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Vivien May Brownlee

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Vivien May Brownlee Obituary

Vivien May Brownlee, 87, of Yuba City, CA, went home to our Lord on May 7, 2015 after a brief illness. She was at home, surrounded by her loving family who cared for her through her illness.

Vivien was born on May 24, 1927 in Sacramento, CA, to Dewitt Lee Berry and Michelina Marie Berry (Verdolivo). She was the oldest of four children: Dewitt Lee Berry Jr. of Roseville and twins Glenn Warren Berry of Sacramento, CA, and Roger Dewayne Berry of Coos Bay, OR, who all predeceased her. She loved her brothers and missed them greatly.

She is survived by her twin daughters, Karen Cartoscelli ( John) and Sharen Cornils (Cal) of Yuba City. She and her "girls" called themselves "The Three Musketeers", as Vivien was divorced from their Dad Joseph Kochie (deceased) when the girls were very young and essentially raised them alone. Mom loved her son-in-laws as her own. We cannot imagine life without our Mom, but know the Musketeers will be reunited again in heaven.

You could often find Viv and the girls having coffee at Starbucks together, or out to lunch or dinner, which she loved. She loved to sit out in Sharen and Cal's loggia, and by Karen and John's pool so she could be near her girls.

She is also survived by her nephew John Berry of Roseville, whom she loved dearly, and cousins Robert Verdolivo (Georgia) of Lincoln, CA, and Lucille Verdolivo of Rocklin CA. She is also survived by her special friend James "Bud" Askew, who introduced her to car shows, and her girlfriend for over 40 years, Shirley Nock. Both of whom visited and prayed with us in her final hours.

She attended Sacramento High School and worked for many years as Lead Bookkeeper for Cal Liq. Gas Corp. In 1970, she met the love of her life, John Bennett Brownlee of Yuba City. She moved to Yuba City and they married in May 1971 and shared many happy years together, traveling, golfing and enjoying life before his passing in 2004. Mom was very proud of her Italian heritage and Dad became an honorary Italian and embraced the girls as his own.

Mom worked as the Office Manager for former Congressman Wally Herger early in his political career. She loved flowers and worked for Yuba City Florist for a time, coming to love Don Covey and Bob Bingham and all the staff there as family. Our Mom was a member and past President of the Mercy Guild, Amici Italiani, Republican Women's Group and The Sutter Buttes Women's Literary Society (Book Club).

Our Mom was one of a kind. She loved to laugh and she loved the Giants, and was glued to the TV whenever they played. She loved animals, especially her Grand dogs Annie and Lucy.

Funeral Services will be held Friday, May 15, 2015, at 11:00am at Ullrey Memorial Chapel at 817 Almond St., Yuba City. Cal Cornils will be officiating. A reception will follow at The Harvest Room, located behind The New Earth Market, 1475 Tharp Road from 12:15 – 3:15pm. Inurnment will be private.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Sutter Buttes Canine Rescue or Sutter North Hospice, who helped care for her in her final days.

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Published in Appeal Democrat from May 13 to May 14, 2015
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