Celebrating the life of Mary Francis Brower
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Born Nov. 18, 1929, in Sweetgrass, to Leo and Gwendoline Sweeney, Mary grew up in Calgary, Alberta. An exceptional student, she graduated with honors from both the St. Mary’s Girls School in 1947, and the University of Missoula in 1953 (MA, Foreign Languages). As a Fulbright scholar and accomplished linguist, Mary spoke Spanish, French, German and English. She studied abroad at the University of Poitiers in France 1952-53, spent a summer at the University of Mexico in Mexico City, and became a PhD candidate at the University of Washington (Seattle) in 1959.
A year later, she married Floyd Brower in Havre, where her son, Martin was born. The family moved to Roundup in 1965, where her second son Clay was born. In 1972, the family moved to a ranch in the Bull Hills that she and her sons called home for the next 44 years.
Mary was a fixture at the Roundup Public School, where she taught from 1975-96, shaping and expanding the minds of generations of Roundup students.
When you think of Mary, you think of a smart, bright woman but Clay and Aaron simply saw her as Mom. And that was the career to which Mary was most dedicated. She instilled in her boys a wealth of knowledge, a love for wide-open spaces and a strong work ethic. She taught them to be strong and kind. Above all, she made sure they had a solid foundation and that no matter how far they ventured, they would always call Roundup home.
Mary is survived by her son, Clay (Laurie), her grandson, Jesse, sister Marguerite Knight and numerous nieces and nephews. Mary was preceded in death by her son Martin, brother John Sweeney and sisters Gwendoline Entorf and Ellen Stewart.
Mary was proud, practical and independent — a tough, dedicated woman who gave so much to her community. She was a devout Catholic, and belonged to numerous organizations. Her legacy lives through Clay and Jesse and the countless students and friends she touched along the way.
A funeral mass will be held at 11 a.m., Aug. 20, at St. Benedict’s Church in Roundup. Please share your memories and stories with her family in the online guestbook. In lieu of flowers, please consider performing a random act of kindness in Mary’s name, or better yet, look up one of your former teachers and tell them how they changed your life.
To plant a tree in memory of Mary Francis Brower, visit the Tribute Store.
503 Main Street
Roundup, MT 59072