Jan Brown

Obituary of Jan Theresa Brown

Jan Theresa Brown passed away February 26, 2024, at the age of 78. Jan was born January 30, 1946, in Duluth, and grew up in northern Minnesota, Wakefield Michigan, and Milaca Minnesota. She graduated from Milaca High School in 1964 along with her lifelong best friend, Karen Hansen Lundahl. Jan graduated from Swedish School of Nursing and worked as a labor and delivery nurse many years until her back gave out. She married Cecil Brown in 1977.

Jan was a natural caregiver and very generous. She shared her home with her sister during part of Susan’s nurse’s training, and with her brother whenever John was in Minneapolis. Her youngest sister, Melinda, had a special place in Jan’s heart. She helped deliver her 10-pound nephew, Jeff Bonhiver. After Jan couldn’t work as a nurse any more, she lived with and cared for her mom, Ione Lunn, for many years. Jan was always very interested in her nieces and nephews, grand nieces and nephews and siblings. She would knit new sweaters for the whole family for Christmas and make beautiful Christmas stockings. The Thanksgiving dinners she made for the family were incredible, and she made it look easy. After her mom died, Jan was the matriarch of the family and the glue holding it together.

Jan always loved cats. Her favorite cat, Mai, lived 17 years. She continued to love her cats and when both of her wrists were broken, she refused to live with family during the healing because she wouldn’t leave her cats in the care of others.

Jan wrote a witty column for the Milaca newspaper. Her great sense of humor got her through difficult times. When a young handsome orthopedic doctor wrapped her broken wrist and the cast was setting up, he was down on his knees holding her wrist. She looked him in the eyes and said, “Are you going to propose?”

Jan was a faithful member of Zion Lutheran Church in Milaca and volunteered there as much as her health allowed. Over the years she taught Sunday School and loved working with the youth of the church. As a member of the Esther Circle, she helped serve lunch at hundreds of funerals. Jan used her organizational and computer skills to stay in touch with Zion’s babies through a Cradle Roll. She also maintained the Zion web site and the Prayer Chain for many years.

Jan suffered from severe osteoporosis, scoliosis, and chronic pain. One time when a comment was made with sympathy regarding all her difficult challenges and suffering, Jan answered, “I don’t want you to be sad about me. I’m not. I am a happy person, and my life is good. I am busy every day, and I have a wonderful family who help me when I need it. I really am happy with my life.” Jan’s last 6 months of life were in Elim Home where she received wonderful loving care, joking, patience, and the best mashed potatoes and grilled cheese. Jan and her family were skillfully and lovingly guided through the end of life challenges by Triniti Hospice staff.

During the final weeks of her life she seemed to hold on tight to life here until she made two comments in the last few days: “I want to go to the cabin in the sky” and “I’m going to work with Him” (Jesus).

Jan is preceded in death by her father, Pastor Frank Lunn, and her mother, Ione Lunn. She is survived by sister Melinda Johnson (Steve); brother Father John Lunn, sister Susan Bonhiver (Thomas); nephews Scott (Julie); Jeff; Justin (Andrea); nieces Kari and Hilma; grandnephews Warrick, Blake, Brody, and Sam; and grandnieces Lilah and London.

A Memorial Tree was planted for Jan
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Cremation Society Of Minnesota | Brooklyn Park