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Mildred Brownell
November 23, 1919 - December 22, 2016

Mildred Brownell, of Oelwein, passed away at her home on December 22, 2016.  She was 97 years old.  Visitation will be from 4-6 PM on Monday December 26, 2016 at the Geilenfeld Funeral Home in Oelwein.  Funeral services will begin at 11 AM on Tuesday December 27, 2016 at Stanley Union Church in Stanley with Rev. Phil Rownd officiating.  Interment will be in Floral Hills Memorial Gardens at Hazleton.

She was born Mildred Ruth Potwin on November 23, 1919 on the family farm near Aurora, Iowa, to Carl and Ruth (Wells) Potwin.

She graduated with the honor of salutatorian from the Stanley High School class of 1937. On March 15, 1940, she was united in marriage to Frank Wilson Brownell at the home of her grandparents, Mr. & Mrs. M. J. Potwin, rural Aurora. Three children were born to this union: Wayne, David and Janet.

The couple semi-retired from their fourth generation family farm near Stanley in 1966 and moved to Oelwein.

Mildred was a long time member of the Stanley Union Church serving for many years as pianist and organist. She accompanied many choir musicals, special music, weddings, funerals, and in the early years, she taught piano lessons. Her last performance was three weeks ago accompanying her son, daughter-in-law, and granddaughter for special music in church.

They enjoyed family vacations as well as traveling to Africa, New Zealand, and Mexico.

After they retired from farming, their winter months were spent in Sun City, Arizona.

Mildred was a loving and caring wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother and great- great grandmother. She loved spending time with family to just talk, to play Shanghi Rummy or dominoes, and to attend the great grandchildren’s school activities. She also enjoyed spending time with her two special friends, Donna and Margie.

She is survived by her children, Wayne (Karen) Brownell, Oelwein; David (Kathy) Brownell, Medina, Texas; Janet (Russell) Bowen, San Diego, California; six grandchildren, nineteen great grandchildren, and four great- great grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Frank (2005) and three great grandchildren. 


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Jessica Steffen on February 11, 2017 at 5:43 PM said:

I waited on her and the girls every Sunday and called them my princesses she was so sweet and always called me on my birthday love and miss her
Cathy James on January 5, 2017 at 9:19 PM said:

I have so many happy memories of Mildred. She showed God's love in everything she did. I will keep the family in my prayers and heart. Love you all
David and Judy Carlsen on December 26, 2016 at 11:15 AM said:

Mildred was a very special lady. We knew her and Frank in the early 1980s when David was pastor at Stanley Union Church. Two things come to mind when we think of Mildred.
1. She was a great organist for our church, who loved to play at a good pace. No dragging the music!
2. She had the gift of hospitality. She would invite us to their house for Sunday dinner and make us feel part of the Brownell family.
What a blessing to know that she is now with her Lord!
Jane Briden on December 25, 2016 at 8:43 PM said:

On behalf on the OCHS Class of 1965, condolences to you and your family.
Jo Dike on December 24, 2016 at 7:26 AM said:

What an exceptional woman Mildred was. I had the opportunity to visit her a couple of years ago when she was 95 years young. She amazed me with her memories of things I had long forgotten, she was spry and energetic and still had a heart full of laughter and joy. A beautiful wife, mother, grandmother, and friend who is going to be truly missed. Until we meet again....God Bless.
Anita Duckett Whitters on December 23, 2016 at 3:58 PM said:

I am very sorry for your family's loss. I have wonderful memories of Frank and Mildred from many years of knowing them both. I hope you find peace and comfort knowing they are together again.
Lyle & Nancy Miller on December 23, 2016 at 2:21 PM said:

Our condolences to your family. May Mildred rest in peace.

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Geilenfeld-Buehner Funeral Home

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