After 75 years of giving her heart and soul to her family and church, Phylis Ann Browne was called home on Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2022. Phylis was born on Feb. 21, 1947 in Lonoke, AR, to Alford McCuin and Frieda McDonald McCuin. Her early childhood years were spent living on the family farm where she developed her values of hard work and devotion to her family and God. While living on the farm she worked hard picking cotton, shelling corn, and feeding the animals. Her favorite chores were working in the garden and learning to cook which continued to be lifelong passions. During her elementary years she moved to North Little Rock where her family owned a restaurant and doughnut shop. She contributed by selling doughnuts on her way to school, working in the doughnut shop after school, and babysitting her younger sister.
At the age of 17 she met Larry, the love of her life, on a blind date and they would have been married 55 years this November. After high school she completed business school and worked for the state as an administrative assistant. With Larry’s encouragement she graduated from the University of Arkansas in 1970 with a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing. During this time she and Larry were married in Stilwell, Oklahoma, on Nov. 24,1967 which was the first year Larry was in medical school. She worked briefly as an RN at the Little Rock VA hospital before having her first child, Heather. Shortly after, Larry and Phylis moved to Dayton, Ohio, for his internship.
After he completed his yearlong internship they moved to San Antonio, Texas, where he completed his residency in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. While living in San Antonio she gave birth to Holly and Larry Jr. and was blessed to stay-at-home to raise her children. They moved to Ottine in 1975 so Larry could work at Warm Springs Rehabilitation Hospital. Ottine would become their forever home. A few years after moving to Ottine they welcomed their youngest child, Haley, who completed their family.
Phylis worked hard raising her four children. She wanted them to be well-rounded and to achieve this she would go to great lengths to ensure they had every opportunity available to them. To her, “if something is worth doing, it is worth doing well.” Her children were in a variety of extracurricular activities which for many years would include multiple trips to Austin for lessons. She was an extremely involved parent and spent countless hours assisting with school activities, 4-H projects, booster club, cooking for events, sewing costumes, and organizing family and community functions.
Collecting cookbooks fostered her culinary skills. Her cookbook collection was one of her most prized possessions. The hospital staff eagerly awaited her annual Christmas cookies and fudge and she was frequently called upon to cook for special occasions. She hosted many medical meetings in her home over the years. In 1998 Warm Springs Hospital was partially flooded leaving the kitchen under water and Ottine inaccessible. Phylis, being the devoted wife that she was, gathered a group of Ottine women and cooked for all the patients and staff that were stranded. On another occasion she volunteered to cook for the crew that was filming Chris Eska’s movie, The Retrieval.
Phylis was devoted to her family and faith. She not only raised four children but also played a vital part in her grandchildrens’ lives. Her son and her youngest daughter were fortunate to live close to her for many years allowing her to see her grandchildren daily. She was a member of the Gonzales Presbyterian Church and taught Sunday school for many years. It was important that her children had a relationship with God.
After Larry retired, they made frequent trips to their hometown of North Little Rock to visit her sister and family. They spent hours cooking in the kitchen, trying new recipes, perfecting family favorites, and playing cards late into the night. When they were not traveling, Phylis could be found either reading a book, watching a movie or the Razorbacks play, working in her garden, or continually experimenting with her recipes.
Phylis is survived by her loving husband, Larry Eugene Browne, M.D., and their children Heather Ann McKenzie, M.D. and her husband, John, of San Antonio, Holly Browne Mollgaard, D.P.M. and her husband, Dennis, of San Antonio, Larry Eugene Browne, Jr. of Gonzales, and Haley Lynn Pirkle and her husband, Kevin, of Gonzales; and their grandchildren, Matthew McKenzie, Sophie Mollgaard, Sam Mollgaard, Cooper Browne, Brody Browne, and Addison Pirkle; and her sister, Brenda Dare, and her husband, Dennis, of Little Rock, AR. She was preceded in death by her parents.
Phylis loved her family and devoted her life to nurturing her children, grandchildren, and husband. She will be missed! A private family service will be held on Saturday, Sept. 24, 2022. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Texas Elks Children’s Services, Inc., 1963 FM 1586; Gonzales, TX 78629.
Friends may sign the guestbook and leave condolences by visiting www.seydlerhillfuneralhome.com
Arrangements are under the care and direction of Seydler-Hill Funeral Home, Gonzales.