Frances S. Brown of Sea Girt died June 3, eleven days after her ninety-eighth birthday. She was born on May 22, 1921 in Braddock, Pennsylvania, the daughter of Frank and Stella Schnitzler. She graduated from St. Veronica’s High School in Ambridge, Pennsylvania in 1939 and as a Registered Nurse from St. Joseph’s Hospital School of Nursing in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1942.
She was a First Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Nurse Corps from February 1, 1943 to February 18, 1946. She served in the European Theatre of Operations with the 120th Station Hospital in England, France and Germany, living mostly in tents from 1943 to 1945. She arrived in Scotland from New York on the R.M.S. Queen Mary, which had been converted to a troopship for wartime service. She disliked bagpipes, because they reminded her of wearing a heavy winter uniform at the arrival ceremony on a hot day in June. She nursed German prisoners of war in England after D-Day on June 6, 1944 until December 1944. After Victory in Europe Day on May 8, 1945, she went to France and Germany as part of the Army of Occupation. As a souvenir of war, she broke a piece of marble from the mantle of Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest at Obersalzberg in Berchtesgaden.
While stationed in England, she met her future husband, then U.S. Army Second Lieutenant George A. Brown of Dunellen, New Jersey. They were married at the Post Chapel, Camp Kilmer, New Jersey on February 9, 1946. He died on June 21, 1997 after they had been married for over 51 years.
The Browns moved to Sea Girt from Ewing Township in 1964 when her husband then Colonel Brown became Superintendent of the N.J. National Guard Training Center. They lived in the Superintendent’s Residence from 1964 until 1976 when Colonel Brown retired. While there, Mrs. Brown entertained hundreds of guests, including N.J. Governors Meyner, Hughes, Cahill and Byrne, U.S. Vice President Humphrey, U.S. Attorney General Clark, U.S. Senator Williams, and several Members of Congress.
Mrs. Brown was a long-time member and former President of the Sea Girt Holly Club. She also was a member of the Sea Girt Women’s Club, Associated Member of the Sea Girt Fire Auxiliary, Charter Member of the Women in Military Service for America Memorial in Arlington, Virginia, Charter Member of the Harvard Medical School Nurses’ Health Study, a communicant of St. Mark’s Roman Catholic Church of Sea Girt and member of its Altar Rosary Society. She enjoyed entertaining, flower arranging, Scrabble, and crossword puzzles.
She is survived by three sons Omer F. Brown, II (and his wife Sandy Cannon-Brown) of St. Michaels, Maryland and Washington, DC; George A. Brown, Jr. of Sea Girt; and, William E. Brown of Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts and Jay, Vermont, as well as four grandchildren (Jennifer Brown of Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts; William E. Brown, Jr. of Jay, Vermont; Emily Coulter of Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts; and, Jessica Whitaker of Jay, Vermont), and three great granddaughters. Her younger brother Herman A. Schnitzler of Chandler, Arizona died July 15, 2006. Her three sons celebrated her ninety-eighth birthday with her at her home in Sea Girt on May 24.
Funeral Mass will be held at St. Mark’s Roman Catholic Church, 215 Crescent Boulevard, Sea Girt on July 18 at 9:30 A.M. Burial with military honors with her husband will be at Arlington National Cemetery, on August 22nd at 1:00 P.M.