Mildred Ruth (Potwin) Brownell (1919 - 2016)

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OELWEIN – Mildred Brownell, of Oelwein, passed away at her home on Thursday, Dec. 22. She was 97 years old. Visitation will be from 4 to 6 p.m. on Monday Dec. 26, at the Geilenfeld Funeral Home in Oelwein. Funeral services will begin at 11 a.m. on Tuesday Dec. 27, at Stanley Union Church in Stanley with Rev. Phil Rownd officiating. Interment will be in Floral Hills Memorial Gardens at Hazleton. For condolences, please visit
She was born Mildred Ruth Potwin on Nov. 23, 1919 on the family farm near Aurora, to Carl and Ruth (Wells) Potwin.
She graduated with the honor of salutatorian from the Stanley High School class of 1937. On March 15, 1940, she was united in marriage to Frank Wilson Brownell at the home of her grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. M. J. Potwin, rural Aurora. Three children were born to this union: Wayne, David and Janet.
The couple semi-retired from their fourth generation family farm near Stanley in 1966 and moved to Oelwein.
Mildred was a long time member of the Stanley Union Church serving for many years as pianist and organist. She accompanied many choir musicals, special music, weddings, funerals, and in the early years, she taught piano lessons. Her last performance was three weeks ago accompanying her son, daughter-in-law, and granddaughter for special music in church.
After they retired from farming, their winter months were spent in Sun City, Ariz.
Mildred was a loving and caring wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother and great- great grandmother. She loved spending time with family and to attend the great grandchildren's school activities. She also enjoyed spending time with her two special friends, Donna and Margie.
She is survived by her children: Wayne (Karen) Brownell, Oelwein; David (Kathy) Brownell, Medina, Texas, and Janet (Russell) Bowen, San Diego, California; six grandchildren; nineteen great grandchildren; and four great- great grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Frank (2005); and three great grandchildren.
Funeral Home
Geilenfeld Funeral Home
309 1St Ave Ne
Oelwein, IA 50662
(319) 283-4653
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Published in Independence Bulletin-Journal from Dec. 27, 2016 to Jan. 4, 2017