Helen Monroe Brown, died peacefully June 7, 2018, surrounded by family. She was born May 18, 1936, in rural Livingston County, Ill., and attended country schools and high school in Fairbury, Ill., where she played trombone and sang with a jazz band.
She enrolled in Illinois State University, where she met Dwight Brown. The couple married in 1956 and went on to have three children. Helen briefly taught elementary school in Wing, Ill. After moving to Macomb, Ill., she took classes at Western Illinois University.
The family later moved to Lawrence, Kans., then settled in Minnesota in 1966. Helen became interested in politics and was the first woman elected to the Falcon Heights City Council in 1976. She championed causes of senior citizens, community education, affordable housing, establishing Community Park and construction of the current city hall.
Known for having the “hospitality gene,” Helen knew no strangers. She opened her home to countless people, serving them food and welcoming them with a smile. She was also active in her church and community.
Helen is survived by her husband of 61 years, Dwight; children, Cindy Brown Polson (Mark) of Plymouth, Minn.; Lori Casey (Mark) of New Brighton; and Kyle (Betsy) of Pomona, Calif.; eight grandchildren; and (soon-to-be) three great-grandchildren.
A memorial service was held June 23 at Falcon Heights United Church of Christ.