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Bernice A. Brown

Bernice A. Brown
Bernice A. Brown

Bernice A. Brown passed away peacefully in her Lawrence, Ks home on New Year’s Day 2024. It was the feast of the Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, whom she was always told would lead her at the hour of her death, to Jesus. Amen.

She had been adamant about staying in her own home until the end, and thanks to her servants (read daughters), Leann Shelton and Carla Phipps, she was able to do so.

Bernice was born in the home of Homer LaBarge in Clyde, Kansas, July 23, 1933, way before people found it fashionable to have a home birth. She was the daughter of Rose and Kenneth Todd but was raised by her single mother, along with her sister, Dorothy (Todd) Koch and Francis Todd, all of which preceded her in death. 

She grew up in Concordia, Ks and attended. Catholic schools, where the “nuns taught me everything I know.” She married Lee Brown, Jr in 1952 and together they followed his army career to Florida and then Aurora, Co. where their daughter, Leann was born. Later they moved back to Concordia where their 2nd daughter, Carla was born and finally to Phillipsburg, Ks, where their son, Michael was born. He also preceded her in death in 2008. 

The next 20 years were spent raising children, volunteering at her Catholic Church and working as a dental assistant. 1978 brought her 2nd life chapter when she obtained a divorce, went back to school for her LPN certificate, and moved to Kansas City. She had a heart for drug and alcohol treatment centers and worked at various facilities that area.

In 1999, she moved to Lawrence, Ks to be closer to her daughter and son-in-law, Drs Carla and Brad Phipps. She worked in their family practice clinic for a few short years before retiring.

She was a lover of all animals and had a heart for those in need. Her home was always open to an individual without a meal or a place to stay and there was a bowl of water and food regularly left for hungry stray animals. 

She loved a bargain so her gifts were often interesting, if less than applicable. For example, a new calendar from the previous year, because then it is half price! We had our own version of “just say, no” when the gifts were given. You were allowed to thankfully offer it back to her for someone else to be gifted with it later. She laughed just as hard as we did. 

Besides leaving behind a cupboard full of outdated canned goods and spices (all on sale) , plus 2 dressers full of clearance merchandise that “someone might need someday”, she leaves the following survivors, Leann (Brown) Shelton and spouse, J.D., Dr. Carla (Brown) Phipps and spouse, Dr. Brad; Grandchildren, John David Shelton and spouse, Kacie, Heather (Shelton) Wheeler, and spouse, Jake, Jared Shelton and spouse, Jamie, Dr. Rebecca (Phipps) Lobell and spouse, Dr. Sam; Dr. Blake Phipps and spouse, Ashley, Dr. Brianna (Phipps) Livingston and spouse, Jay, plus a plethora of nieces, nephews and great grandchildren. 

Visitation will be at Nutter Mortuary in Concordia, Kansas, Sunday, January 7, 2024 from 2-4pm. The Rosary will be on January 8, 2024 at 9am, Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Concordia, Kansas with the Mass of Christian Burial to follow at 10am. The burial will follow at St Joseph Cemetery, St Joseph, Kansas.

Memorial contributions may be made to Lawrence Humane Society or St John Evangelist Catholic Church, Lawrence, Ks. in care of Nutter Mortuary, Concordia, Kansas.

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