Marjorie “Marj” Lee (Williams) Brown, 87, of Colby, died Tuesday, July 6, 2021, at the University of Colorado Hospital, in Aurora, CO. She was born in Oklahoma City, OK, to Mack Olaf and Florence Elizabeth (Wheaton) Williams. She had one older sister and a younger sister and brother.
When Marj was 12 years old, her family relocated to Colby, KS, where her father did carpentry work. At the age of 15, her parents divorced, and her mother remarried a year later to Robert Richards, also of Colby. This added two stepsisters and a stepbrother to the family.
Marj graduated from Colby High School in May of 1953 and married James “Jim” M. Brown, on November 22, of that same year. Jim was drafted into the United States Army and left for Korea just 4 days after their wedding. To this union, the couple had three children. After Jim’s return from the service, he worked as a manager of the Midwest Energy Power Plant, in Colby. Marj took art and English courses at Colby College. She was also active in the Colby United Methodist Church, where she taught Sunday School and instructed the children’s Cherub Choir. Marj belonged to the Colby Music Club, the first High Plains Art Club and Hoe and Hope Garden Club.
Once her children were all in school, Marj went to work for Bill James at Prairie Printers Inc., of Colby, where she did artwork and put publications together. Later, she also worked as a news reporter for the James’s Prairie Drummer Newspaper for 12 years. She and Editor Bill James co-authored the book, History of Gem, Kansas.
After the James’s sold the business and moved away, Marj donated her time teaching Psychiatric Remotivation classes at the Good Samaritan Nursing Home. She later graduated from Colby Community College with Emergency Medical Technician and Licensed Practical Nurse degrees. She went to work at the old St. Thomas Hospital, in Colby. After working there for 10 years, she attended Garden City College to earn her Registered Nurse license. Marj then went to work at the newly built Citizens Medical Center, in Colby, where she was the head nurse in the Intensive Care Unit. During that time, she became the first editor of hospitals new newspaper, The Health Harvester.
Marj retired from nursing in June of 1999 and went back to her artwork by assisting Kenneth Mitchell to paint the large mural in the new Bedker Hall, at Colby Community College, along with several other of Mitchell’s former students. Later she restarted the High Plains Art Club and started the Colby Writer’s Group. She publisher her novel, Secretes of Roberts Mountain, in August of 2014. During the 2015 Colby High School All School Reunion she was honored with the schools High Flying Eagle Award.
For a short time after her retirement Marj worked as a reporter for the Colby Free Press newspaper. However, she felt that did not leave her time to work on the writing she wanted to do, or on her artwork, so she quit the paper, but continued to write a column for them a couple of times a month titled, Marj’s Snippets.
Going before her in death were her parents; stepfather; in-laws, Ralph and Myrtle Brown, of Colby; stepbrother David Richards; great- granddaughter Rayanna Marie Harsh; great-grandson Aaron James Brown, Jr.; brother-in-law Myron Hankins, of Richland, WA, and all her aunts and uncles.
Those left to mourn her passing are her husband; three children, Duane (Velvola) Brown, of Colby, Allen (Debbie) Brown, of Tucson, AZ and Linda (Rusty Depe) Brown, of Colby; siblings, Shirley Hankins, of Richland, WA, Elizabeth Ann (Jim) Rogers, of Cheney, WA, Richard (Barbara) Williams, of North Little Rock, AK; stepsisters, Vick (Ted) Rychlik, of Ft. Myers, FL and Dixie Leddon, of Las Vegas, NV; 8 grandchildren, Valarie (Gregg) Maris, of Tucson, AZ, Sarah Poole, of Wichita, KS, Holly (Jerry) Lynn, of Cimarron, KS, Matthew Schrock, of Gofrey, IL, Aaron (Maranda) Brown, of Salina, KS, Kayla (Josh) Jones, of Gunter, TX, Darci Palmer, of Norton, KS, and Taylor Brown, 2 step-grandchildren; 26 great-grandchildren; 2 great-great grandchildren and a multitude of nieces, nephews and cousins.
Visitation is 5-7:00 p.m. Saturday, July 10, 2021, at Baalmann Mortuary, Colby, KS. A graveside service will take place at 10:00 a.m. Monday, July 12, 2021, at Beulah Cemetery, Colby. Memorials may be made to the High Plains Art Club and sent in care of Baalmann Mortuary, PO Box 391, Colby, KS 67701. For information or condolences visit www.baalmannmortuary.com