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Obituaries
 
Wanda Nadine (Medcalf) Brown, 88, Nashville

Wanda Nadine (Medcalf) Brown, 88, Nashville, died peacefully in her sleep Saturday, Jan. 4, 2014.

Wanda was born to Jessie (Brooner) and Admer Medcalf, the fifth of six children, on Jan. 26, 1925, in Dale. This was a little town in which her parents, grandparents and great-grandparents had been born, and so she had a rich childhood, surrounded by sisters and a brother, cousins, aunts and uncles. Her parents supported and encouraged her artistic and creative spirit. She graduated from Dale High School in 1943, and from Indiana University in 1947 with a bachelor's degree in English/journalism and fine arts. She later completed a master’s degree in education from IU.

Wanda met a Brown County native, Orval Brown, while traveling though the county to see fall colors in 1956. She had found her soulmate, and she and Orval moved with her daughters, Pat and Kitty, and built a home near Bean Blossom; she and Orval later had two sons, Ishmael and Sam.

Wanda taught in the Indiana school system for nearly 30 years, primarily in Brown County. She taught English and journalism at Helmsburg High School in the late 1950s, and later, she taught art for many years in all of Brown County’s elementary schools. In those years, she had no classroom, and no closet for art supplies. Her “supply closet” was the trunk of her car, and she provided a break for regular teachers by holding art class in their rooms, or by taking the children out-of-doors to collect material for art projects (twigs, flowers and feathers from the woods, stones and clay out of the creeks). She knew a thousand fun things to do with a single sheet of paper. She made art a joy for her students.

After Wanda’s much-loved husband, Orval, died in 1988 after a lengthy and debilitating illness, she moved to a home in Nashville, where she lived until a few months ago. She loved her home, and it was during these years that she became most prolific in her artwork, working in many media: acrylics, oil, watercolor, pencil drawings, gourds, painted saws, clay figures, mosaics, as well as writing; poems, essays, books, and an occasional letter to the editor (for labor unions, against war).

Wanda was also a “philosopher,” and a searcher for meaning, ethics and truth. She loved to read about ideas and have conversations with her friends. She had the courage to question popular ideas and beliefs; she read, pondered, discussed and came up with her own answers. A particular joy for her during her later years was in helping to write and edit, for 15 years, the quarterly Brown County “Reflection Rag,” with co-editors and close friends, Pam Raider and Davie Ericson. For many years she hosted in her home a circle of students/readers of the Course of Miracles. She was also a sharp Scrabble, crossword puzzle and card-player. (She never let the grandchildren win — they had to learn to win by mastering the game.)

Wanda loved Brown County, the mists in the valleys, the dogwood and redbud of spring, the beauty of the flowing creek water in summertime, and the brilliant colors of fall leaves. She loved nothing better than to drive the back roads of the county and enjoy the views and the new scenery over each hill and around each curve of the road.

Wanda was preceded in death by all of her siblings, Jeanette, Sadie, Charlotte and Donald; and her husband — all died too young. These were sorrows of her life.

She is survived by four children and two daughters-in-law, Pat Brown, Kitty Brown, Ishmael and Darla Brown, Sam and Michelle Lynn Brown; 10 grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; many nieces, nephews and friends. She will be sorely missed by all of those who loved and admired her.

Enormous thanks from the family go to Darla, Wanda’s daughter-in-law, who, with such love and care and dedication, kept her healthy and supported for many, many years — so she could remain able-bodied and independent enough to stay in her home for longer than anyone thought possible. Particular thanks also goes to Pam Raider, who gave enormously of her time and energy for years and years, as a close friend, intellectual sparring partner, and companion/chauffeur to weekly breakfast and lunch gatherings with  friends. Wanda’s life was lengthened and enriched due to the love and devotion shown by both Pam and Darla.

In lieu of flowers to honor and remember Wanda, send a donation to Friends of the Brown County Library, or Mother’s Cupboard food pantry in Bean Blossom. Or set aside  time in the next few days or weeks to spend some joyful and soul-satisfying hours in “doing some art” — of whatever kind. This would most honor her, as this was Wanda’s life, legacy and joy.

A celebration of life for Wanda will be conducted Thursday, Jan. 9 at Bond-Mitchell Funeral Home, Nashville, at 1 p.m. Visitation will be from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Burial will follow in Oak Ridge Cemetery north of Helmsburg.

Obituaries
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Melody L. Estes, 56, North Vernon
  Sister of Shawna (Brian) Lowe of Brown County

Geneva Holder, 88, Sebring, Florida
  Brown County native

Larry D. Underwood, 53, Columbus
  Brother of Rob (Laura) Underwood of Nashville

  • December 23
    Euchre
    6 p.m. Sycamore Valley Center, 746 Memorial Drive (fairgrounds)
  • December 23
    Open 12-step meetings in New Bellsville area
    6 to 7 p.m. Harmony Baptist Church, 3999 Mt. Liberty Road, New Bellesville
  • December 24
    Nashville government offices CLOSED
  • December 24
    Christmas Eve Communion service at Becks Grove church
    7 p.m. Becks Grove Christian Church, 8009 Becks Grove Road
  • December 24
    Candlelight service at Helmsburg church Christmas Eve
    7 p.m. Brown County Community Church, 2370 Main St., Helmsburg
  • December 24
    Candlelight service set for Christmas Eve
    6:30 p.m. Country Gospel Music Church, 5181 State Road 46 East
  • December 24
    Cordry church hosts candlelight service Christmas Eve
    7 p.m. Church of the Lakes, 8844 Nineveh Road
  • December 25
    Government Offices CLOSED
  • December 26
    Bingo
    6 p.m. Fruitdale Fire Station, 5200 State Road 135 North, Bean Blossom
  • December 26
    Brown County Government Offices CLOSED
  • December 26
    'Interstellar' at the Playhouse
    4 p.m., 7 p.m. BC Playhouse, 70 S. Van Buren St.
  • December 27
    Euchre
    6 p.m. Sycamore Valley Center, 746 Memorial Drive (fairgrounds)
  • December 27
    Dave Miller at Abe Martin Lodge
    5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Abe Martin Lodge, Brown County State Park
  • December 27
    'Interstellar' at the Playhouse
    4 p.m., 7 p.m. BC Playhouse, 70 S. Van Buren St.
  • December 27
    Live band at dance barn
    7:30 p.m. Mike's Dance Barn, 2277 State Road 46 West
  • December 28
    'Interstellar' at the Playhouse
    4 p.m., 7 p.m. BC Playhouse, 70 S. Van Buren St.
  • December 29
    Jackson Township Board
    7 p.m. Jackson Township Board, Trustee's Office, 5765 Carmel Ridge Road
  • December 30
    Euchre
    6 p.m. Sycamore Valley Center, 746 Memorial Drive (fairgrounds)
  • December 31
    Live band at the Playhouse
    8 p.m. BC Playhouse, 70 S. Van Buren St.
  • January 2
    Bingo
    6 p.m. Fruitdale Fire Station, 5200 State Road 135 North, Bean Blossom
  • January 7
    Jeff Foster at Hobnob restaurant
    6 to 8 p.m. Hobnob, 17 W. Main St.
  • January 8
    Go Club meeting Thursdays
    3:30 to 5 p.m. Brown County Public Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • January 10
    Free community breakfast at Sprunica church
    8 to 10 a.m. Sprunica Baptist Church, 3902 Sprunica Road
  • January 14
    Jeff Foster at Hobnob restaurant
    6 to 8 p.m. Hobnob, 17 W. Main St.