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November 10, 2012

Wendy and Willis Brown

Wendy and Willis Brown

FRANKLIN — Wendy and Willis Brown died unexpectedly Nov. 7, at their home in Franklin. They were both 58 years old. They discovered when they met at college that their mothers happened to have shared a room at Sidney Hospital when they were born. Willis was the third son of Laverne and Ruth Brown and Wendy was third daughter of William and Caroline McReynolds, and the mothers joked about trading a boy for a girl.

Wendy and Willis did not meet again until they were 26 years old and students at SUCO. They married June 20, 1981. They had three sons, one of whom, William, died in infancy. Their lives centered on their sons, Garrett and Daniel, They were immensely proud of both, Garrett as IT director at Rising Tide Charter school in Plymouth, Mass., and Daniel in his freshman year at RPI.

They were also devoted to their extended family. Willis visited his mom weekly at Otsego Manor. Wendy worked closely with her sister Erna at The Morgan McReynolds Group at Morgan Stanley in Oneonta. Erna has said Wendy was her “second skin.”

Wendy was known as the family angel — she looked after and cared for everyone who came near. She was a passionate perennial gardener and spent happy hours improving her flower beds. Everything she tackled she did with passion and precision.

Willis loved the outdoors, especially canoeing and solo camping. He helped set up a blog on camping and canoeing. He was overjoyed to buy a camper so that he didn’t have to lie on ground on his camping trips.

Willis was a professor of applied sciences and building technologies at SUNY Delhi where he was recently named 2012 Faculty Tutor of The Year.

Wendy was the president-elect of the Oneonta Rotary club. She organized the group study exchange for the club and her family hosted two youth exchange students. Wendy also served on the board of the Catskill Symphony. She served on the board of the Franklin Stage Company. She rarely said no to any volunteer activity. Wendy challenged the Franklin community to back the Save our School campaign. She worked passionately with her sister Erna and her brother-in-law Tom on a variety of events for many organizations including Catskill Area Hospice and Bassett Healthcare.

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