Edenderry business woman who enjoyed distinguished teaching career

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The death has taken place of Maureen Brown, former teacher and well known Edenderry business woman. Maureen, aged 65, died suddenly after a short illness.

She was the only child of Sammy and Eileen Brown (nee Crozier) and spent her early years in Victoria House, Edenderry, which had been bought by her grandfather Robert Brown.

Sadly, her mother Eileen died at Christmas in 1954 when Maureen was a small child. Her mother’s sister Violet had married her father’s brother William and she proved to be a great support to Maureen in future years.

In the late 1970s, Maureen’s father began building a bungalow at Kernan and looked forward to moving there. Sadly this was not to be as he did not see it completed and died in 1980, the same year as his brother William. At that time Aunt Violet came to live with Maureen and remained until her own death in 2000, another sad time for Maureen.

Maureen attended Edenderry Primary School, Portadown College and Queen’s University, graduating in 1972 and obtaining both BA Dip Ed and MA (Ed) degrees. She majored in the Classics, Latin and Greek, spending most of her teaching career in Carolan Grammar, Belfast, where she was vice-principal from 1987-1989. When Carolan and Annadale were amalgamated in 1989 to become Wellington College, Maureen continued as vice-principal until she retired in 1997.

Following retirement, Maureen took over the management of her family property business on a full-time basis. She had previously supervised the changeover of Victoria House from a family home to self-contained apartments which continue to be an asset to the community, as well as her other properties.

As a member of Edenderry Community Development Association, she was interested in seeing the development of the area. Her most recent innovation was ‘The Candy Stop’ which was especially popular with children who enjoyed coming in from school on weekdays and also on Saturdays when they were attending music practice at Bann House.

Although she was no longer teaching professionally, Maureen gave of her time voluntarily twice a week teaching English as a Foreign Language to folk who had come to Northern Ireland from the European Union. She travelled widely to countries such as Norway, Greece, the Holy Land, Herculaneum in Italy, the Panama Canal and Norway. She also tutored young men in Greek who were studying for the church ministry.

Maureen had a wide range of other interests. Being a member of the Northern Ireland Group of Flower Arranging Societies, at one time as media officer, she was a skilled and qualified flower arranger and took part in several flower festivals as well as being in demand for floral displays at weddings.

Being a lover of classical music, she was a keen supporter of the Ulster Orchestra whose concerts she attended regularly on her season ticket. Some years ago, as a member of Soroptimists, she played a key role in organising an All-Ireland Soroptimists Conference in the Seagoe Hotel. She was a faithful member of the Graduate’s Fellowship (IFES), seldom missing any of their monthly meetings. Maureen loved her dogs and over the years had had a succession of retrievers, calling each one Teddy.

Her interest in her family history led her on one occasion to attend a conference in London about Captain Francis Crozier, the famous Polar explorer from Banbridge. In her support of charities, her particular interest was in the work of Tear Fund and at one time one of her shops was used to sell products in aid of that organisation.

Maureen lived a full and busy life which was cut short by an illness bravely borne. She will be missed by her wide circle of friends, some of whom travelled from a distance to visit her in hospital, and to attend her funeral which was held in First Portadown Presbyterian Church, the church which she had attended for most of her life.

The services in First Portadown and at Drumcree Churchyard were conducted by the Rev Peter Gamble and by Dr Martyn Cowan.