Tuesday, May 22, 2018
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Christine N. Brown (1950-2017)

Nurse had to deal with her own MS disease




Christine N. Brown, a registered nurse at the former Medical College of Ohio whose empathy and care was evident in childhood, died Saturday in Heartland at ProMedica on the Flower Hospital campus in Sylvania. She was 67.

She’d undergone surgery after a hematoma on her brain was discovered, her son Zachary said.

Ms. Brown retired about 15 years ago from MCO, where she worked since the 1970s. She had multiple sclerosis and responded well to treatment through the years, her sister Melissa Handler said.

“She was determined and kept a positive attitude and saw her doctors regularly,” her sister said.

Her son Zachary said: “She was a big fighter with that. She had it for 26 years. She was driving, walking, living on her own.”

Ms. Brown’s last assignment at MCO was as a head nurse in obstetrics and gynecology at the Ruppert Health Center.

Her favorite duties included stints in pediatrics and in pediatric care while an emergency room nurse, her sister said.

She was born June 19, 1950, in Bellevue, Ohio, to Jean and Ralph Leonard. She was second of what would be four daughters. She was a 1968 graduate of Bellevue High School.

“She had a lot of empathy and kindness naturally, as a child. I always felt she would be a good nurse,” said Ms. Handler, who also became a registered nurse, inspired by Ms. Brown’s example.

Ms. Brown was a 1971 graduate of the former school of nursing at Toledo Hospital. She later received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Toledo.

A resident of South Toledo, she was known as the neighbor who welcomed newcomers and looked in on the elderly. She spoke easily with almost anyone and could reconcile seemingly different viewpoints, her son Zachary said.

“She had twin boys, and so obviously she was a master of that,” he said.

Visitors to her garden could find among the flowers and vines carefully placed figurines — porcelain fairies and squirrels. She had a playroom in her garage for her grandchildren’s arts and crafts.

“She loved children. She was so good with them, and she was magical,” her son Zachary said.

She played bunco monthly with a group of friends, and she liked to read mysteries and science fiction. She spent time with extended family at Lake Wawasee, Ind., but she wasn’t a joiner.

She was formerly married to William Brown.

Surviving are her sons, Stephen and Zachary Brown; sisters, Nan Todd, Melissa Hendler, and Marcia Barrett, and eight grandchildren.

The family will received guests after 9 a.m. Saturday at Newcomer Funeral Home, southwest chapel, on Heatherdowns Boulevard, with funeral services at noon Saturday at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church, where she’d been a member.

The family suggests tributes to the local chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

Contact Mark Zaborney at mzaborney@theblade.com or 419-724-6182.

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