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Jean Brown - December 12, 2011


Elizabeth Jean Brown of Holyoke was born in Imperial, Neb. June 4, 1925. She was the second of three children of Harvey E. and Florence Elizabeth (Arnold) Lock. She died Dec. 9, 2011 at North Colorado Medical Center in Greeley following a heart attack which was complicated by pneumonia.

Jean grew up on the family farm south of Lamar, Neb. where she attended a country school through the eighth grade. She graduated from Chase County High School in1943. The first year after her graduation she taught in her home district country school. She had three students—her younger brother and two cousins. The school board was made up of her parents and another cousin.

In 1944 she entered the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, where she majored in music education with a minor in English. On Jan. 26, 1947 her life turned a corner when she went on a blind date with Rich Brown from Wymore, Neb. She wasn’t too impressed with him, and upon returning to her sorority house that night she told her friends she would never go out with “that guy” again.

A couple of weeks later, though, she accepted a Coke date and the rest become history. They became engaged on April 26, 1947. It had to be a long engagement since she had promised her parents she would not get married until she had graduated.

She graduated from the University of Nebraska with a degree in music education June 7, 1948. Rich and Jean were married the next day, June 8, 1948, a marriage that lasted over 63 years. A son, Michael E. Brown of Thornton, was born May 13, 1950.

Jean’s teaching experience covers 28 years—three years in Chase County country schools, one year in Lincoln, one year in Wymore and 23 years in Holyoke—10 of those years in first grade and 13 years directing the vocal department of the elementary and junior high school. Many will remember the tremendous Christmas programs she directed.

Jean is preceded in death by her parents and brothers, Lester and Dwain.

She is survived by her husband and son, nieces and nephews, cousins and friends.

Rosary was Dec. 12 at Gerk Funeral Home in Holyoke. Funeral services were held at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Holyoke on Dec. 13, with burial in the Holyoke Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, support for the Melissa Memorial Hospital Foundation is appreciated.

Gerk Funeral Home was entrusted with arrangements.