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May 7, 2014

Gwenneth M. Pennington Brown

COLUMBIA. Mo. — (1921-2014)

Gwenneth (Gwenn) M. Pennington Brown, 93, Columbia, Mo., formerly of Terre Haute, passed away at Lenoir Woods on Tuesday, April 22, 2014.

Family from across the nation, will gather later this summer for a private celebration of her beautiful life.

Gwenn was born April 1, 1921, in Denlow, Mo., to Andrew and Bertie Pennington. She grew up in Ava and Mountain Grove, Mo.

She married the love of her life, Dr. Ross G. Brown Jr., on June 2, 1940, who survives at home. Early in their married lives, Gwenn and Ross lived in Jasper, Mo., Michigan, Kentucky, New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. In 1965 they, along with their son, Bruce, moved to Terre Haute, where they lived for 42 years. Travel was a major part of their life, having visited most countries in Europe including Communist Russia.

Gwenn worked for Educational Testing Services and Alcoa in New Jersey, as well as owning her own Merle Norman Cosmetic Studio in Paris, Ill. She attended classes at Michigan State, Princeton, and Indiana State Universities. She studied painting under the well-known American artist John Edward Costigan and a Terre Haute regional artist, Chiz Henrichs. Gwenneth enjoyed working with oils, watercolor, and clay. Her primary subjects were flowers, woodland or street landscapes, and children. In 1994, she was selected as the Wabash Valley Art Guild Artist of the Month in Terre Haute. Five of her paintings permanently hang at Lenoir Woods where she had a show in January 2009. Gwenn’s father was an artist who drew pictures of what the advancing Allied soldiers could expect to see during World War II. Gwenn once recalled, “I used to say when I was a little girl I was either going to be an artist or a musician, one or the other. … I always had a pencil and a piece of paper.” Indeed, she did, and the family is blessed with numerous paintings as a lasting memory.

In addition to her husband of almost 74 years, Gwenn is survived by a daughter, Lynda Kay Novak and husband Ken of Hendersonville, N.C.; a son, Bruce Brown and wife, Lisa Ford-Brown, of Columbia; one sister, Loraine Serene of Arizona and her family; brother-in-law, Donald Brown of Ohio and family; nephew, Mason Hulen of Virginia and family; grandchildren, Brian Novak of Florida, and Kimberly Fiascone of Illinois; four great-grandchildren; and numerous friends from over the years.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband’s parents, Ross G. Brown Sr. and Cecil Harris Brown; sister-in-law, Kathine Hulen Pierrot; and brothers-in-law, Carl Hulen and Charles Peirrot.

Memorial contributions may be made to Columbia College for the “Gwenneth M. Pennington Brown Scholarship” and mailed to Columbia College, Office of Development, 1001 Rogers St., Columbia, MO 65216, or completed at


Online condolences may be left for the family at:


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