|Birth: ||Oct. 16, 1917|
New York, USA
|Death: ||Sep. 5, 1999|
New York, USA
ONEONTA — Mary White Brownell, 81, a longtime resident of Oneonta and an active leader in the community outreach programs of the First United Methodist Church of Oneonta, died Sunday, Sept. 5, 1999, at the Albany Medical Center after a brief illness.
She was born in Hamden, on Oct. 16, 1917, she was the daughter of the late Frank H. White and Ida Mae Terns White.
A descendent of pioneer farmers in upstate New York, she grew up on a farm on White Hill Road in Walton.
She graduated from Walton High School in 1936, and attended Hartwick College after graduation.
She married the late Philip L. Brownell in 1940, and together they raised four children. Mr. Brownell died in 1975.
Mrs. Brownell was a professional in the culinary arts, with a certificate from the State University College of Agriculture and Technology at Cobleskill, and was involved in food services most of her life.
During the 1950s she owned and operated Bill's Lunch in Oneonta, she also ran many events for the Elk's Club. She was a volunteer for Meals on Wheels, a member of the Oneonta Women's Business Club, and the organizer of countless family picnics and celebrations.
For more than 20 years she worked in a management capacity for the Ancillary Food Services Division of the State University College at Oneonta. Popular among students and colleagues alike, she was honored at a large and memorable retirement event in the early 1990s, after which she came out of retirement and again worked at SUCO.
For nearly 60 years Mrs. Brownell was a member of the First United Methodist Church and a leader in church activities. She was a member of the Administrative Board, a representative to the Interfaith Commission, and belonged to the Elizabeth Circle at the church. She was a co-founder, organizer, chef and member of the Steering Committee of the communities, Saturday's Bread outreach program which feeds 400-500 needy people each week at the church, and she was one of the people most responsible for the initiation and development of this very important Oneonta charity. Until two weeks before her death she was still devoting at least one day a week to this activity, helping to plan the Saturday luncheons and to prepare them.
Among her many special interests were music and baseball. She was a church organist as a young woman, and a dedicated supporter of community concerts. She was also a devoted fan of the Oneonta Yankees, and then the Tigers, a season ticket holder, and constant attendee at their home games.
Mary is survived by her sister, Bessie W. McAdams and her brother-in-law, Floyd McAdams of Davenport; by her halfbrother, Frank H. White Jr., and his wife, Betsy White of Mount Vision; by her daughter, Phyllis B. Zona and son-in-law, Emil Zona, of Unadilla; by her son, Alan L. Brownell of Sequim, Wash.; by her son, Harold Martin Brownell and daughter-in-law, Carol A. Brownell of Walton; and her daughter, Marilyn B. Brown and son-in-law, Clifford W. Brown Jr., of Guilderland. She is also survived by six grandchildren, David J. Flummer of Huntington Station, Diane M. Wennell of Melbourne, Fla., Jerry E. Kimble of Auburn, Wash., Gina L. Hanna of Puyallup, Wash., Michael W. Brownell of Dryden and Matthew P. Brownell of Oneonta. She is also survived by three great-grandchildren, Lauren E. Wennell of Melbourne, Fla., and Trista Hanna and Ryan McCaughan, both of Puyallup, Wash.
Calling hours will be held at Bookhout Funeral Home, Oneonta, Thursday evening, from 7 until 9 p.m. Funeral services will be held at the First United Methodist Church, Chestnut Street, Oneonta, Friday, Sept. 10, 1999, at 11 a.m. Private burial will be held at Ouleout Valley Cemetery, Franklin.
Donations in her memory may be given to Saturday's Bread or to the Catskill Rural Aids Services, First United Methodist Church, 66 Chestnut St., Oneonta.
Published in The Daily Star on Sept. 8, 1999.
Philip L. Brownell (1912 - 1975)
Ouleout Valley Cemetery
New York, USA
Created by: Donna Davenport
Record added: Apr 08, 2013
Find A Grave Memorial# 108056346