In memory of
Shirley Skelton Brown departed her earthly life January 12, 2020 surrounded by family and friends through their presence and/or prayerful support. She was the only child of T.W. and Sallie Skelton, and was born in Olney, Texas. Later, the family made their home in Iowa Park, Texas and were members of Faith Baptist Church. Shirley and her husband Kenneth Brown were married there in 1958. Shirley was a speech language pathologist in Dallas, Texas, Skokie, Illinois, and various public and private schools in the Pioneer Valley. Her undergraduate studies were finished at Baylor University and graduate studies at Northwestern University. Shirley and Kenneth made their home first in Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts followed by Evanston, Illinois; Boulder, Colorado; Pittsburg, Pennsylvania; Amherst, Massachusetts; and lastly at Loomis Village of South Hadley, Massachusetts. Shirley and Kenneth were thankful to participate in many civic and communal activities, chief among them was supporting the mission of the churches to which they belonged: Immanuel Lutheran Church, Amherst and recently St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, Holyoke. They did this in a variety of ways most memorably as Sunday School teachers, worship assistants, congregational council members, stewardship and evangelism committees. Something Shirley looked forward to every summer, after the first time she and Kenneth discovered it, was their annual family getaway in the month of August to Kennebunkport, Maine. This became a much-expanded annual family gathering now going into its fifth decade. Shirley enjoyed early morning walks searching the shoreline at Goose Rocks Beach in Kennebunkport for Sand dollars, something that became an unintended seasonal devotion from which she derived pure pleasure through the peace of her quiet search with the natural and simple beauty they possessed, a quality that belongs still to Shirley as well. Shirley is predeceased by her husband and one infant daughter. She is survived by many people whom she richly cherished and loved especially by sons Michael D. Brown (Melissa), Reverend Dean R. Brown (Anne) and her daughter Robyn Kaczowka (Derek); grandchildren Kenneth, Matthew, Trevor, Colton, Camryn, Brianna, Eric and Kristen (James); and her beloved cousin and wife, Staten and Sue Johnston of Morgan Hill, CA. These cherished relationships brought Shirley boundless joy. The funeral for Shirley will be Friday, Jan. 17 at 11a.m. at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, 34 Jarvis Ave., Holyoke with committal services following in Evergreen Cemetery, South Hadley. Calling hours for Shirley will be on Thursday, Jan. 16 from 4 to 7p.m. at Curran-O’Brien Funeral Home, 33 Lamb St, South Hadley. In lieu of flowers, donations in Shirley’s memory may be made to St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, 34 Jarvis Ave., Holyoke, MA 01040 or to Loomis Communities, c/o Development Office, 246 North Main St., South Hadley, MA 01075. For additional info., please visit curranobrien.com .
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