MARY HAMMOND FLETCHER BROWN (Age 90) "Mumsie" Mary Hammond Brown, a native Washingtonian, dedicated wife and loving mother, died peacefully on October 30, 2011, surrounded by her five children, seven of her grandchildren, and two of her great-grandsons.
Mumsie was one of seven children born to Richmond Viers Claggett Fletcher and John Fletcher. She enjoyed telling people that she was her father's 13th child and that she was born on Friday the 13th . She attended Alice Deal Junior High School and Central High School in the District of Columbia.
She married Austin Stanley Brown and began her family, raising four daughters and one son. When first married, Mary and Austin lived in Greenbelt, MD, later moving to Bellemead, MD, and then to Bowie, MD. While her children were young, Mumsie was active in her children's activities and especially enjoying serving as a Cub Scout and Boy Scout Den Mother. She was very creative in arranging activities for her scout groups. She was also involved in St. Mary's Catholic Church, where she served on the Ladies' Sodality and operated the religious articles stand. She and Austin chaperoned St. Mary's CYO dances for teenagers.
Austin, who loved rock and roll, served as disc jockey, and Mumsie handled admission and sold the soft drinks. Most of the teenagers who attended the dances knew Mary and Austin and were very fond of them. Mumsie was also on St. Mary's Bowling Team and had several trophies to prove her skills. Another of her hobbies was making ceramics, and she gave all of her children and grandchildren her hand-made ceramic pieces. She loved any kind of card game, was a very sharp player, and never missed an opportunity to play with anyone, and most times would win. She loved to walk and was very proud of the 18 or so certificates she had received for walking over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge on Bay Appreciation Day. When she lived in Bowie, the entire Brown clan, dubbed "The Sunday Lunch Bunch," would come for dinner at her home, known as "Club 3618." Mumsie had a real talent for making delicious and nutritious meals for an extended family of as many as twenty people. She truly loved being surrounded by her family.
In 1968, after Austin's death, Mumsie remained in her home in Bowie and continued with her Sunday afternoon meals for her family for many years. After her children were grown, Mary worked at the U.S. Catholic Conference and later at the World Bank where she had many friends. Eventually, she retired from her job at the World Bank in order to spend more time with her grandchildren. Mumsie's life revolved around her children and grandchildren, and she would often make the rounds among all five children, spending a month or more with each. She frequently vacationed with her children and grandchildren in Europe, Asia, the Caribbean, Canada, and Ocean City, MD.
In 2008, Mumsie fell in her yard and seriously injured her back. After that, she moved from Bowie to Rockville, but still made the rounds visiting her five children because they were her favorite thing about life. She always said "All I need is my family."
Mumsie is survived by her five children: Anita Catterton (Gary Posey) of Dover, DE; Austin "Buddy" (Ochi) Brown of Bradenton, FL; Agnes M. Brown (Joseph Wassell) of Washington, DC; Ana Blumetti of Myrtle Beach, SC; and Maryann Grimm of Rockville, MD. She is also survived by her nine grandchildren: Stephen (Leigh) Catterton of Elkton, MD; Charles Salsgiver of Pasedena, MD; Michael (Rebekah) Salsgiver of Herndon, VA; Tim Salsgiver of Arlington, VA; Jacqueline Salsgiver of Pawleys Island, SC; Matthew (Rebecca) Grimm of Vienna, VA; Kristin (John) Allison of Winchester, VA; Hazel (Don) Cozzetto of Manila, Philippines; Ronald (Virginia) Brown of Cape Coral, FL. She is also survived by three great-grandsons, Sean and Colin Catterton, and Domenik Merrikh, and two great-granddaughters, Jennifer Brown and Danielle Cozzetto.
Mumsie is remembered by her family as a consummate mother and care-giver and staunch supporter of her children and grand-children in every aspect of their lives. Mumsie was the glue that held the family together, and she will be forever missed.
Friends may call at BEALL FUNERAL HOME, 6512 NW Crain Hwy. (Rte. 3 South), Bowie, "MD on Thursday, November 3, 2011 from 7 to 9 p.m. Mass of Christian Burial will be offered St. Pius X Catholic Church, 14720 Annapolis Rd., Bowie, MD on Friday, November 4, 2011 at 10 a.m.
Interment at Fort Lincoln Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Salvation Army in memory of Mary H. Brown. Please view and sign the family's guestbook at: www.beallfuneral.com
Published in The Washington Post on November 2, 2011