Cover photo for Barbara A. Brown's Obituary
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1930 Barbara 2024

Barbara A. Brown

September 11, 1930 — February 3, 2024

Morris, Minnesota

Funeral services for Barbara Brown, of Morris, Minnesota, will be held on Saturday, February 10th at 10:30 a.m. at the Evangelical Free Church in Morris with Pastor Hector Franco officiating.  A visitation will be on Friday, from 5-7:00 p.m. at the Pedersen Funeral Home and will continue one hour prior to the services at the church on Saturday.  Burial will be at a later date at Lakeside Cemetery in Hancock. 

Barbara Ann Brown was born on September 11, 1930, in Hancock, Minnesota, one of 16 children born to John and Lizzie (Metzger) Schmidgall.  Barb grew up in a very large family during the depression, so she learned quickly the value of hard work. She loved her sisters, and they supported each other, laughed together and got through tough times together. Though shy, Barb considered herself somewhat of a tomboy and enjoyed outside activities with her brothers and sisters. When her brothers and sisters gathered in later life, there were many great stories shared and much laughter. Barb made many close friends during her school years, participating in cheerleading and eventually being crowned the Hancock High School Homecoming Queen. It was also during the school years where she met the love of her life, Vernard Brown, and they eventually married in December of 1950. Barbara began her work life at an early age as a telephone operator at the Hancock Telephone Company while still in high school. After graduation she spent many years as a bookkeeper for the Hancock Creamery. Once Barb and Vern were settled in Morris, she worked at the Ray Morris Accounting firm, eventually starting her own tax prep and accounting firm with several partners. She loved working with numbers and keeping books and logged many long hours during tax seasons.   Barb was rightfully proud of starting her own accounting and tax firm later in her career.  

Barb was a member of the Evangelical Free Church in Morris, and in retirement, Barb volunteered at the church serving as a bookkeeper, accountant, food coordinator, communion preparation and was actively involved with the vacation bible school experience for children. She also served as an election judge in Morris and Stevens County.  Barb enjoyed entertaining and loved decorating for each season. She and Vern hosted many family gatherings, making sure everyone was welcomed to the table, that there was an abundance of food, and all the details were perfect. Beware if Barb caught you butting into a buffet line as that was considered a serious offense. She and Vern tackled many remodeling projects even when they were older, they always had a home improvement project in the works. Planting and tending to the yard was one of Barb’s greatest passions, and the yard was always filled with beautiful flowers over the summer months. Gardening was one of the most difficult things to let go of when they moved to an apartment later in life.  

Barb’s most treasured accomplishment was always her loving family; she cherished the time she was able to spend with family, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. She was present at all her grandkids’ important events whether they were near or far. She enjoyed vacation travels together with Vern, especially trips to Branson, Missouri, and also to Hawaii, Alaska and Florida.  She loved summer gatherings at the lake with her ever expanding family.

Barb prioritized her faith and her relationship to Jesus Christ.  She demonstrated this faith through actions and hard work at the Evangelical Free Church and also by showing love and devotion to her family.   

Barb died peacefully on Saturday, February 3, 2024, at the West Wind Village in Morris, she was 93 years old.  

Barbara is survived by her husband, Vern Brown of Morris, MN; five children; Kathy Brown (Judd Nelson) of Wayzata, Gary (Julene) Brown of Fargo, ND, LeAnn (Jermaine) McGee of Brooklyn Park, Dale (Michelle) Brown of Normal, IL, Mark (Tami) Brown of Minnetrista; 12 grandchildren, 18 great-grandchildren; and her sister, Marion Schmidgall of Morris.  Barbara was preceded in death by her mother and her father; one great-grandchild, Caden Mestery; and 14 brothers and sisters.

In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to the Evangelical Free Church, Knute Nelson Health Care & Hospice, or to the Horticulture Display Garden at the West Central Research and Outreach Center (WCROC) in honor of Barbara Ann Brown.

Pedersen Funeral Home in Morris is in care of arrangements for Barbara.   

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Barb's Memorial Folder

Service Schedule

Past Services


Friday, February 9, 2024

5:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

Pedersen Funeral & Cremation Service

101 South Atlantic Avenue, Morris, MN 56267

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Funeral Service

Saturday, February 10, 2024

10:30 - 11:30 am (Central time)

Morris Evangelical Free Church

901 Scotts Ave, Morris, MN 56267

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