Isabelle Franklin Brown “Ma, Grandma, Aunt Sis, Ms. Brown” was the emblem of courage, strength, tough love and resilience. She was born on September 20, 1935 in Fluvanna County, VA to the late John Franklin and Emily Watkins Franklin. Having accepted Christ at an early age, Isabelle joined the Columbia Baptist Church. She moved to Richmond, VA as a teenager and graduated from the M.L. Walker High School.
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While in Richmond, Isabelle met Theodore R. Brown, Sr. and in 1951 they were united in holy matrimony. She and her husband decided later to relocate to Boston, Massachusetts. They purchased a multi-family home for their growing family and also owned a corner store. Isabelle was employed with Raytheon, Polaroid, Brush Hill Bus, and Boston Public Schools until her retirement.
Isabelle loved to serve God. She united with the Pleasant Hill Baptist Church and was a member for over 50 years. She was an active member until her health began to fail. She served on the Kitchen Ministry, sang in the Jubilee Choir, and was the President of the Samuel H. Bullock Missionary Circle. She also drove the church van which she loved. Riding with her was always an adventure of laughing and stories. She took passenger safety and courtesy very seriously. If violated either of these things you might find yourself left behind. If you ever rode the Pleasant Hill van you know what this means.
Isabelle was loving but also “tough as nails”. She knew how to push each of her children into their destiny and dreams. She was no nonsense and spoke her mind even if you didn’t want to hear it. She lived a life of service. She took many people into her home, fed the hungry, clothed the naked and needy, helped people get established and back on their feet. She lived her life helping others and made many sacrifices. She never asked for anything in return. She loved her family and raised many of her grandchildren. She lived selflessly by giving so much to others. She was a mother to so many.
Isabelle was by far one of the best cooks in Boston and everyone looked forward to eating her food. Her cold banana pudding with heavy cream and coconut cake were amazing! She made things years before they were a trend. She was definitely ahead of her time. She was a breathing, living, miracle and a friend of God. He often gave her the green light to do it her way!
Not surprisingly, she did it her way to the finish line! On March 28th Isabelle passed with peace and grace with her family at her side. Days before her passing, she surrendered her heart to the Lord’s bidding and said, “Jesus is calling me and I must go!” With loving kindness, she said, “Lord I’m ready to go, and I ask that you take me through this transition smoothly, slowly and peacefully.” God granted her request and we were blown away that God demonstrated His love and power again and again, because it went smoothly, she went slowly, and it was peaceful!
She leaves to cherish her memory her loving sons, Theodore Brown, Leo Brown, Fitzhur Lee Brown, Audrey Brown, Alexander V. Brown of Boston, MA, Sylvester Brown of California; her loving daughters, Zanderine Brown of Newton, Patricia Brown-Elmore, Sudecia (Deedee) Brown of Boston, Annette Ferguson of Florida; daughter-in laws, Sandra Brown, Shirley Brown, and Fanuella McDonnell; son-in-law, Vernon Jones; her sister, Carrie Wallace of Williamsburg, VA; 26 grandchildren and many great-grandchildren; Godson, Rodney Elliot of Philadelphia, PA ; Goddaughters, Debbie King of Lynn and Dianne Appleberry of Canton, and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. She will truly be missed. She was preceded in death by her parents, two brothers, John Junious Franklin of Honolulu HI, and Edward Franklin of Virginia.
There will be a Viewing on Saturday April 6, 2019 from 10:00 to 11:00am followed by Funeral Services at 11:00 O’clock at Jubilee Christian Church, 1500 Blue Hill Avenue, Mattapan.
Interment: Forest Hills Cemetery, Boston, MA