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Merideth Brown of Montevideo died on Sunday, June 4, 2023 at her home at the age of 76.
Memorial services will be held on Saturday, June 10, 2023 at 2:00 PM at Salem Lutheran Church in Montevideo with Rev. Yolanda Denson-Byers officiating.
Visitation with the family will be held on Friday, June 9, 2023 from 5 to 7 PM at Anderson-TeBeest Funeral Home in Montevideo and will continue one hour prior to the service at the church.
In lieu of flowers memorials are preferred to Salem Lutheran Church, Chippewa County Food Shelf, Hospice-Sentimental Journey, ELCA Ukraine, Lutheran World Relief and Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota
During a snowstorm on January 3, 1947, a little 10 pound girl was born at her Grandma’s farm to Lorraine and Warren Anderson. Merideth (Merry Lee) joined her 2 year-old sister, Elouise. The family lived on a small farm west of Hector where four more siblings were also raised (Jackie, Paula, Paul, Melanie).
Merry Lee loved living on the farm where there was lots of space to climb trees, play ball with cousins and 4-H friends, ride horse, and bike! Growing up, she and Elouise were a big help with their Dad’s large egg production business. Merry Lee also helped with the fall harvest, driving the tractor and trucks.
First Lutheran in Hector was where Merry Lee was baptized, confirmed, and learned about God’s love as a child of God. She loved learning songs and hymns which added to her life-long passion for music.
Hector Public Schools was where her formal education took place. Merry Lee participated in musical activities at every opportunity, including band and choir. She loved singing with her sisters and cousins at church. She missed the opportunity to participate in girls sports by just a few years.
Then, on to Gustavus Adolphus College, where she worked hard on her Elementary Education degree and enjoyed singing in the chapel choir. She was well matched with her 4-year roommate, both loving music, nature, and willing to study hard.
Her first teaching job after her graduation from Gustavus was with Hopkins Public Schools. She and 12 other first-time teachers helped to open a brand new elementary school, even though it wasn’t quite finished when classes started. Needing each other’s support through a challenging time, they established lifelong bonds of friendship. There was a lot of good-natured ribbing among the close friends. For example, Merry Lee was known to choose comfort over fashion at times and was reminded of that often; and was even locked out of the teacher’s lounge as a joke that got many laughs.
During Christmas break in 1970, Merry Lee met the love of her life. Jay Brown was home on break from Air Force Technical School and the two were introduced by mutual friends at a local establishment in Olivia, MN. Jay was wearing his Gustavus fraternity jacket, spurring further conversation about their time at Gustavus without ever meeting on campus. The next day, Jay ended up calling all the ‘Andersons’ in the Hector phonebook trying to find the right house, but with her dad’s name being Warren, her relatives were calling to tell her a boy from Olivia was calling around before he found the right house. They ended up dating through teaching jobs and Jay’s tour in Vietnam, and were married September 15, 1973.
The Browns moved to Montevideo to begin their teaching careers in 1977, where they raised their two children, Todd and Jeff. Merideth loved being called ‘MOM’ when Todd or Jeff phoned and ‘Grandma’ when Brooke called. They were fortunate to live in a neighborhood with lots of kids and the Brown’s house became the center of kids’ activities, so much so that Merideth sometimes needed to use a green flag/red flag signal on the yard lamppost when it was time for dinner!
Merideth’s career was dedicated entirely to teaching kids. She was a Title-1 teacher, piano instructor, Sunday school teacher and junior church choir director. One of her great joys as a teacher was getting to help children learn to read and see the progress made on a daily basis. She enjoyed following her boys’ sporting events and getting to know their friends and families. Merideth retired from Montevideo Public Schools in 2012.
Before being limited by her illness, Merideth and Jay were very active and did almost everything together. They spent many days at their woodlot on the Minnesota River, visiting State Parks, biking, hiking, canoeing, sailing, and visiting family and friends. They enjoyed participating in a mixed-profession discussion group and various conservation initiatives.
Merideth and Jay are also very active in their dear church, Salem Lutheran. She and Jay have many lasting friendships from church and cherish their church family.
Music was a fundamental part of Merideth’s life and she would have loved to dance every day if she could. She loved choral singing, including harmonizing with her four sisters and brother at family gatherings. Baking was also one of Merideth’s favorite activities and she was renowned for her brown bread and butterhorns.
Merideth has enjoyed her daughters-in-law, Andrea and Kristen, and their families. She treasured her granddaughter, Brooke.
Jay and Merideth have lived in the same house in Montevideo for 45 years, and enjoyed wonderful neighbors, friends and the community.
Merideth is survived by her husband, Jay; son, Jeffrey and Andrea Brown, Delano, MN; granddaughter, Brooke Brown; daughter-in-law, Kristen Brown; siblings Elouise Johnson, Jackie Anderson, Paul Anderson, Melanie Smith; as well as numerous extended family and friends.
She was preceded in death by her parents; son, Todd Brown, and sister Paula Anderson.
Blessed be her memory