SOUTHBURY — Florence Mary Harrison Brown, 103, of Southbury, died in her home on March 31, 2022.

The wife of the late Gordon Ray Brown, she was a resident of Southbury for 30 years and Pleasantville, N.Y., for 32 years.

Florence was born on January 13, 1919, in Detroit, Mich., to Celia May and William Wesley Harrison and spent most of her youth in Indianapolis, Ind., where she attended Shortridge High School.

Graduating in 1941 from Ohio Wesleyan University with a bachelor’s in speech, she was recommended by the dean of OHU to join the Navy’s first class of WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service) in 1942.

She served in the New York City port director’s office, decoding messages to and from ships and ports in Europe and South America. She was a lieutenant when she was discharged from the Navy.

Returning to civilian life, she met the love of her life, Gordon Brown, with whom she had two sons and a loving marriage of 56 years. Florence worked for the Pleasantville Board of Education and volunteered for numerous organizations, including the Red Cross, American Field Services, PEO and the PTA.

Life-long Methodists, Florence and Gordon were active in congregations from New York City to Honolulu to Woodbury. Wherever Florence went, she filled the world with love and laughter.

Florence is survived by two sons, William Brown (Gail Suderman) of Kamuela, Hawaii, and Leigh Brown (Nadine Genet) of Ridgewood, N.J., five granddaughters and four great-grandchildren.

A celebration of her life took place Saturday, May 7, at the Woodbury United Methodist Church, Woodbury.

In lieu of flowers, donations to WUMC or a favorite animal sanctuary would be perfect.

To leave an online condolence, visit

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