“A great soul serves everyone all the time. A great soul never dies. It brings us together again and again.”
– Maya Angelou
DURHAM: Mary Filosa Brown, 55, passed from our lives on August 18, 2015. To her family and friends, Mary was one of the greatest souls we’ve ever had the honor to know. Mary has left a deep and lasting impression upon us all. She was a joy to be near, endlessly compassionate and loving, full of energy, laughter, and love. Most importantly, Mary was a devoted wife and mother who loved her family and countless thankful friends with all of her heart. Mary’s gift was that each person lucky enough to know her understood that she genuinely cared for them, always wanted to know how they were doing, and would help them in any way she could. For that reason, Mary’s soul will never die, because it touched so many of ours, and our souls are better for having known her.
Born January 5, 1960, Mary was raised in Palatine, IL and graduated with a B.A. in Psychology from Knox College and an MSW from the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee. Both led her to a career dedicated to helping the elderly, most recently as Vice-President of Operations at Suncrest Health Management. She and her family have been active members of both St. Francis of Assisi Church in Raleigh and Immaculate Conception Church in Durham, most recently serving on the bereavement and welcoming committees, youth and Eucharistic ministries, and mentoring couples preparing for marriage. Mary was an ardent supporter of public education and her children while serving as PTA President at Pearsontown Elementary, Rogers-Herr Middle School and Jordan High School. She was an active member of the Woodlake Community, leading the Neighborhood Watch program, organizing the annual neighborhood barbecue and chairing the pool committee. She recently followed her concern for the elderly by joining the board of Meals on Wheels of Durham.
Mary was a passionate and dedicated athlete, running cross-country and track in college, completing numerous marathons and fulfilling her dream to qualify and run the Boston marathon. She was an organizer and planner of get-togethers and holidays, and caretaker of all. She organized a Supper Club that has lasted more than 25 years, Friday pizza nights, open invitation Thanksgiving suppers, and family reunions. Mary celebrated and nurtured all of her relationships, many of which forged life-long friendships.
Mary is survived by her loving husband of 28 years, Rick; her amazing children, Emily and Adam; her parents, Anthony and Irene Filosa; siblings, Mark (Anne), John (Cathy), Matt (MaryEllen), Luke (Karen), and Philip (Meegan); and many aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews. She will be sorely missed by us all, but we know that her soul will continue to bring us together for years to come.
The funeral Mass to celebrate Mary’s life will be 10:00 AM Monday from Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, with Fr. Charley Miller, OFM presiding. A brief church reception will follow the funeral prior to burial in St. Matthew Catholic Cemetery. Friends will be received 2-5 PM Sunday at Hall-Wynne Funeral Service. Contributions to honor the life of Mary may be made to the Mary Brown Memorial Fund, c/o Immaculate Conception Church at 810 W. Chapel Hill Street Durham, NC 27701.