Daniel Funeral Home & Cremation Service

Alice Brown

October 11, 1930 – June 23, 2024

Alice Louise Brown died on Sunday, June 23, 2024 at the age of 93, at the St. Cloud Hospital. She was born on October 11, 1930 in Park Rapids, Minnesota.  Her parents were Cecelia (Ward) and Joseph Driscoll.

Alice grew up in a log home without heating or plumbing, built on a hill on the shores of Long Lake.  Her family owned Driscoll’s Cafe in downtown Park Rapids, which also served as the Greyhound Bus Depot.  Alice and her siblings worked at the cafe, cooking, serving food and cleaning.  Living during the Depression, Alice’s family made do by fishing, hunting, and gardening.  Their diet often consisted of fish and wild game, as well as homegrown vegetables.

During the winters the family enjoyed skiing down the hill to the lake.  Their horses would pull them back up the hill, or sometimes even behind them on the lake.  They also skied at Shingobee Hills near Walker.  During the hot summers, the family would go swimming with the horses, riding them bareback, venturing deep enough into the lake that the horses were swimming too.  Fall was the season for horseback riding and camping at the family property on Boulder Lake, between Dorset and Nevis.  Joseph would ride and camp with the children.  Cecelia delivered hot breakfast by car the next morning.

Alice graduated from St. Francis High School in Little Falls, MN in 1948. She then attended the College of St. Catherine in St. Paul, where she graduated with a BA in Nursing in 1952.  With her delightful smile and Irish blue eyes, she was crowned Park Rapids Queen during the summer of 1950 and represented her home town as the Winter Snow Queen in the 1951 St. Paul Winter Carnival. Alice lived and worked in Minneapolis at St. Mary’s Hospital and then the University of Minnesota Hospitals.  She was very proud of helping to establish the first inpatient psychiatric unit for children in the state at the University of Minnesota.

Alice met her future husband, Frank Brown, while she was a nursing student and Frank and engineering student at the University of St. Thomas.  Alice was on a date with one of Frank’s friends, at St. Catherine’s bowling alley, when Frank agreed to set pins for them.  It is unclear exactly what happened, but maybe it was “love at first strike”?  Five years later, Frank “pinned” Alice, meaning that they became engaged.  Alice had a number of suitors at the time and decided on Frank after doing a seven-day Novena (silent, Catholic retreat focused on Mary).  After becoming engaged, Frank switched to pre-med at the University of Minnesota.  Alice had vowed to never marry a doctor, because as a hospital nurse she witnessed the hours they kept.  But love won out over premed plans.  They were married at St. Francis Cabrini Catholic Church in Minneapolis in 1955, and were together until Frank’s death 67 years later.

Frank obtained his MD at the University of Minnesota and then they moved to Dallas, TX so he could complete a general surgical residency at Parkland Memorial Hospital.  They decided to settle in St. Cloud in 1963, halfway between their two hometowns of Park Rapids and Madison Lake.

Alice and Frank were blessed with seven children born within a 9-year span.  As with most household in the 1960’s, Alice did the lion share of the child rearing and household management, while Frank was busy with his general surgery practice.  Somehow, in the midst of this, Alice and Frank were very active community members.  They were highly involved in the prolife movement. Alice founded Birthright of MN, which became Birthline. Alice also founded a home for unwed mothers, which served clients for over 30 years.  They took in foster babies and children, housed pregnant single women, and were active in MCCL (Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life) and other prolife organizations.  Alice’s Christian faith was central to her life.  She and Frank were life-long members of Holy Spirit Church.  They highly valued Catholic education of their children, including four years of college.  They also valued family, building a unique family home on the south side of St. Cloud in 1971.  Frank and Alice lived there together for 45 years.

During the summers, the family camped on the Driscoll family property at Boulder Lake, which, being a peninsula, was often referred to as “The Point.” Camping ended in 1975, with the purchase of an adjacent small island, with a unique and rustic 1940’s hunting cabin on it. This was Alice and Frank’s dream summer getaway. Even as their own children married and started having children of their own, they generously shared this beautiful island cabin with all their grandchildren.

Later, a more modern and spacious cabin was built on the Point. Hiking trails and tree farms were created, with their children often recruited to assist with planting seedlings. While Frank was busy with his numerous projects at the Boulder Lake, Alice prepared many meals, oftentimes for 20 or more people at a time. In addition, she gardened; she dug up worms, baited hooks, untangled fishing lines, and attached bobbers. She loved to fish and enjoyed sharing this past time with her children and grandchildren.

