Barb Brown, age 89, passed away peacefully on Saturday April 14 at her home in Traverse City. Born Barbara Alida Wheeler on July 27, 1928, Barb was the only child of Stanley and Grace (Graham) Wheeler. Barb’s childhood was rich in experiences shared with an extensive family of aunts, uncles, and cousins in East Jordan, Brown City, and the greater Detroit area.
Barb married Bob (Robert O.) Brown in 1946. They welcomed their nine children while living in Ann Arbor and later in Dexter, MI. The Browns moved north in 1967, settling in Mancelona to establish Bob’s Tool & Die. Barb was an accomplished seamstress who also enjoyed gardening and knitting. Known as “Ma” to so many, Barb found great joy in opening her door to others. Their busy home was a gathering place, filled with music, the pranks and laughter of children, and the unforgettable aroma of fresh baked breads and sweets. Most holidays found Barb orchestrating meals for more than 20. Barb was happiest when she was surrounded by others.
In retirement, Barb lived in Naples, FL where for many years she served as President of the Naples Estates Homeowners’s Association. Four years ago, she returned home to Michigan.
Barb was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, son Bill, and grandchildren Krissy, Tina, and Jesse. Left to honor Barb and celebrate her spirit are her sons Mike (Monica) and Doug (Jeri), daughters Cindy (Kim) Cronin, Vicki (Bruce Moore) Brown, Becky (Al) Johnson, Teri (Rob Kunzelman) Brown, Kari (Glenn Herbst) Brown-Herbst, and Connie (Orlo Olds) Brown-Olds, many grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and the young families they are growing.
A funeral service will be held at the Mancelona Chapel of Mortensen Funeral Homes on Friday, April 20. Visitation with family, friends, and relatives will be held at 12:00 with the service following at 1:00 p.m. Rev. Benjamin Schultz of Heartland Hospice will officiate. Burial will follow at Fairview Cemetery in Mancelona, Michigan. For those wishing, memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society.
Online condolences may be expressed at www.mortensenfuneralhomes.com.