On Thursday, June 11, 2020, Josephine Lou Brown, wife, mother, music teacher and friend, passed away at the age of 98. She was born August 18, 1921 in Kimball, South Dakota. Her parents, Henry Benjamin LuBean & Lillian LuBean named her Manilla LuBean. After her mother’s death, at the age of one, she was adopted by Sanford Clyde Washburn and Lillian Lalona (Crouch) Washburn who renamed her Josephine Lou Washburn.
Josephine (Jo) was raised on a farm 10 miles south of Artesian, South Dakota in the Farwell community. She started her education in a one-room schoolhouse near her home. Following her graduation in 1939 from Artesian High School, she received an Associate’s degree in Music & Elementary Education from Dakota Wesleyan University in Mitchell, S.D. in 1941. Jo then obtained a teaching position at an elementary school in Huron, S.D. Later, in 1958-59, Jo went back to Dakota Wesleyan University & received her Bachelor of Music & Education degree.
Because Jo showed an aptitude for music at an early age, she took piano lessons and became experienced enough to play for high school, college and church activities. She also loved to sing & was asked to sing &/or play the piano for many weddings & funerals. Later she taught herself how to play the organ so she could be an organist at Artesian Methodist Church.
Jo’s teaching career started in Huron, SD & later taught in Artesian & the surrounding communities of Fedora, Forestburg, Carthage & Brookings.
When Jo was 16 years old, she met Edwin (Eddie) Clyde Brown, a young farmer from nearby Fedora, SD. They married in Miami, Oklahoma on October 30, 1944 right before Eddie went to the European front in WWII. They were married for 68 years at the time of Eddie’s passing on February 5, 2013.
On November 15, 1958, Eddie & Joe welcomed their daughter, Terri Sue Brown, into their family. Terri Sue was born in Inchon, South Korea & was a war orphan.
Eddie & Jo owned a farm in Artesian, S.D. until they retired in 1977 & moved to Sherman, Texas. They lived in Sherman for 5 years & then moved to Mesa, AZ where several of their S.D. friends & family spent the winters. Jo was in a band & performed constantly for dances at several of the Mesa area retirement centers. At age 96, she was still playing the piano at the nursing home where she spent her last couple of years.
Jo & Eddie are survived by their daughter, Terri Sue Brown Kirkpatrick & son-in-law, Bruce Kirkpatrick, of Montgomery, Texas and 2 grandchildren, Traci Jo Kirkpatrick (Matthew) Older & Kyle Bruce (Krista) Kirkpatrick and 7 great-grandchildren, Marc, Ayden & Elise Older, Jack, Dylan, Hudson & Karson Kirkpatrick & several nieces & nephews. Jo’s brothers, Carl Sanford Washburn, Earnest LuBean, Charles Gunn, Raymond Loomer & sister, Ida Mae Bailey, all proceeded her in death.
Services will be Friday, June 26, 2020 at Brown Road Baptist Church, 4801 E Brown Road, Mesa, AZ 85205. The visitation will begin at 9:00 am followed by the funeral at 10:00 am. Entombment will take place at Mountain View Memorial Gardens, 7900 E Main St., Mesa, AZ 85207.