Under Alice’s influence, the family also enjoyed downhill skiing. First, Alice taught Frank to ski at Shingobee Hills during the early 1950’s. The two of them taught all seven of their children to ski hauling them up the rope tow at Powder Ridge in Kimball, MN. The family skied together at numerous small ski areas throughout upper Midwest. Later, there were trips to the mountains of Montana and Colorado. This love of skiing was eventually passed down to the grandchildren, through annual extended family gatherings at Whitecap Resort in Michigan. During their retirement years, Frank and Alice spent a couple of months each winter, skiing many resorts including their favorite ski resort, Alta, in Utah.

In their later years, Alice and Frank were happy to call Chateau Waters their home from 2016-2023. After all those years of planning and preparing meals for the family, Alice was DELIGHTED to have access to dining room services. Despite numerous health issues, including dementia, she was happy, comfortable, and at peace. She was grateful to have lived long enough to celebrate the birth of nine great grandchildren.

Alice is survived by her seven children: Frank (Laurie) MD of Ogden, Utah, Bill (Lynn) of Wayzata, Mary Brown MD (John Lampert) of Minneapolis, Maureen Spanier of St. Cloud, Michael of Eden Prairie, Barb (Tom) Henning of Sheboygan, WI, and Ann Brown (Manuel Pastor) of St. Cloud, 19 grandchildren and nine great grandchildren with one great grandchild on the way. In addition, she is survived by one sister, Marge Axelson (Larry), and one brother, Tom Driscoll (Bridie), as well as many nieces and nephews.

Alice was preceded in death by her parents, siblings Ward, Don, Chuck, and Marianne Kidd Van Maren.

Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, June 29, 2024, at Holy Spirit Church in St Cloud. Reverend Thomas Knoblach will officiate. Burial will take place at a later date.

Visitation will be held from 4:00pm – 7:00pm on Friday, June 28 at the Daniel Funeral Home in St. Cloud, and one hour prior to the funeral Mass on Saturday at Holy Spirit Church. Parish prayers will be held at 4:00 p.m. on Friday at the funeral home.

A special thank you to the staff of Chateau Waters and the Centra Care Home Care Services for all the care given to Alice.  And a special thank you to family members, who devoted much support and care to Mom over the past several years.

In lieu of flowers, please gift in memory of Alice to Elevate of St. Cloud, MN or Camp Olson YMCA of Longville, MN.


Guestbook

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We are so sorry to hear of her passing. She lived a beautiful life! She was a great blessing to all around her.
We’re very impressed with her prolife work.
May God bless her family and loved ones.

I’ve known Alice since the 1970’s in our Birthright work. She in St. Cloud, me in Minneapolis. Also, in the 70s as MCCL Board Members. Alice was encouraging and inspiring when we formed Human Life Alliance, and in 1989 when we formed PROLIFE MINNESOTA – now PROLIFE Across AMERICA. She and Dr. Brown served as Advisory Board Members. My husband John (now deceased) and I were blessed to attend the St. Cloud Tribute Banquet in honor of the Browns and all they had done to nurture and promote Life and Family Issues.
Alice was a charming yet ferociously dedicated leader. A privilege to know her.
May God welcome Alice “home” and console us in our loss.
(So sorry I am unable to attend – I am offering my Mass for Alice.

Sympathy to the entire family. We enjoyed seeing Alice at St. Kates alumni events as well as Holly Ball and medical alliance meetings. Fun to read that she got Frank on skis because we saw him on the slopes of Utah well after retirement. May she Rest In Peace!

My condolences to the family and heartfelt gratefulness for the amazing life produced by Alice; and congratulation to those that were blessed to have been touched by her grace. May the memories that you all have for her be held dear to you for many years to come. Love to the Brown family.

Services

28 Jun

Visitation

Daniel Funeral Home, St. Cloud
29 Jun

Services

Holy Spirit Catholic Church

Schedule Details

Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, June 29, 2024, at Holy Spirit Church in St Cloud. Reverend Thomas Knoblach will officiate. Burial will take place at a later date.

Visitation will be held from 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. on Friday, June 28 at the Daniel Funeral Home in St. Cloud and one hour before the funeral Mass on Saturday at Holy Spirit Church. Parish prayers will be held at 4:00 p.m. on Friday at the funeral home.