Obituary: Mary BrowerMary Colleen Brower peacefully left on her next journey at the age 80, on June 13th, 2012, at Courtyard Health Care Center, Davis, California, after a courageous four year battle with Lewy Body Dementia.
Mary Colleen Brower peacefully left on her next journey at the age 80, on June 13th, 2012, at Courtyard Health Care Center, Davis, California, after a courageous four year battle with Lewy Body Dementia. Born February 23, 1932, the daughter of Irene Miller and Glen Smith, of South Dakota, adopted and raised by Fred and Edith Pylman of Sheldon, Iowa, who all preceded her in death. Also preceded in death, by brother, John F. Pylman, and former husband William D. Brower.
Mary attended the Sheldon Iowa schools, graduating from Sheldon High School in 1949. She married her high school sweetheart, William D. Brower, of Alton, Iowa, in 1950. They first resided in Sibley, Iowa, then in Worthington, MN for 25 years, where they raised three children, Cynthia, Thomas, and Michael. Mary was a wonderful wife and Mother, who always placed her family first in her priorities. Mary relocated to San Francisco, California in 1977, to be closer to her son and daughter. She lived in San Francisco for 25 years, across the street from beautiful Golden Gate Park. She was an avid walker and bicyclist in the city, and new all the shortcuts across the hills of San Francisco. After retiring in 2002, Mary moved to a senior village in the countryside outside of Willits, CA., nearer to her son, daughter and grandchildren. There are countless special memories of fun gatherings at Mary’s, and she was an especially gracious host to both family and friends.
Mary was a very intelligent and kind woman, with a beautiful smile. She cared greatly about people and their well-being. She was a great listener, a wonderful conversationalist, and a very avid reader. She was also an accomplished musician. She played the bassoon in high school, and piano her entire life. She found great joy and pride in teaching piano to dozens and dozens of students both young and old, for over 40 years, while living in Worthington and San Francisco. Mary had a beautiful contralto voice, performing as a soloist and choir member her entire life. She performed in many musical productions, including a regional production of Handel’s the Messiah in Southwest Minnesota. She was also a very active member in her faith communities, Westminster Presbyterian Church in Worthington, the Unitarian Fellowship in Worthington, and the Unitarian Universalist Church, in San Francisco. She sang in their choirs, and performed at many weddings, funerals, and special events. She also served on many committees and boards, and as archivist and docent at the well-known Unitarian Universalist Church on Franklin Street in San Francisco. She was also a member of End-Zone, a group of friends from the Unitarian Church who met regularly for heart-felt intellectual discussions. Mary was also blessed with a green thumb and enjoyed all living things. Her home was always filled with plants and flowers, and she enjoyed hikes which led her to more natural places. She was a long-time member of the Sierra Club, enjoying hikes and trips with her many hiking friends in the Bay Area of San Francisco and beyond.
Mary attended Worthington Community College and City College of San Francisco. In her professional life, Mary worked as a radiology technician and medical office assistant in the Worthington Medical Clinic for many years. She also worked as dental technician while living in Worthington. While living in San Francisco, Mary worked as a dental assistant and a maritime law office assistant. She retired in 2002, as a medical office assistant in the cardiology department at Presbyterian Hospital in San Francisco. Mary always found time to volunteer for work outside her formal jobs that she found rewarding, most of which involved helping other people. In the 1960’s and 70’s, she volunteered and dedicated herself to organizing and leading fun and educational events for developmentally disabled adults at the Achievement Center in Worthington. She cherished the many friendships that she made during this time. She also volunteered her time to teach English as a second language to Spanish speakers through a literacy program in California. For over thirty years, Mary was very active in the League of Women Voters. She worked tirelessly on many city, state, and national, political campaigns and elections, as well as countless legislative issues she felt were important to the public.
Mary’s three children are so proud to call her Mom! So proud of what she accomplished in this life, and so proud of all of her lovely qualities. She dedicated herself to her children’s well-being her entire life, and was truly the best Mom one could ever have wished for. Mary is survived by her daughter, Cynthia Carlson, Sacramento, CA, son Thomas Brower, Redwood Valley, CA, son Michael Brower and daughter in-law, Shelby Wintz, Edina, MN. She is also survived by four grandchildren, Sam Carlson, Sacramento, CA, Amanda Carlson, Sacramento, CA, Isabella Brower, Redwood Valley, CA, Willem Brower, Redwood Valley, CA, and one great granddaughter, Harlequin Rose Carlson of Sacramento, CA. She will be deeply missed by all who knew her, and her spirit will forever live on, through, and in her family.