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Mary H. Browning 1935-2022

Mary H. Browning: A registered nurse, college professor and longtime resident of Norwich died on Friday, July 29 at Backus Hospital after a struggle with pneumonia. Mary was born in Detroit in 1935 to Frederick Stoddard Houwink and Dorothy Stevens Houwink. She grew up in Baldwin, Long Island and graduated from Johns Hopkins University with a bachelors in nursing in 1958. Her work at Hopkins included a stint in public health nursing where she worked in some of the more challenging neighborhoods in Baltimore. She later earned a master’s degree in nursing from New York University.

Mary married S. Pearce Browning III in 1961 in Saint Louis. The two met at the Barnes Hospital, where he was doing his residency in Orthopedic Surgery and she was teaching nursing at Deaconess College. They moved to Norwich in December 1961, where Mary lived until her death.

During her six decades in Norwich, she raised two sons, Samuel and Frederick, and taught nursing at Three Rivers Community College. She was not an easy grader and demanded excellence in her students. However, she and the members of the nursing department turned out several generations of excellent practitioners who still care for people throughout southeastern, Connecticut.

After her retirement in 2005, and before serious medical problems intruded, Mary liked walking, reading mysteries, baking, and serving on the Vestry at St James. She traveled to the Netherlands and Block Island, and cared for felines who are too numerous to mention by name. She is preceded in death by her husband, Pearce who passed away in 2010. She is also survived by three granddaughters, Eliza, Emma, and Julia Browning and her sister Johanna Roth.

A funeral service will be held at St. James Episcopal Church in Preston, CT at 5 pm on Friday, August 12. A reception will be held at her home immediately after the service. Please RSVP to for more information about the funeral or post service celebration. In lieu of flowers, donations should be made either to St. James Church in Preston, Connecticut or St. Vincent de Paul Place in Norwich, CT. Her family would like to thank her long-term caregivers Norma, Shaylla and Antonia for taking such good care of her as well as well as the support received by members of her church and former faculty at Three Rivers.

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I am saddened by the passing of Mrs Browning. I first met her when I was a nursing student at Mohegan Community College. She held us to a high standard and did so with grace and dignity. Imagine my delight when I reconnected with her as she guided our group around The Harkness Memorial! Thank you for your years of duty and service!

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