Mary Brown Obituary

Mary  Brown
Mary Brown

December 2, 1941 - August 21, 2020
Born in Madisonville, Kentucky
Resided in New London, Connecticut


A kind and gentle soul left our company on August 21, 2020. Mary Con Brown died of a broken heart - six months and 45 minutes after the death of her husband Mike Brown. She and Mike had been married for 33 years but had been together for more than 45 years.

Mary was born in Madisonville Kentucky in 1941. She was the only child of Conard and Mary Love (Hill) Niswonger. Although she moved to New London in 1962 and lived here for the rest of her life, she always retained her southern roots and predilections: BBQ with corned bread and greens, pecan pie, gospel music, bourbon, and her southern accent which you could especially hear when you spoke with her over the phone.

Her career was with the the City of New London processing their payroll from 1975 to 2005. This was an office job within City Hall but anyone and everyone who worked for the City knew her. Her innate friendliness made it easy for folks to stop and talk to her if they had a question about their paycheck, their insurance coverage or their pension. Plus she always had candy on her desk to share...another incentive for people to swing by and chat.

With her husband Mike, they both were deeply involved with the Surfers Drum & Bugle Corps. They met hundreds of teenagers from the area as well as their parents. Mary and Mike traveled with the Corps for the summer schedule of competitions. These trips were either day trips or tours. Imagine giving up your summer weekend or two week vacation time to travel with a bunch of kids on old school buses with no air conditioning. Then at the end of the travel day, your reward was sleeping on the floor of a school auditorium in a sleeping bag. But these adventures created relationships that were life-long and multi-generational.

Mary and Mike traveled the world together on cruise ships. They never traveled on these trips as just a couple - there was always a gang of folks that sailed along with them. It was not uncommon for them to enlarge their circle of friends with fellow cruise lovers they met aboard. Once they arrived home, they would start to plan their next trip with their new found friends. Mary often remarked that for a woman who was born in small town USA, she was fortunate enough to see the world. Her most favorite cruise destination was Australia and New Zealand.

Wherever Mary went, there was the inevitable question posed “Don’t I know you from somewhere?” After a 10 minute conversation, the answer would undoubtedly be “Yes” and the connection would be discovered. For a person not born and raised in New London, Mary knew or had some connection with most everyone.

Mary is survived by her daughter, Cathy Wilson and her husband Scott Walsh as well as her cousin Phyllis and her husband Emery. In addition, she is survived by her mother-in-law, Frieda Brown as well as Mike’s brothers Clyde (wife Anita) and Si (wife Mary Jane). This small circle of blood related kin does not do justice to the number of people who she considered family and who included her in their family. Mary made friends everywhere. She knew the staff who worked in the various medical offices she attended; she knew the staff at Stop & Shop in Waterford; she became a much loved customer of The Hair Stop in Waterford. She and Mike attended the annual Christmas party at the O’Neil’s home in New London, and the annual Hanukkah celebration at the Margolis’ home in Waterford. She was still very much in touch with her friends from City Hall even though she retired 15 years ago. She had friends she had never seen. She would somehow become acquainted with a friend’s friend - never meet them, but still they would end up on her phone tree. The phone was always in use at her home - either someone was calling to check in on her or she was calling the myriad of friends she had to check in on them. Topics of conversation included the UCONN women, the New England Patriots, the political state of the country, which gospel show was airing at what time, the Royal Family of England, the status of your pet, the answer to one of the clues of the crossword she was working on, your health, her health. In short, anything at all.

Her family wishes to thank Dr. Meg Rydell and her staff of Amy, Dana, Meredith and Michelle. They were incredibly kind and compassionate to her during her last month. Her family also wants to thank all of her many friends who kept in touch with Mary during the last 6 very difficult months. She remarked often that she has such wonderful friends.

A graveside service will be held on Saturday, August 29th at 10am at Cedar Grove Cemetery in New London. Guests are asked to comply with State of Connecticut COVID-19 regulations regarding masks and social distancing. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that any donations be made in Mary’s name to the Connecticut Humane Society, 169 Old Colchester Road, Quaker Hill, CT 06375. As you all know, Mary was a huge animal lover and she and Mike had many cats and dogs throughout the years. The Thomas L. Neilan & Sons Funeral Home, 12 Ocean Avenue, New London, is assisting the family with arrangements.




Graveside Service
Cedar Grove Cemetery
Broad Street
New London, CT US 06320
Saturday, August 29, 2020
10:00 AM

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