A Mass of Christian burial for Elizabeth Brown, or Liz as she was affectionately known, age 82, of Safford was celebrated Monday, Oct. 8, 2012, at 11 a.m. at the St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church by Rev. Edward Lucero.

Liz passed away peacefully Wednesday afternoon, Oct. 3, 2012, at the Sunset Hills Care and Rehab.

Elizabeth Scharlotte Brown was born Dec. 4, 1929, in Munich, Germany, to Johann Schiffl and Elizabeth Eder. Liz was one of three daughters born to this union. Life was very difficult while she was growing up in Germany. Liz pressed forward and received her education. She enjoyed helping those children who had a disadvantage in school and would become a special education teacher’s aide later in life.

Liz would migrate to the United States and reside in North Carolina until 1961, when she would relocate to Arizona. She would later become a naturalized citizen Dec. 17, 1962. It was here in Arizona that Liz would meet and later marry the love of her life, Robert L. Brown. Bob and Liz exchanged their marriage vows April 27, 1963. To this union was blessed a daughter, Michelle.

Liz had two passions in life, teaching special education and ballet. She would work for and retire from the Safford School District at the Lafe Nelson School. Her job consisted of being a teacher’s aide in the special education department. She taught with Ruth Powell and several other teachers. She loved the children who came into her life, and some have kept in touch with her.

It has been said that learning to walk sets you free; learning to dance gives you the greatest freedom of all. Ballet was what set Liz free. She not only loved to dance but also enjoyed teaching others the art of ballet. Liz, along with Jeannine Carpenter and Gayla Curtis, would help others feel the excitement of dance at the Safford Dance Academy.

Liz enjoyed her life here in the Gila Valley. She and Bob would purchase and operate the Safford Laundro-mat that was located by the old Gila Theatre. She also volunteered for several years at the Safford Public Library with Phyllis O’Dell. She was a member, the secretary and also found herself in the gift shop. Liz was tough on her pupils but knew that with a little bit of encouragement they could live their dreams. Liz expressed with her whole self the person that she was.

Liz is survived by her loving husband, Robert L. Brown; her daughter, Michelle Andrews (Brian); her grandson, Lane Andrews; her granddaughter, Leia Andrews; her two sisters, Irene Meadows and Gina Keller.   

Online condolences may be offered at viningfuneralhome.com.

Arrangements were entrusted to Vining Funeral Home.

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