Friday, February 12, 2016

Brown (AP)
Esther M. Brown

Posted on Nov. 13, 2012 at 12:00 a.m.

April 5, 1928 - Nov. 10, 2012

ELKHART — Esther Mardell Brown, 84, of Elkhart, passed away at 9:15 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012, in Hubbard Hill Estates.

Esther was born April 5, 1928, in South Bend, the daughter of the late George Earl and Freda Iva (Tasher) Rupley. On June 6, 1948, she married James C. Brown. He passed away Jan. 19, 2009.

She is survived by four children, Larry (Elizabeth) Brown of Bloomington, Eric (Deborah) Brown of South Bend, Kim Brown of Tamarac, Fla., and Peggy (Douglas) Burggraf of Osceola. She is also survived by nine grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren, two great-great-grandchildren; and a sister, Althea (Keith) Hoskins of Clinton, Iowa.

She was preceded in death by her parents, husband, brother, Donald Rupley, and sister Dorothy Trefun.

Esther graduated from Washington-Clay High School in 1946. She went on to attend Manchester College, where she met her husband. They were members of the former Elkhart City Church of the Brethren and more currently Trinity United Methodist Church.

She was an accomplished seamstress and tailor and owned and operated Fashions by Esther from 1956 to 1971. Her skills allowed her to design and produce several wedding trousseaux, as well as all the formal gowns for a Miss Indiana contestant. She was also in charge of designing the costumes for Beaux Arts Ballet Company of South Bend.

In her later years, she was a member of Penn Music Booster and volunteered as a pink lady at Elkhart General Hospital, where she made pink pillows and stuffed animals for the children there.

She was also an avid sports fan and enjoyed watching baseball, basketball and football. At Hubbard Hill, she was responsible for starting the annual Super Bowl Sunday parties.

Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012, in Chapel Hill Funeral Home, 10776 McKinley Highway. Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012, at Hubbard Hill Estates, 28070 C.R. 24 West, Elkhart, with one hour of visitation prior to the service. Chaplain Dave Severance will officiate. Burial will follow in Chapel Hill Memorial Gardens, Osceola.

The family prefers memorial donations to be made to the Center for Hospice Care, 111 Sunnybrook Court, South Bend, IN 46637.

Online condolences may be sent to the family at