|Birth: ||Jul. 4, 1909|
|Death: ||Oct. 17, 1999|
From Brown Family History by Christel Brown, 1980:
I, Lissie Christel (Gerardy) Brown, was born July 4, 1909 at my parents' home in the Forest Community, Lincoln County, Oklahoma, seven miles south of Chandler. I was the 6th and last child born to Edward Gerardy and Lissie Drucilla (Gross) Gerardy. The first eleven (11) years of my life were spent on the farm living in a big two story house which was one-quarter mile from school and three quarters mile from the church and cemetery.
I begged constantly to go to school and Mother finally got permission from the teacher (a local girl) for me to start. I was 4½ years old. Along about that time my parents bought another farm, valley land that produced alfalfa. After that Mother and I were home alone much of the summertime while Father, Loren and Myrtle worked harvesting the alfalfa. It had to be harvested several times during the summer season.
One of the highlights of my childhood was the summer I was 12 and Dad took Mother, Myrtle, Loren and me to California by train. I saw the ocean for the first time and swam in it; saw the Grand Canyon (and was completely awed by the sight of the Grand Canyon at dusk); I saw Sutter Fort at Sacramento where my great grandfather went on the gold rush in 1849; swam in the Great Salt Lake and in Colorado we visited Garden of the Gods, Cave of the Winds, and took a tour to the top of Pikes Peak. What a trip for a twelve-year-old in those days.
In January when I was in the 7th grade the family moved from the Forest farm to Chandler and we lived there until my sophomore year in high school when my parents moved to the valley land farm (in Kickapoo community). During the rest of my high school years I lived in light-house-keeping rooms in town, with one or more girls.
I graduated as Salutatorian of my class in 1926 and in August after my 17th birthday in July, I came to Oklahoma City to attend Hill's Business College. Seven months later I went to work for F. Wiley Ball Insurance and that was when I met Hinda Cohn who took me under her wing and taught me office procedures and how to work. We remained friends ever since.
On October 28, 1933 after two years’ courtship, I married Ual J. Brown and the next summer we took a delayed honeymoon trip to Red River, New Mexico. I continued working until about 5 months before Carolyn was born Sept. 22, 1937. It was [at this time] that we joined Wesley Church. Shortly before Kenneth's birth in 1940, we moved so we would have more room.
Darrell Richard was born [in] 1949, and in January 1954 I went back to work for Mr. Ball. After four years there I changed to W. R. Johnston & Company, another insurance agency, and remained there until retirement January 1, 1974.
Excerpt from The Pierre Gerardy Family in America, by Evelyn Potter Park, 1979:
Her main concern has always been the family and their activities. PTA participation stretched over a number of years as they had a child graduating from Senior High School, one from Junior High School and one from Kindergarten all the same year. Church activities have always been important, her longest tenure in one office being six years as Secretary of the Administrative Board of Wesley United Methodist Church. Time now permits her to take an active part in more of the church groups, and a special joy of retirement is having time to get together with friends for lunch and a book review, a game of bridge, or inviting a few couples in for dinner in the evening.
Further notes by Darrell Brown:
Christel cherished her trip west in 1921 so much that she always kept the cancelled check with which her fare had been paid. Forty years later, when her youngest son was 12, she and Jack and their son repeated that trip to the Grand Canyon, Long Beach, San Francisco, and back.
On May 3, 1926, at the end of the school year, the Chandler High School seniors exchanged comments in memory books. Typical of the comments in Christel’s book is the following extract:
“I shall remember you as the dear little blonde who was always kind and sweet to all, and who also took part in a number of Chandler High School plays.”
Christel moved to Oklahoma City in August, 1926, where for six months she attended Hill’s Business College at 619 W Main, as her brother Loren had done. She stayed at the YWCA’s “Florence Apartments” at 131 NE 4th until her studies were completed, then moved to 215 NW 4th, Apt 11. She began working as a stenographer for F. W. Ball Insurance Co. The next year she moved to 220 NW 10th. At the college she had met Daisy Moore from Guthrie, and they became close friends. Daisy worked for the IRS.
In 1929 they both moved into an apartment at 417 NW Park Place, along with Christel’s Chandler High School friend Doris Cunningham. The next year they all moved to 708 NW 11th, then in 1931 to 2501 N Robinson, and finally in early 1933 to 1700 N Robinson.
Christel and Doris belonged to a sorority called Gamma Tau, which organized large ballroom dances. Christel and Daisy also belonged to a smaller sorority, for single girls, called Kappa Theta Nu. This sorority engaged in bridge parties and picnics. Each girl became the president of one club or another. Another close friend of Christel’s was Marion (Gayman) Barnthouse, also of Chandler. She had married James T Barnthouse in 1927 and then moved to Oklahoma City, where she was active with Christel in Gamma Tau.
