November 8, 1931 - September 17, 2013

Burial Date October 20, 2013

Obituaries » JANE A. BROWN

BROWN, JANE ANN NORRIS, 81, formerly of Barre, died September 17. She resided at Orchard Valley, Wilbraham, Mass., at the time of her death. Jane was born Nov. 8, 1931, in Youngstown, Ohio, to Norman and Harriet (Guy) Norris. Jane graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Lake Erie College in 1953, with a degree in economics and sociology. She was the first woman hired to the professional staff of the YMCA in Youngstown, where she served as assistant youth director at the Youngstown YMCA and girls’ camp director at Camp Fitch on Lake Erie. It was here she met David Halbe Brown, “Halbe,” who was the boys’ camp director. Jane and Halbe were married March 14, 1958, in Poland, Ohio, with Halbe’s father, the Rev. Thomas Brown, officiating. In 1966, they moved to the Frost Valley YMCA in the Catskill Mountains of New York. Jane’s career of more than 40 years was dedicated to the YMCA and to the campers, counselors, families and board members with whom she worked. In grateful recognition of her decades of devoted service, she was inducted into the Frost Valley Hall of Fame in 2011. Jane was a church member and Sunday school teacher at the Claryville Reformed Church in Claryville, N.Y., and the Barre Congregational Church (UCC) in Barre, Vt. She served on the Parent-Teacher Association for the Tri-Valley School in Grahamsville, N.Y., for many years. In 2001, Jane and Halbe moved to Barre. In 2009, they moved to Massachusetts to be closer to their children and siblings. Jane will be remembered for her graciousness, steady optimism, selfless generosity and commitment to those in need. Her quiet faith and abiding belief in the goodness of others were the source of her strength. Jane was predeceased by her husband of 54 years, David Halbe Brown; her parents; her sister Josephine Mellinger; son-in-law Jeffrey Bickart; brother-in-law David Sano; and nephews David and Thomas Sano. She is survived by children Jeffrey David (Wendy), of Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, William Thomas (Katherine), of Canton, N.Y., James Norris (Fumiko), of Westhampton, Mass., David Halbe (Diane), of Denali National Park in Alaska, and Jennifer Lynn Bickart, of Elmore; 13 grandchildren; and 11 nephews and nieces. She is also survived by Halbe’s siblings, with whom she was close: Virginia (Richard) Gamble, of Youngstown, Ohio, Thomas (Lynn) Brown, of Old Greenwich, Conn., Helene Sano, of Alliance, Ohio, Mary Ellen (William) Webster, of Northborough, Mass., Paul Brown, of Claryville, N.Y., and Paula (Tom) Holland, of Duxbury, Mass. A memorial service will be held in the Ketcham Chapel at the Frost Valley YMCA in Claryville, N.Y., on Oct. 20, 2013, at 10:30am.

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