Cover photo for Helen Mae Brown's Obituary
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1935 Helen Brown 2022

Helen Mae Brown

April 3, 1935 — December 29, 2022

Missoula

 

Helen May Brown, 87, passed away on Thursday Dec 29th 2022 at Community Hospital, surrounded by her family.

She was born April 3rd, 1935 in Juniata County PA, to Anna and Marshall Kauffman. She grew up on the family farm with two older sisters and an older brother. She was the youngest until age 15 when her little sister, whom she deemed hers, was born. She attended Greenwood High School. She dated a popular young man named Jack Brown, but they parted ways and she married another. She had 3 children James “Jimmy”, Wanda, and Johnny. However true love always wins and in 1958 she and Jack were reunited. They got married on May 4th 1959.

Jack and Helen moved to Montana and both worked on the railroad. They had 3 children Jackie, Donna, and Gary. In the early 60’s they started their first business in Missoula, Central Union Service Station, and purchased their first wrecker.
In 1962 they purchased property on Zaugg Dr. in West River Side and started Browns Towing and Auto which is still in operation today. That year Jack also started racing stock cars, a hobby Helen quickly joined in on and started racing herself. She not only raced and won all of the powder-puff races but was the only woman who raced against the guys, and would often win those also. Racing became a big part of their lifestyle. Along with the towing business they started a trucking business. Helen drove toter-truck and hauled mobile homes. At a time when women were mostly in the home Helen worked side by side with her husband holding a CDL, driving wrecker and semi-truck. In the early 70’s she started her own pilot car business which was active through 2022. They lived on the property on Zaugg until 1996 when they purchased their dream house on Speedway. From the time that place was built Helen would drive by and say, “I’m going to own that place someday.” As soon as it became available, they bought it.

Helen worked hard her entire life, and never retired, she continued to come into the office and occasionally run pilot car past her 87th birthday. She took over all of the businesses after Jack passed away in 2017.

Helen was the definition of matriarch, not only to her family but to all of her employees and close friends who became family. She had a heart of gold and was always willing to help anyone in need, including animals, domestic and wild. She loved and cared for her kids, grandkids, and great grand kids, deeply. She was a member of First Lutheran Church. She believed in and loved the Lord and is now joined in heaven with her true love. Her strength in life was unmatched, she always said “if you love someone, tell them”, and she made sure you knew that she loved you!

She is preceded in death by her husband Jack, her parents, Siblings; Jean, Janet and Melvin, son Barry, daughter Wanda, Grandson James “Jim” III and his wife Heather, and great grandson Drake.

She is survived by her sister Kay “Deb” Williams of St Louis, children James “Jimmy” (Rosie) Campbell of New Bloomfield PA, Johnny (Verna) Campbell, Jackie (Alan) Daniels, Gary (Gina) Brown, all of Missoula, Donna (Charles) Kellough of Stevensville, Jack Jr “Butch” Brown, of Missoula, Debra Everly, Vickie Brown of McAlisterville PA, 25 grandkids, 42 great grandkids, and 7 great great grandkids.

Funeral will be Saturday January 14th, 11:00 a.m. at Garden City Funeral and Cremation, viewing 10:00 a.m. prior to service, Pastor David Johnson officiating, potluck reception immediately after and graveside service to follow.

The family would like to give a special thanks to Barbara Gibson for staying with Helen these past 5 years.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Helen Mae Brown, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Saturday, January 14, 2023

10:00 - 11:00 am (Mountain time)

Garden City Funeral Home and Crematory

1705 W Broadway St, Missoula, MT 59808

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Saturday, January 14, 2023

Starts at 11:00 am (Mountain time)

Garden City Funeral Home and Crematory

1705 W Broadway St, Missoula, MT 59808

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Graveside Service

Saturday, January 14, 2023

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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