, “I will also ask you a question. Tell me: 4 John’s baptism—was it from heaven, or of human origin?”
5 They discussed it among themselves and said, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will ask, ‘Why didn’t you believe him?’ 6 But if we say, ‘Of human origin,’ all the people will stone us, because they are persuaded that John was a prophet.”
7 So they answered, “We don’t know where it was from.”
8 Jesus said, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.”
And it is interesting to note that it wasn’t unusual for Jesus to teach in the Temple. In chapter 21 it says:
21:37 Each day Jesus was teaching at the temple, and each evening he went out to spend the night on the hill called the Mount of Olives, 38 and all the people came early in the morning to hear him at the temple.
And so, I am sure that Anne appreciated that Jesus understood what it was like to teach every day.
Anne never married, but her nurturing spirit naturally adopted Matthew and Kristen as her own. She saw them whenever she could, spoiled them whenever possible, and while she spent her winters in Florida, she loved the times when the whole family was there together, because that was the time when they could see one another several times each week instead of only occasional visits.
As the family shared memories and stories with me this week, they remembered how Anne could be stubborn about not wearing her hearing aids. She didn’t like them, and so, although she kept them with her, she often wouldn’t wear them. On one occasion, Anne and Theresa were making a trip together to the bead store to see if they could find anything that they liked. And on that trip Theresa was sharing news about her children and catching Anne up on family news, and at one point, Anne noticed that Theresa was talking with her hands, turned to her and asked,“Were you saying something?” To which Theresa impatiently responded, “Anne King! I’ve been talking to you for twenty minutes! This is important. Put your hearing aids in and I’ll start over again.”
David confided that the last few years, seeing his sister in pain was difficult, but the family is comforted by the knowledge that Anne had a deep and abiding faith in Jesus and that they will one day see her again when they are reunited in God’s eternal home. Anne, and her family, would like you to have that same confidence. If you aren’t sure how you can, please see me, or talk to David, before you go home today.
Anne Brown’s life might sometimes be described as inconspicuous. She usually didn’t make a fuss, and most often let others get their way. But in her own way, inconspicuous or not, Anne left her mark on literally thousands of people. She invested her entire life in the lives of others. And her entire family, each of us here, her church, her clubs, and our entire community have been incredibly enriched because of her.
We would all honor her legacy if we would remember to spend some of our time investing in the lives of the people around us.
Obituary for Anne King Brown
Anne King Brown, age 78, of Alliance, passed away at 8:46 a.m., Friday, October 19, 2018, at Alliance Community Hospital.
She was born February 23, 1940, in Columbus, Ohio, to Gladstone and Anne (Wursthorn) Brown.
Anne received her Bachelor of Arts from Bowling Green State University and had earned a Reading Specialist Degree from Kent State University. She retired from the Alliance City School System.
She grew up in the United Methodist Church, and was a member of P.E.O., Bridge Buddies Club Day, Quota International of Alliance, Alliance Woman’s Club and Tennysonians Book Club and former President of the Ohio Teachers Association. She had a thousand hours of volunteer work at Alliance Community Hospital.
Anne enjoyed wintering in Florida, spending time with her family and traveling. She was an avid reader and also enjoyed beading jewelry.
Survivors include her brother, David (Theresa) Brown, of Okemos, Michigan; niece, Kristen (Justin) Horine, of Lakewood; great-nephews, Zane King Horine and Huxley Horine of Lakewood; nephew, Matthew (Christina) Brown of Warminster, PA; great-niece, Sophia Brown of Warminster, PA; and close family friend, Tammi Taylor, of Sebring, Ohio. She is also survived by many cousins.
Services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, October 27, 2018, at Cassaday-Turkle-Christian Funeral Home with Pastor John Partridge of Christ United Methodist Church officiating. Friends may call one hour prior to the service.
Interment will be at St. Joseph Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Alliance Woman’s Club 229 S. Union Ave., Alliance, OH 44601.
Arrangements are by Cassaday-Turkle-Christian Funeral Home 75 S. Union Ave., Alliance, OH 44601.