Medical 05

Elizabeth Ann (Ginther) Brownewell

March 11, 1924 ~ August 22, 2022 (age 98)


Elizabeth A. Brownewell, 98, of Racine, WI formerly of Elkhart peacefully passed away on Monday, August 22, 2022 at her apartment in Elizabeth Gardens Assisted Living in Racine, WI surrounded by the love of her family. Bette was born March 11, 1924 in Massillon, OH to the late Russell and Esther (Kurtz) Ginther. She married Charles E. Brownewell III on July 6, 1945 in Boston, MA.  

Bette was preceded in death by her parents, husband Charles and her son Stephen P. Brownewell.

She is survived by her sons: Charles E. Brownewell IV of Elkhart and Timothy D. (Kelli) Brownewell of Racine, WI. Bette is also survived by her grandchildren: Catherine (Josh) Hauch, Patrick (Alisha) Brownewell, Anlea Brownewell and John Brownewell. As well as her great-grandchildren: Noelen Hauch, Soe Hauch, Judah Hauch, Cole Brownewell and Juno Brownewell.

She was born and raised in Massillon, Ohio. Throughout her years she lived at Great Lakes Naval Base in Illinois, East Lansing, Michigan at Michigan State College in the Veterans Village called by Time Magazine “Fertile Valley", Delaware, Ohio (Ohio Wesleyan University) and Elkhart, Indiana.  

In her youth during the Depression, she loved visiting her grandfather's farm and enjoyed the daily activities, especially during harvest season when a huge food spread was put out for all the hired help.  She attended Massillon High School when the mighty Massillon Tigers were perennial state football champions under the direction of the great coach Paul Brown, that explains her love for watching high school and college football.  In high school biology class, she met her future husband, Charles Brownewell (Brownie), who was a teacher's assistant.   Red, as she was known as due to brilliant red hair, was the editor of her senior class yearbook.  After high school and during WWII she enrolled and graduated from Massillon Nursing School.

With the blessings of her father and mother, in July 1945 Bette put on her nurse cadet uniform and boarded a troop train to Boston, MA where she and Brownie were married before he was potentially shipped out to the Pacific.   She imparted to her family how respectful and gracious the men were during the train ride to Boston.

As an RN she worked in many nursing roles.  She retired from her nursing career as house supervisor at Elkhart General Hospital where she was fondly (or not) called Mother Superior by the staff.  

Bette loved to travel.  She and Brownie's travels took them throughout the US and internationally to Paris, France (her favorite), Mexico, Egypt, Spain, Ireland, Portugal, England, Russia and even Siberia.

She enjoyed knitting, playing bridge and golfing with her husband and friends.  She was active in many clubs over the years, including DAR, Coeur de Cerf, Junior Women's Club, 4-Arts Club, Questers, Athena Club.  She was an original member of the Board of the Samaritan Center.  She was a Board member and President of the Child Health Society of Elkhart County.    She was a member and former deacon at First Presbyterian Church. She enjoyed studying history and antiques.  She was a big fan of college football, especially Michigan State and eventually Notre Dame, but never Michigan who tried to block Michigan State from Big10 membership.

Although blind from macular degeneration, she was a living oracle of God's existence.  As a passenger in her son’s car her sight restored, she would shout out warnings and driving instructions.  In Grand Cayman her relationship with the Devine was on full display, especially since the driving lanes are as in England. She also has a special relationship with Alexa who with verbal commands took care of controlling her TV, keeping her up-to-date on the time and weather, and playing her beloved Boston Pops orchestra. Both God and Alexa are listening.

A visitation for Bette will be held Tuesday, September 6, 2022 at the First Presbyterian Church in Elkhart from 4-5pm followed by a memorial service at 5pm. Arrangements have been entrusted to Hartzler-Gutermuth-Inman Funeral Home of Elkhart.

Bette’s family would especially like to thank the staff at Elizabeth Gardens for their loving care throughout her years at its facility, especially during her final weeks.  There aren't enough superlatives to describe their dedication. The staff at Ascension Hospital, especially the house keeping staff, food service, CNAs, nurses, social workers and physicians were exceptional as was the staff from St. Croix Hospice who kept Bette and her family comfortable during her transition.   The caring, compassion and medical advice from all these providers while caring for Bette was first-rate.  Thank you to you all. 

An eventide open house will be held at her son Tim's home, where Bette enjoyed sitting in his backyard by the garden, from 5-8pm on Friday, September 9. Casual attire.

In lieu of flowers, donations to ADEC 19670 S.R. 120 Bristol, IN 46507 will be greatly appreciated.  ADEC was instrumental in providing Brownie and Bette's son Stevie, who was cognitively disabled, with compassionate living and care.   ADEC does such great work for their clients. God bless ADEC and all its care workers.  They make life better.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Elizabeth Ann (Ginther) Brownewell, please visit our floral store.

Memorial Tree
A Memorial Tree was planted for Elizabeth

We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Hartzler-Gutermuth-Inman Funeral Home Inc.

Join in honoring their life - plant a memorial tree


September 6, 2022

4:00 PM to 5:00 PM
First Presbyterian Church (Elkhart)

Memorial Service
September 6, 2022

5:00 PM
First Presbyterian Church (Elkhart)

© 2022 Hartzler-Gutermuth-Inman Funeral Home Inc.. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS & TA | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Accessibility