Onnolee Brown died Saturday (Mar. 17, 2012) at Absolut Westfield after a long illness. She was born on Nov. 19, 1920 to the late Roscoe and Mary (Besterfeldt) Findland of Sherman, N.Y.
Onnolee and Francis Elmer Brown were married in Ripley, N.Y.; Mr. Brown died in 2005.
During her lifetime, Onnolee was very active in the Ripley Community. She started the Food Pantry in 1982, serving as its first treasurer and secretary. She worked for the Food Pantry for 23 years. Mrs. Brown volunteered as a teacher's aide at the Ripley School through the RSVP program. She loved to read to children as well as listening to them. She received a pen for her years of service. Onnolee was very proud of her community. She enjoyed being a volunteer at the information booth on Shortman Road and was a member of the Ripley Beautification Forum that planted flowers throughout the village. Mrs. Brown was a Senior Citizen reporter, and was a diligent fund raiser for the American Cancer Society and West-field Memorial Hospital. She also worked for Dr. Mix as a cleaner and appointment arranger when his office was closed.
Onnolee is survived by three children, Leonard (Glenna) Brown, Thomas (Kathleen) Brown and Meredith (Charles) D'Anthony, all of Ripley, N.Y., eight grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren. She is further survived by a sister, Beunah J. Brown, and a step-brother, Herman (Mildred) Graham.
Besides her parents and husband, Mrs. Brown was predeceased by sisters Janet Drake, Maxine Seeking, step-sisters Sylvia Chamberlin, Angeline Chamberlin, Catherine Spinks, and a grandson, Steven Brown.
The funeral service was held on Wednesday, March 21 at the Ripley First Baptist Church at 11 a.m. with the Reverend Donald Eggleston officiating. Relatives and friends were invited to attend the service and called at the Mathews Funeral Home, 104 West Main St., Ripley on Tuesday, March 20 from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m.
The family requests that donations to Hospice, the Ripley Fire Department, the First Baptist Church, or the Ripley Library be made in Onnolee's memory.