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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.

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  • November 26
    Go Club meeting Wednesday at coffee/tea shop
    3 p.m. Brown County Public Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • November 26
    BC Sheriff's Merit Board
    4 p.m. Sheriff's Office, Law Enforcement Center, 55 State Road 46 East
  • November 27
    Thanksgiving dinner
    11 a.m. to 3 p.m. BCHS, 235 School House Lane
  • November 27
    Government Offices CLOSED
  • November 28
    Bingo
    6 p.m. Fruitdale Fire Station, 5200 State Road 135 North, Bean Blossom
  • November 28
    Government Offices CLOSED
  • November 28
    'St. Vincent' at the Playhouse
    1 p.m. BC Playhouse, 70 S. Van Buren St.
  • November 28
    'A Tuna Christmas' dinner theater at the Playhouse
    7:30 p.m. BC Playhouse, 70 S. Van Buren St.
  • November 29
    Euchre
    6 p.m. Sycamore Valley Center, 746 Memorial Drive (fairgrounds)
  • November 29
    Dave Miller at Abe Martin Lodge
    5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Abe Martin Lodge, Brown County State Park
  • November 29
    'St. Vincent' at the Playhouse
    1 p.m. BC Playhouse, 70 S. Van Buren St.
  • November 29
    'A Tuna Christmas' at the Playhouse
    7:30 p.m. BC Playhouse, 70 S. Van Buren St.
  • November 30
    'St. Vincent' at the Playhouse
    7 p.m. BC Playhouse, 70 S. Van Buren St.
  • November 30
    'A Tuna Christmas' at the Playhouse
    2 p.m. BC Playhouse, 70 S. Van Buren St.
  • December 1
    BC Commissioners
    6 p.m. County Office Building, 201 N. Locust Lane
  • December 1
    Gnaw Bone Sewage District
    5:30 p.m. Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • December 1
    BC 4-H Council
    7 p.m. 802 Memorial Drive at the fairgrounds
  • December 2
    Euchre
    6 p.m. Sycamore Valley Center, 746 Memorial Drive (fairgrounds)
  • December 2
    Nashville Redevelopment Commission CANCELED
  • December 2
    CSCD Building Commission
    7 p.m. CSLOA Clubhouse, 8751 Nineveh Road
  • December 2
    BC Chamber of Commerce
    8 a.m. Willow Manor, 72 Willow St.
  • December 2
    Boys Varsity Wrestling
    7 p.m. BCHS, 235 School House Lane
  • December 3
    Woodworkers Club
    7 p.m. Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • December 3
    Jeff Foster at Hobnob restaurant
    6 to 8 p.m. Hobnob, 17 W. Main St.
  • December 3
    BC Local Emergency Planning Committee
    9 a.m. Ambulance Base, 53 State Road 46 East
  • December 3
    BC Soil & Water District
    5 p.m. SWCD Office, 802 Memorial Drive at the fairgrounds
  • December 4
    Go Club at the library Thursdays
    3:30 to 5 p.m. Brown County Public Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • December 4
    WRAPS meetings
    7 to 9 p.m. Brown County Public Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • December 4
    CSCD Ecology Commission
    7 p.m. CSLOA Clubhouse, 8751 Nineveh Road
  • December 4
    Boys Freshman Basketball
    6 p.m. BCHS, 235 School House Lane
  • December 4
    'A Tuna Christmas' at the Playhouse
    7:30 p.m. BC Playhouse, 70 S. Van Buren St.
  • December 5
    Bingo
    6 p.m. Fruitdale Fire Station, 5200 State Road 135 North, Bean Blossom
  • December 5
    Children's fund annual auction
    6 p.m. Out of the Ordinary, 61 S. Van Buren St.
  • December 5
    Boys JV, Varsity Basketball
    6 p.m., 7:30 p.m. BCHS, 235 School House Lane
  • December 5
    'A Tuna Christmas' dinner theater at the Playhouse
    7:30 p.m. BC Playhouse, 70 S. Van Buren St.
  • December 6
    Church schedules drive-thru Nativity
    6 to 8 p.m. New Life Comm. Church, 1450 State Road 135 North
  • December 6
    Euchre
    6 p.m. Sycamore Valley Center, 746 Memorial Drive (fairgrounds)
  • December 6
    Dave Miller at Abe Martin Lodge
    5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Abe Martin Lodge, Brown County State Park
  • December 6
    Girls JV, Varsity Basketball
    1 p.m., 2:30 p.m. BCHS, 235 School House Lane
  • December 6
    Boys JV, Varsity Basketball
    4:30 p.m., 6:30 p.m. BCHS, 235 School House Lane
  • December 6
    'The Polar Express' at the Playhouse
    1 p.m. BC Playhouse, 70 S. Van Buren St.
  • December 6
    'A Tuna Christmas' at the Playhouse
    7:30 p.m. BC Playhouse, 70 S. Van Buren St.
  • December 7
    'A Tuna Christmas' at the Playhouse
    2 p.m. BC Playhouse, 70 S. Van Buren St.
  • December 8
    BC Animal Control Board
    7 p.m. Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • December 8
    Boys Freshman Basketball
    6 p.m. BCHS, 235 School House Lane
  • December 9
    Nashville Parking & Public Facilities
    6 p.m. Town Hall, 200 Commercial St.
  • December 9
    CSCD Roads, Security commissions
    6 p.m., 7:30 p.m. CSCD Office, 8377 Cordry Drive; CSLOA Clubhouse, 8751 Nineveh Road
  • December 9
    BC 4-H Fair Board
    7 p.m. 802 Memorial Drive at the fairgrounds
  • December 9
    Girls JV, Varsity Basketball
    6 p.m., 7:30 p.m. BCHS, 235 School House Lane
  • December 10
    Hamblen Fire District
    7 p.m. Hamblen Fire Station, 4650 Sweetwater Trail, Nineveh
  • December 10
    Local Coordinating Council
    8 a.m. Comm. Corrections Office, Suite B, lower level of Veterans Building, 902 Deer Run Lane,
  • December 10
    Jeff Foster at Hobnob restaurant
    6 to 8 p.m. Hobnob, 17 W. Main St.
  • December 10
    Boys Freshman Basketball
    6 p.m. BCHS, 235 School House Lane
  • December 11
    'A Tuna Christmas' at the Playhouse
    7:30 p.m. BC Playhouse, 70 S. Van Buren St.
  • December 12
    Widowed group plans Christmas party
    noon Salt Creek Golf Retreat, 2359 State Road 46 East
  • December 12
    BCSP Christmas bird count slated
    8 a.m. BCSP Nature Center, 1810 State Road 46 East
  • December 12
    'A Tuna Christmas' dinner theater at the Playhouse
    7:30 p.m. BC Playhouse, 70 S. Van Buren St.
  • December 13
    Free community breakfast at Sprunica church
    8 to 10 a.m. Sprunica Baptist Church, 3902 Sprunica Road
  • December 13
    'A Tuna Christmas' at the Playhouse
    7:30 p.m. BC Playhouse, 70 S. Van Buren St.
  • December 14
    'A Tuna Christmas' at the Playhouse
    2 p.m. BC Playhouse, 70 S. Van Buren St.
  • December 16
    Brown County Schools Board of Trustees
    6:30 p.m. BC Intermediate School, 260 School House Lane