Phyllis Roberta (League) Brown passed away peacefully, surrounded in heart and spirit by her beloved family in Alamosa on June 1, 2022, the day before her 91st birthday. Phyllis was born on a farm outside the small town of Stratton, Neb., on June 2, 1931, to Ernest and Ellen (Hawkinson) League. She and her sister, Delores (League) Campbell spent their childhood living and working together on the family farm in western Nebraska, finding joy together in the lean years of the Great Depression.
Phyllis was an exceptional student and scholar her entire life. Excelling in her studies, she graduated high school at the age of sixteen after which she moved to town to live and work at the Stratton Hospital. She began nurse’s training at the hospital under the close instruction of Dr. L.B. Brown who became her guardian and later her father-in-law when she married the middle son of Dr. L. B. Brown, Jack. After their marriage in 1952, the two became an inseparable pair. Jack and Phyllis moved together to Lincoln, Nebraska, where Phyllis worked to support Jack while he pursued his studies at the University of Nebraska School of Dentistry.
Many Monte Vistans will remember Phyllis as the gentle and soft-spoken counterpart to the sometimes-cantankerous Dr. Jack Brown. They worked together for thirty years in the upstairs dental office on Adams Street in Monte Vista. Phyllis was the receptionist, x-ray technician, dental assistant, bookkeeper, and support staff. Any anxious child who ever climbed the orange-carpeted stairs to see the dentist would find comfort in Phyllis when they reached the office on the second floor.
Jack and Phyllis together raised four children: Sherry, Shirley, John and Kim. There was never a dull moment in the Brown household and although Phyllis and Jack worked extremely hard in their dental office, the family enjoyed a number of adventures together. Summers were often spent making the trek to visit family in western Nebraska, or fishing at Santa Maria Reservoir—all six of them together with two dogs in a small canoe!
Having served the town of Monte Vista well for 30 years, Jack and Phyllis retired in 1988 to pursue their innumerable hobbies. Together they cruised Colorado’s mountain passes on their BMW motorcycle, shot trap as active members of the Del Monte Gun Club, spent time fishing at Santa Maria Reservoir, and became amateur winemakers. They did not waste a single moment.
Always the scholar, Phyllis enrolled at Adams State College in her retirement to pursue her lifelong dream of a college degree. She studied writing, American Sign Language, computers, math and art. She became an active member of the Adams State Community and was loved and admired by students and professors alike. She graduated with her Associates Degree in general studies in 1999 at the age of 68. She loved books and was an avid reader, offering critical book analysis and sharing recommendations up until days before her passing.
Phyllis believed that heaven was all around us and she loved life. She had a determined spirit and refused to let her failing health stop her in her tenacious pursuit to find or do something beautiful every day. She was an expert horticulturist—she and Jack were known for their bountiful garden and beautiful flowers. They pressed cider in the fall from the apples they harvested from the trees in their front yard and they even made their own wine from the dandelions. She was a master cook and baker and always had a fresh loaf of bread in the kitchen—somehow the bread always turned out perfectly, even when she almost completely lost her sight. Phyllis had a special connection with animals—the family always had a dog (or two) as a member. It seemed as if she could look right into her creatures’ souls. She made sure her four-legged friends had a kind and loving home, a soft bed to sleep on, and delicious homemade treats to eat.
Phyllis is survived by her beloved husband, Dr. Jack L. Brown (“Doc”) and her children Sherry King, Shirley (Lynn) McCullough, John (Kimberly) Brown and Kim (Cyndy) Brown as well as her brother-in-law Dick Campbell, Sister-in-Law Norma Thomas, niece Rita Crose, nephew Mike (Teresa) Brown and niece Lori Campbell-Miller. She is additionally survived by her eight grandchildren and their spouses, and many great-grandchildren. Each of her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren carry a piece of her as she leaves the world a legacy of determined caregivers, scholars, dog-lovers, bibliophiles, expert cooks and bakers, creators, adventure-seekers and master horticulturists.
Her family will gather to celebrate her life at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the Colorado Talking Book Library or National Jewish Health.
Cremation was selected and a service will be held at a later time. To express condolences to the family, please visit www.rogersfunerals.com.
Rogers Family Mortuary in Alamosa is in care of the arrangements.