Doris worked as a stenographer at Magnolia Petroleum Company, and there she met William Buschhorn and they began dating. An office-mate of theirs was Ual “Jack” Brown, and it seems that Doris and William arranged a blind date between Jack and Christel, who then began dating as well. Both couples attended Gamma Tau ballroom dances together, even serving as the hosts.
Daisy got engaged to Veldo Brewer. Marriage would mean the end of her membership in Kappa Theta Nu, but in February, 1933, she pledged with Gamma Tau. Christel and Doris hosted a shower for Daisy on April 29, then on the 12th of May Doris and Veldo were married in the First Methodist Church. Christel was the maid of honor at their wedding, and she signed the marriage certificate, along with Ual “Jack” Brown. Veldo’s job with the highway department required them to move to Okemah, so eventually Daisy had to leave her friends behind in Oklahoma City.
Early in October, 1933, Christel and Ual got engaged. On October 7th her friends Daisy and Doris hosted a bridge party in her honor at the Skirvin Hotel, at which the engagement was announced. Christel’s sorority Gamma Tau held a shower for her on the 17th, and on the 19th her friend Marion Barnthouse hosted a shower for her. The wedding itself was on the 29th. It was a family affair held in Chandler, where Christel’s relatives lived. They honeymooned in Tulsa.
Not long afterwards, on January 14, 1934, Christel’s friend Doris was married to William Buschhorn. They remained in Oklahoma City for many years, and along with Christel and Jack they were active in the ballroom dancing scene. Many of the dances were sponsored by the Young Men’s Club, which Jack had joined soon after it formed in 1937, eventually being on its board of directors. He and Christel attended the club’s ballroom dances until 1952, when Jack reached the age limit of 45. Around 1946 Doris and William Buschhorn moved to Dallas, then returned in 1955 for a few years. Marion and James Barnthouse remained in Oklahoma City and remained friends of the Browns until James died in 1959.
After Christel and Jack retired from the ballroom dancing scene, the focus of their social life was on family activities, church activities, PTA, cub scouts, campfire girls, and a four-couple bridge club that met regularly in the homes of its members. This included their friends Jack and Carolyn Lovell, who attended the same church. Christel and Marion Barnthouse were also active in a book club.
On October 29, 1983, Christel and Jack Brown were treated to a 50th anniversary celebration at the home of their daughter Carolyn Bedingfield. Christel’s former room-mate and friend Daisy was there, with her husband Veldo Brewer, as were Jack and Carolyn Lovell.
During the 1980s, her husband Jack suffered increasingly from COPD, until finally he needed constant care. Christel attended him at home, with the help of Nola Anderson, Nola Anderson, a care provider who lived nearby. On January 4, 1990, Jack passed away, but since Christel herself was getting more feeble, Nola continued to assist her until she moved into an assisted living facility, The Fountains at Canterbury.
In July, 1999, Christel's daughter Carolyn hosted a big family reunion in Oklahoma City to celebrate Christel's 90th birthday. Her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren were there, as well as her nieces, cousins, and their families.
Three months later, after breaking her hip and while recuperating in a nursing home, Christel decided she had lived long enough. She asked for prayer that God would take her to the next life. On October 16th she reported being visited by her deceased brother and sisters. On October 17th she had a fried chicken lunch with her son-in-law Jack. After he left, Christel told a nurse she was going to die now, and her heart and respiration began to slow. When Jack got home, the phone was ringing, and the nursing home informed him that Christel's heart and respiration had slowed to a halt. He returned immediately to be with her as she passed on.
Christel was a genuine Christian lady. Her character is well described in a letter of appreciation given to her by a co-worker upon her retirement. They had worked together for twenty years or so at W.R. Johnston Insurance company. The letter accompanied an engraved charm:
December 28, 1973
The charm was supposed to say "You were the best part of WRJ" but I couldn't find a large enough charm to get all I wanted to say—or, maybe, as usual, I wanted to say too much.
Anyway, I want you to know how much I enjoyed working with you—nowhere could there be anyone as easy to work with, since you are so pleasant, always will take time to help, and I have never, ever known you to be cross ("bitchy") or even complain about anything. Most of all, I want you to know how glad I am that you are my friend 'cause as I've tried to tell you before, you always were there when I needed you and always knew what to say to make me feel better.
What I'm trying to say is that I think you are the most remarkable person I've ever known and how happy it makes me to know you.
With love, Sarah
Edward Gerardy (1865 - 1942)
Lissie Drusilla Gross Gerardy (1870 - 1960)
Ual Jasper Brown (1907 - 1990)*
Grace Clementine Gerardy Potter (1891 - 1966)*
Pearlie Christine Gerardy (1897 - 1899)*
Myrtle Lena Gerardy Pinkston (1899 - 1984)*
Golda May Gerardy (1903 - 1911)*
Edward Loren Gerardy (1905 - 1994)*
Lissie Christel Gerardy Brown (1909 - 1999)
Memorial Park Cemetery
Maintained by: Darrell Brown
Originally Created by: Cathy & Thomas
Record added: Mar 10, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 49495371