Sr. Timothy Brown

Letter from the Sisters of Mercy West Midwest Community
Celebrating the Life of Sister Mary Timothy Brown, RSM
(6/27/1925 ~ 1/7/2018)
"Rise, shine, for your light has come!" On the Feast of the Epiphany, Jan. 7, 2018, Sister Mary Timothy Brown of Farmington Hills, Michigan, entered eternal rest and light after a long life of being Mercy. She was in the loving presence of her lifelong friends, Sister Mary Rene' Bourque and Associate Kelly Renaud, as well as members of the McAuley Center staff.
Helen Elaine Brown was born in Saginaw, Michigan, to Jay and Ethel (Uren) Brown on June 27, 1925. She and her three brothers attended St. Andrew's Parish and School that was staffed by the Sisters of Mercy. It was there that Helen experienced a call to join the Community. On Sept. 8, 1943, she came to the Mercy novitiate in Detroit. Along with several other young women, she received a new name, learned and practiced the basics of religious life, and was prepared for a life of service to those in need. On Aug. 16, 1949, Sister Mary Timothy made perpetual vows as a Sister of Mercy.
Sister Mary Timothy's first nine years of teaching were in elementary education at Mercy schools in Lansing, Traverse City, Manistee, Hazel Park, and Berkley, Michigan. With the exception of serving four years on the Community Leadership Team (1967-1971), she spent the remainder of her teaching ministry in secondary education. A five-year assignment teaching "commercial and business" at St. Charles in Cheboygan in 1955 was followed by teaching at Our Lady of Mercy in Detroit. She then served as principal at Mt. Mercy Academy in Grand Rapids from 1963-67.
She completed her master's degree in business at the University of Detroit and returned to Mercy High School in 1971 (which had moved from Detroit to Farmington Hills) as administrative associate. She continued there until 1988. She then became director of operations at McAuley Center and was responsible for finance and physical plant maintenance until retiring in 2010. She did not, however, retire to McAuley Center but continued to live in a small community on campus until 2017 when health concerns required a move.
Graduates from St. Charles, Mount Mercy and Mercy High School recall "Sister Tim" as one who had a personal interest in them and would often remember her or invite her to school celebrations long after they graduated. For example, the Stempke family from Cheboygan made sure she always had a fresh Christmas tree from their farm, the Mount Mercy Alumnae Association enjoyed having her attend their annual Mass & Brunch, and Mercy High School offered her complimentary tickets to all sports events on the home campus. She seemed to have an understanding of teenagers and even though she had to keep an orderly eye on school rules and even though they teasingly called her "Sarge," they knew she was fair and that she cared.
Sister Mary Timothy was an unassuming, prayerful woman who had great devotion to Mary. A daily Rosary, the motto in her silver ring, "Through Mary to Jesus," and a custom of wearing blue on Saturdays in honor of Mary were all an important part of her life. She had a great sense of humor and enjoyed a good time with the Community.
She was an avid sports fan, not only for her high school teams but also for the Detroit professionals. The Tigers, Lions, Red Wings, and Pistons were followed faithfully with cheers, advice from the sidelines, and groans. For many years she enjoyed a fall trip to South Bend where her brother, John, would secure tickets for her to attend a Notre Dame football game. The annual Super Bowl Celebration at McAuley Center would always include buttered popcorn and a somewhat illegal betting pool, kindness of Sister Mary Timothy.
She also presided at the grill for Community picnics on Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day. She always participated in planning special occasions for the Sisters. Among her talents was one of diagnosing and repairing broken or dysfunctional items: rosary beads, tape recorders, lamps, jewelry clasps, etc. She was known as "Sister Fix-It" and although her hands became painful and swollen from arthritis, she continued to make lovely Palm Sunday crosses for many years.
Sister Mary Timothy is survived by her brother, Tom, many nieces and nephews, colleagues, and friends, as well as the Sisters of Mercy. She is fondly remembered by many students and those whose lives she touched.
Funeral services will be held at Sacred Heart Chapel, McAuley Life Center, 28750 W. 11 Mile Rd., Farmington Hills, Michigan, as follows:
Thursday, Jan. 11
Welcoming, 3 p.m.
Vigil Service, 7 p.m.
Friday, Jan. 12
Mass of Resurrection, 10:30 a.m.
(Please wear any shade of blue - her favorite color)
The Sister Mary Timothy Brown, RSM Fund was established in 2011 to provide scholarships for Mercy High School students. If you would like to donate to the fund, you may do so online or contact the Mercy Advancement Office at or 248-893-3538.