Frances Exley Brown

December 5, 2012

CLAYTON, N.Y.    Frances  Exley Brown, 83, Washington Island, Clayton, passed away Tuesday evening, Dec. 4, at River Hospital, Alexandria Bay, where she had been a patient since Nov. 16.

Calling hours will be held 4 to 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 7, at Cummings Funeral Service, Inc., 214 Sterling St., Watertown. The funeral service will be 9 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 8, at the funeral home with Rev. Dr. Jerome Wichelns, pastor of Christ Episcopal Church, Clayton, officiating. Burial will follow in Brookside Cemetery, Watertown.

Born March 28, 1929, in Watertown, daughter of Earl E. and Charlotte M. Merkley Exley, she graduated from Watertown High School, attended Hunter College, and graduated from Paine Hall Medical School with a laboratory technologist degree, both in NYC.

She married Irwin B. Brown in March 25, 1951, at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, Evans Mills, with Rev. Manuel Fowler officiating. Mr. Brown died April 3, 2005.

She was a laboratory technologist at Mt. Vernon Hospital, Mt. Vernon, a laboratory supervisor at E. J. Noble Hospital, Alexandria Bay, and a lab consultant at E. J. Noble Hospital, Gouverneur. She was a member of the Board of Directors of River Hospital and was instrumental in the planning and development of the Irwin B. Brown Antwerp Health Center. 

Frances was a member of Antwerp Chapter 189 Order of the Eastern Star and had served as a member of the Thousand Islands Central School Board of Education. In 1993 she was named Cape Vincent Citizen of the Year, actively participating in the Cape Vincent Improvement League and the Thousand Islands Craft School, Clayton. 

She was an avid antique collector, loved to cook, had a love of arts and crafts, and a special, strong love for the St. Lawrence River.

Surviving are a daughter and her husband, Helen H. and Rich Duffy, Clayton; her three sons and their wives, Edward E. and Sharon C. Brown, Watertown, Kurt F. and Suzanne M. Brown, Mohawk, and Jay M. and Kim A. Brown, Clayton; eight grandchildren and five great grandchildren; her sister, Constance "Connie" O'Neill, Clayton; her stepsister, Mary Marcott, Watertown; and several nieces, nephews, and cousins. 

Besides her husband, Irwin, she was predeceased by her father, Earl Exley, her mother and stepfather, Charlotte Exley Richardson and H. Wellington "Wally" Richardson, stepbrother, Joseph Richardson, two stepsisters, Margaret Dermady and Kay Shields, one granddaughter, Jaycee Brown, her brother, Col. William R. Exley, and her twin brother, Frederick E. Exley

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in her name to either River Hospital Foundation, PO Box 567, Alexandria Bay, NY 13607 or E. J. Noble Hospital, 77 W. Barney St., Gouverneur, NY 13642. 

Condolences to the family may be made to

Information provided by Cummings Funeral Service and, Watertown