WINDHAM – Clara Ballard Brown Mendell, 100, passed away peacefully on March 15, 2022, surrounded by her large loving family. The Brown family matriarch has maintained a high degree of stability in the home and family for over 76 years with nine children to manage and control. Clara’s home was full of love, compassion and discipline. The constructive criticism was swift and poignant as his point was made with a healthy dose of diplomacy. Clara was born on September 22, 1921 on the family farm just off Winthrop Street in Hallowell. She was the daughter of George Irving and Alice (Wing) Ballard. Our mother grew up in a harsh agrarian environment. She was raised in a household based on growing crops and raising animals. As soon as his feet touched the ground in the morning, there were responsibilities to fulfill. The house was always busy with a variety of household chores performed by her mother and father. Clara loved them dearly and appreciated the strong work ethic learned from them both. She passed that on to her children. Clara graduated from Hallowell High School in 1940. She participated in a variety of activities which included public speaking, cheerleading, and the Hokey Pokey Fair. After graduating, she immediately went to work at the Hazzard Shoe office in Augusta. Throughout her long life, she held various jobs in the Augusta and Portland areas and eventually retired from Mercy Hospital in Portland when she was seventy years old. Mother was extremely proud of her children and especially her grandchildren. At family gatherings, which usually took place twice a year, the family gravitated around Clara who was delighted to see everyone. The family was known for their mutual love and respect. Their successes were noted but the arrogance did not take place. The love, compassion, kindness and strength shown by Clara are evident in each of her children and grandchildren. Clara was a descendant of Martha Moore Ballard who produced a journal that recorded her hard work with thousands of entries for over three decades. which has provided historians with invaluable insight into the lives of frontier women. She traveled in the desert in a canoe and delivered babies and healed the sick. Clara’s father was a direct descendant. Clara was predeceased by a beloved son, Mark Edward Brown in 2012, and a daughter, Diane Muriel Reynolds in 2017. They missed Clara dearly. She was also predeceased by her parents, George and Alice Ballard; three brothers and their wives, Robert W. and Helen Ballard, Milton W. and Charlena Ballard, Richard I. and Charlotte Ballard; her husband, Frederick P. Brown Sr., whom she married during World War II on January 6, 1942, in Dorchester, MA, at the home of Esty and Mildred Polit. Fred Sr. died in 1968 at the VA Hospital in Togus. Her second husband, Carleton Mendell, a well documented marathon runner died on December 25, 2012. Clara leaves behind Mark’s beloved wife, Marsha Brown and Diane’s husband, Craig Reynolds. The surviving children are sons Fred P. Brown and his wife Sylvia of Augusta, Timothy Brown of Windham, Dennis Brown and his wife Karen of Portland, Debbie and John Surran, Jeffrey Brown and his wife Margaret of Portland; daughters Suzanne Dube and husband Robert of Windham, Debra Surran and husband John of Saco, Kimberly Denis and husband Nate of Kennebunk; as well as many grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-children. The family would like to sincerely thank Tim Brown and Sue Dube for their round-the-clock love and compassionate care for Clara. The funeral will be held March 25 at Jones, Rich and Barnes Funeral Home, 199 Woodford Street, Portland. Visiting hours will be 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. with service to follow at 11 a.m.
Obituary: Adele S. Paganucci