Frances V. Browne
Brownsville lost a centenarian, a member of one of Brownsville’s oldest Pioneering families (Browne and Powers) a philanthropist and a devout Catholic and member of Sacred Heart Church with the passing of Frances Verien Browne Friday November 3, 2017.
Frances, known as Ponchie to her friends and family attended Villa Maria High School in Brownsville. During World War II, she worked as a nursing volunteer at Mercy Hospital. She later graduated from Incarnate Word University with a degree in education. She taught for several years in Refugio, Texas and coached girls softball. She returned to Brownsville when her beloved father Stephen Powers Browne suffered a major heart attack and was bedbound. She served as his nurse until his passing. She stayed on to care for her mother, Hilma Horner Browne. Years later when her younger sister Mary Hilma Browne Winans was battling cancer she moved in with her and cared for her until her death. She was always the nurse of the family caring for those in need. She also loved children and although she never had any of her own she loved caring for her nieces, Gretchen and Karen, her nephew Steve and great nephews and nieces James, Michael, and Sarah. She and her beloved sister Agnes Browne were staunch pillars of Sacred Heart Church which was founded by their grandmother Agnes Anastasia Powers Browne. When plans were made to tear down Sacred Heart Church and sell the land, it was Agnes and Frances who led the fight to save the beautiful historic church which now carries a historical marker. She and Agnes along with the congregation of Sacred Heart Church helped to fund many improvements to the beautiful church. They were also active members of Immaculate Concepcion Cathedral to which the family had made generous contributions. They attended mass on a daily basis. Her faith is strong and she will surely be warmly welcomed into the Kingdom of Heaven.
You are known by your good works on earth and Frances, Ponchie, had many! She contributed generously to The University of Texas at Brownsville Building Fund and to its Nursing Scholarship Program. She made donations to the Catholic Diocese. Above all she cared for her beloved family in their time of need. She donated her time to help others usually through the church. She was also known for her spunk and can do positive attitude. She could walk into a room full of strangers and start talking to all. When she left the room there were no strangers just friends talking and laughing together. She was a catalyst for fun and positive action.
She loved to travel and spent time with her extended family, in Sweden. She of course loved Italy and Rome the seat of Catholicism. She also loved the people and climate which was reminiscent of her home in Brownsville. Her religion and her faith permeated her life!
She is survived by her beloved sister Agnes O. Browne at 103 another of Brownsville’s beloved Centenarians, niece Gretchen W. Nash (Ron Lee), Karen Frances Bach (Jim), nephew Stephen Browne Winans (Gail/Gigi), and extended family Michael Alexander Nash, Sarah B. Nash, James Stephen Bach, Simon Puente(Yadira) Robert Winans, Johnathan Winans, Allison Haley (Zack), Scott Michael Daniels (Carrie), Seth Lee Puente, Ian Lee Puente and Brayden Haley.
The family would like to thank the staff of Spanish Meadows and Dr. Frances Gumbel and his staff for their care.
A visitation will be held at Sacred Heart Church 602 E. Elizabeth Street, Brownsville, Texas on November 8, 2017 at 1pm. A Rosary Gloria Patri will follow at Sacred Heart Church at 2 pm and a Holy Requiem Mass will then be held at Sacred Heart Church November 8, 2017 at 3pm. A private internment of her ashes will be held at the historic Old City Cemetery where she will be buried alongside her father Stephen Powers Browne, her mother, Hilma Horner Browne, and her beloved younger sister Mary B. Winans.
In lieu of flowers donations may be made to Sacred Heart Church, c/o 1218 E. Jefferson St., Brownsville, Texas 78520.
Frances Verien Browne
Frances V. Browne