Cover photo for Vera Brown's Obituary
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1915 Vera 2024

Vera Brown

April 6, 1915 — March 29, 2024

Gillette

Vera May (Stephenson) Brown, passed away Friday, March 29, 2024 at Primrose Retirement Center in Gillette, Wyoming, of natural causes. at the age of 108, one week before her 109th birthday

Funeral services for Vera Brown will be conducted on Friday, April 5, 2024 at 2:00P.M., with Gordon Harper officiating.  A viewing will be held from 11:00 A.M. to 2:00 P.M. before the service at the Gillette Memorial Chapel in Gillette, WY.   Burial to follow at Gillette Mt. Pisgah Cemetery.

A longtime Campbell County resident Vera was born April 6, 1915 in Medford, Oregon to Louis Albert and Grace May (Shane) Stephenson.

Vera came to Wyoming from California in 1924 by train. Pop (Vera’s Dad) filed for a homestead on Elk Creek 45 miles North of Gillette.   She had to retake third grade after moving from California in the country schoolhouse near Elk Creek.  She and her younger brother, Louis, made up the entire student body. She attended school through the eighth grade and took some correspondence courses.  

In October 1930, her mother and 4-year-old niece died, when a fire ravaged their house.  A keg of powder used for blasting coal in the Stephenson Coal Mine was ignited by a spark from the fire place burning the house to the ground, taking precious lives.  

She worked for the neighbors lending a hand and at times that meant breaking horses.  

 At the age of 23 she married Donald LaVern Brown, Sr., on November 5, 1938 at the Courthouse in Sheridan, Wy.  In 1938 they purchased Don’s, Uncle Fred’s homestead on Elk Creek in Northern Campbell County where they ranched. They started their family in 1939, when they had their first child, Joyce. In 1943, Donald Jr. was born, Rex came along a decade later in 1953.  In 1957 they purchased the Weston Store and Post Office, from Don’s brother Dick. At this time Vera became the Postmaster of the Weston Post Office for thirty years retiring in 1987, living at Weston until 1995.  She then moved to Recluse to be closer to her son, Don Brown Jr., until his passing in Aug. 2013.  Shortly after Donnie’s passing, she moved over to Rex’s at Recluse.  She lived on her own until the age of 106, at which time she moved into Primrose.

While at the Weston Store they became known for their salami and bologna sandwiches from Wyoming to Texas.  Which was a fresh slice of salami or bologna, slice of longhorn cheese, mayonnaise and lettuce, between two pieces of bread.

Vera was a 4-H leader for several years.  She enjoyed her bowling leagues, raising butcher chickens, sewing, camping, fishing, gardening, and playing dice.  At 96, Rex thought it was time for her to give up driving, boy did that aggravate her.  She did renew her driver’s license at the age 100.  Hitching a ride to town with Kathy weekly to get what she needed to keep her wild cats fed, which consisted of bread and homemade gravy twice a day.  

Vera is survived by her daughter Joyce Bell (Albert) of Great Falls, MT, son Rex Brown (Kathy) of Recluse, WY, daughter -in -law Betty Brown (Randy)of Gillette, WY.  Grandchildren: Gloria Bell of Missoula, MT, Frank Bell (Noreen) of Great Falls, MT, Kris Bell/Gallegos (Corby) Altadena, CA, Paul Brown of Weston, WY, Rori Coates of Recluse, WY and Fourteen Great-Grandchildren, Fifteen Great-Great-Grandchildren. 

She was preceded in death by her parents, husband, Don in 1994, brothers; Hervey and Louis and sister Dallas; daughter-in-law Jonni Brown, son Donald Brown Jr., grandsons: Gary Bell, Joe Brown, Mike Brown, and Billy Brown. In lieu of flowers memorials are suggested to be made in Vera's name to Fur Kids Foundation or Primrose Retirement Community. Memorials and condolences may be sent in care of Gillette Memorial Chapel 210 West 5th Street, Gillette, WY 82716. Condolences may also be  expressed at www.gillettememorialchapel.com 

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Vera Brown, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

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Visitation

Friday, April 5, 2024

11:00am - 2:00 pm (Mountain time)

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Funeral Service

Friday, April 5, 2024

2:00 - 3:00 pm (Mountain time)

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