Mary Louise Brownson

Obituary of Mary Louise Brownson

Mary Lou (Poppe) Brownson left this world on Sunday, February 3rd, 2013. She was surrounded by family and passed peacefully. She was 85 years old. Mary Lou was born December 8th, 1927 in Detroit, Michigan to Max and Hilda Poppe. After graduating from high school in 1946, she went on to attend the University Of Michigan. She met and married E. James Brownson in 1950, while attending the University. She graduated with a degree in Architecture and Design in 1950. Mary Lou spent a brief time in Springfield and Columbus Ohio while her husband Jim finished his Masters Degree at The Ohio State University. They had two sons while living in Ohio; E James lll, and Richard. After her husband E. James, accepted a position out west with the Montana University system as a Professor of Art and Ceramics, Mary Lou, her husband Jim and their two sons moved to Havre, Montana. At the time, Mary Lou thought it was like moving to the end of the earth. Living 40 miles from the Canadian border and hundreds of miles from any major city was a far cry from her home town of Detroit, Michigan. Nevertheless they lived in Havre and had two more children – Matthew and Mary Laine. She ran for Democratic State Representative in 1974. She won the primary, but lost in the general election. In 1976, Mary Lou received her Master’s Degree in Career Guidance and Counseling from Northern Montana College. She studied and received this degree in only 9 months with a straight A average. In 1979 after 25 years of marriage, she and her husband Jim divorced and Mary Lou moved to Boise, Idaho. She held several different positions here in Boise until her retirement in 1994. Mary Lou was very active in politics, was an advocate for women’s rights and had many areas of interest including literature, history and all forms of artistic expression. She belonged to many organizations, was a talented Artist, an avid reader, loved to travel and was always willing to give her educated opinion on many subjects. She was a very accomplished pianist, loved classical music, swimming and had a great love of good food. She was also featured in “Who’s Who of American Women”. Mary Lou will be deeply and profoundly missed by her family. Her enduring message is “Seek knowledge, develop compassion”. Mary Lou is survived by her four children, Jim, Richard and his wife Patti in Arizona, Matthew and his wife Beverly in Colorado, Mary residing in Idaho, two grandchildren, Tess and Erin, her brother, Marvin Poppe, her twin sister Betty Whitrock, and two nephews Mark and Fred Whitrock. A celebration of Life will take place at 1:00 P.M on Saturday, February 9th at the Boise Unitarian – Universalist –Fellowship, 6200 N. Garrett in Boise. Services are under the direction of Reverend Elizabeth Greene.
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