Lula Mary Brown
Dec. 30, 1927 – March 30, 2022
You never know what life has to offer or when death will beckon you home. Lula Mary Brown has been defying death for nearly 30 years.
She went into the hospital on numerous occasions with family called around her, only to amaze the doctors, family and friends and come out stronger than ever.
Wednesday, Lula Mary Brown left this earth to be with her husband. She was born in Bobtown, Pa., the daughter of John and Sadie Nassif, Lebanese immigrants. She was the middle child of nine children. Lula was baptized in the Syrian Orthodox Church, now known as Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church in Altoona.
She graduated from Altoona High School in 1945 and from the Altoona School of Commerce in January 1947. Lula worked as a doctor’s assistant in Coalport, where she ran the doctor’s office. While in Altoona, she managed the office at her father’s beer distributorship, Reliable Beer Co.
On June 11, 1950, Lu married the love of her life, Abraham S. Brown “Brownie,” a son of Middle Eastern immigrants, even though they had only met a year earlier. It was fitting that they met at an Arabic picnic sponsored by the church. Together they forged a life and traditions based on family, God, country and music.
Lu played piano “by ear” and would play while her husband, Brownie, sang. They were an inseparable duet bringing joy to all those around her. They lived in Homestead, Coalport, Altoona and finally moved to Annapolis, Md., in 1962, when they bought their first and only home.
Their four children grew up in Annapolis, all graduating from Annapolis Senior High School. Lu was the business manager at Annapolis Senior High School, and one of her many responsibilities was to manage and oversee the construction and opening of the new Annapolis Senior High School on Riva Road.
Lu was known as “Mimi” to the world after the birth of her grandchildren, who became her life and her purpose. Anyone who knew her, knew that her 15 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren were her life — and maybe her many great-granddogs, too. Lu was a cook for the ages. She could make anything and bake anything and was a master at Middle Eastern cuisine. There was always food in the Brown household, and she could cook up a meal for 2 to 20 in no time at all. None of her guests wanted for anything, including the Midshipmen they sponsored from 1964 until after the turn of the millennium. Mother’s Day at her home was like a florist shop with flowers from all those who considered her their second mom.
Lu grew up in the church where she also raised her family in the tradition of the Eastern Orthodox faith. She was an active member of the church and a faithful choir member every Sunday. In August 1962, when they moved to Annapolis, they took the trek each Sunday to St. George’s Syrian Orthodox Church on 16th Street and Webster Ave. in Washington, D.C. In 1979, she, along with her husband Brownie, became founding members of Ss. Peter and Paul Antiochian Orthodox Church on River Road in Potomac, Md. Her family and church were the center of her life.
Lu’s husband, Brownie, passed away on March 28, 2014, after 64 years of marriage. They were as one and nothing could separate the two. Her husband cared for her for years, never leaving her side. Together, they never missed a concert, an event or a sports game for any of their four children or their grandchildren. They sat together in the first row for every musical and concert for all the grandchildren in all their schools until her husband’s passing in 2014, and then in 2017, she stopped making some of those events when she could not travel as well. Lu was diagnosed with macular degeneration in early 2000, and later lost all of her sight. After her husband died, she stayed living in her family home in Annapolis until she moved in with her sons in 2017. She had great care from her 24/7 caregivers who became part of her family.
Lu and Brownie, or “Mimi and Jidu,” their grandparent names, built a life for their family in Annapolis. She participated in the community, served on a multitude of committees and loved being an election judge back in the ’70s and ’80s. But more than anything she loved people. You always knew when she was present.
She is survived by four children: Samuel J. Brown (Donna) of Annapolis, Deborah A. Brown of New York, Stephen D. Brown (Jennifer) of Annapolis and George E. Brown (Chris) of Annapolis; 15 grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; two younger brothers, George E. Nassif of Annapolis and Robert (Arlene) Nassif of Altoona; sister-in-law, Vera Brown of Jacksonville, Fla.; and a multitude of cousins, nieces, nephews, godchildren, other family members and friends.
Lu was predeceased by her husband, Abraham “Brownie” Brown; her parents, John and Sadie Nassif; her siblings and their spouses: Ernie (Sadie) Nassif, Albert Nassif, Helen (Albert) Haje, Ernestine (Sam) McLoota, Mary (Terry) Smith and John Nassif; and her brother-in-law, Adieb “Eddie” Brown.
Friends are invited to celebrate Lula’s life from 3 to 7 p.m. Saturday, April 2, 2022, at Kalas Funeral Home & Crematory, 2973 Solomons Island Road, Edgewater, Md.
Friends will also be received from 3 until the 7 p.m. funeral service Sunday, April 3, 2022, at Ss. Peter and Paul Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church, 10620 River Road, Potomac, Md. A mercy meal will be offered by the family at 6 p.m. Sunday at the church.
Interment will be at 11 a.m. Monday, April 4, 2022, at Hillcrest Memorial Cemetery, 1911 Forest Drive, Annapolis, Md. A mercy meal offered by the family will follow at the home of Samuel J. Brown.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Ss. Peter and Paul Antiochian Orthodox Church, Abraham S. Brown Memorial Fund.
An online guestbook is available at KalasFuneralHomes.com.