Celebrating the life of

Thelma May Van Duyne Brown

October 13, 1925 - July 07, 2022

Thelma May Van Duyne Brown

Our beloved Thelma May Van Duyne Brown passed away of natural causes at the home of her youngest daughter, Nancy Brown-Thibodaux, on Wednesday, July 7th. She was 96. Thelma was born on October 13, 1925, to Halsey and Gertrude Van Duyne in Towaco, New Jersey at the family’s home. She was cared for lovingly by Nancy at the Thibodaux-Brown home during her final two years.

Thelma grew up a farmer’s daughter and graduated from Boonton High School and later from the Mountainside Hospital School of Nursing. She fell in love with Loftus Brown while serving as a registered nurse and they married on June 14, 1947. With assistance from the G.I. Bill, Thelma put Loftus through Dental School at Indiana University and they later settled in Middletown, New Jersey, where Loftus practiced Dentistry until they retired to Savannah Georgia. They were married for 50 years until Loftus’s passing in 1998.

Thelma was loved by many as an esteemed wife, mother, grandmother, daughter, sister, and friend. She passionately loved her husband, children, and family. During the maternal time of her life, she was known to respond to Thelma, Thel, Aunt Thel, Mom, Mommy, Momma, Gram, GMa, Grammy and Gigi.

Thelma found time for and actively enjoyed gardening, cooking, golfing, playing bridge, volunteering, mentoring and was very enthusiastically involved in the church. She was a founding member of the Westminster Presbyterian Church in Middletown and remained highly active in the church until the Brown’s retirement to Savannah. Thelma also served as president of the Middletown Village Garden Club, was a member of various Parent Teacher Associations and was a Girl Scout Troop leader. One of her greatest loves was volunteering time and energy to help those less fortunate.

She was a dedicated and loving mother, instilling in her children character values including honesty, integrity, giving back and respect for their fellow (wo)man. Thelma was always there for them in love and support and, as one child stated, “she was the best of the best!”  

Thelma is survived by her children, Deborah Trawinski (Ron), Nancy Brown-Thibodaux, James Brown (Deborah) and David Brown (Cheryl Simpson); by her grandchildren, Jason Trawinski (Jennifer), Amanda Danzi (Chris), Courtney Brown, Jenna Jacobs (Jeremy) Katie Brown, Alisha Walker and Talon Brown (Dashiell); by her great grandchildren, Aubrey Trawinski, Cameron Trawinski, Kayla Danzi, Michael Danzi, Marlowe Walker, Halsey Brown and Ezra Brown; by her sister, Claire Moore; by her brother, Dan Van Duyne and by her sister-in-law, Nancy Van Duyne; and many beloved nieces and nephews.

She is preceded in death by her husband, Dr. Loftus Brown, D.D.S.; her sister Betty Jane Diedrich (William); her brother Kent Van Duyne, MD; her sister-in-law, Margaret Van Duyne and her son-in-law, Charles Thibodaux III.

Thelma was loved and cherished by those whose lives she touched. She will be missed immensely as she continues her eternal journey, joining the Good Lord and rejoining her dear husband, Loftus.

Thelma wished no services at her time of passing. There will be a family gathering later in the year as she is placed beside her husband and parents in Montville, New Jersey.



We loved you lots Aunt Thelma. Some of the best times of our life were spent with you and Doc at the shore. You are unforgettable. God speed. Love Tom and Viki

- Tom and Viki Diedrich , St Louis, Missouri

With love to Aunt Thelma. You and Uncle Doc were legends in our childhood development. The annual visits to New Jersey were always highlighted with the week on Long Beach Island with the Browns, Moores and Diedrichs all packed into one house (the only regret now being that the Van Duyne cousins were not part of these magical times). We will also never forget the visits to K.C. when our parents began their decline and the kindness and concern that you had for mom and dad. We are also happy that we had one last chance to visit you (and Aunt Claire) in Savannah at the 2018 "Van Duyne Cousins Reunion). We find solace that you are now rejoined with Kent, Betty Jane and other loved ones. With much love and respect for being such a wonderful Aunt and sister. Paul and Marilyn

- Paul Diedrich, Lawrence, KS

So sorry to hear this. Thelma was a church friend and bridge friend when I lived on Wilmington Island. She was loved by all who knew her. My prayers are with the family. Mary Lee Zimmerman

- Zimmerman, Midville, GA

Thelma and I met each other at church many years ago. When I became an Elder there was much to learn so she decided to take me under her wing and became my mentor. She was patient and kind, and was a wise teacher. I was grateful for her experience and guidance. Thelma also had a great sense of humor, was fun to be with, and we soon became close friends. I know the family will miss her, as will I, and pray that God comfort you during this time of sorrow.

- Linda Snell , Savannah, GA

Nancy, Courtney and family. What a beautiful tribute to an obviously well loved and cherished Mom, Grandma, and friend. It’s never easy to let them go. My heart goes out to you. All my love, trish

- Trish, Savannah, Ga

Services under the direction of:

Fox & Weeks Funeral Directors, Hodgson Chapel

  • No Funeral Service