Marie Therese Browning, 81, of Orange, passed away June 20. Funeral services will be held at 10:00 a.m., Thursday, June 23, at Claybar Funeral Home in Orange. Officiating will be the Rev. Lynn Ashcraft. Burial will follow at Hillcrest Memorial Gardens.

Visitation will be from 5:00-7:00 p.m., Wednesday, at Claybar Funeral Home in Orange.

Born in Dordogne, France, Feb. 26, 1935, she was the daughter of Augustus and Marie Daudou. The life of Marie Therese Browning was filled with adventure, joy and an exploration of the experience of coming to America, finding her love and raising a family. Marie came to America in a quest unknown to everyone including her family. She wanted to challenge herself. The challenge of attending college in a new land must have seemed overwhelming, but she walked bravely into Texas. Her family in France remained very important to her, but she seeked a different life.

The family heard stories of meeting Bill on a blind date. How wonderful that a simple yes to a new adventure led to the Browning family of Bill, Marie, Elgin and Wayne. Marie and Bill faced the challenges of raising a new family on a tight budget and then they made the decision to leave the family home place and move to Orange. With Marie’s strength and determination and Bill’s hard work, they bought a duplex house, split it in half and made a home for the family.

Marie stayed at home and raised the boys and was always devoted to the family and instilled her French heritage and beliefs into her children. She took the boys to France when they were young and made sure that they knew their grandparents, aunts, uncles and all their cousins. She strived to teach them French.

When the kids were grown and in school, to improve the family’s life, Marie went to work at the Fair Store downtown.  She worked in different stores in Orange and finally retired so to speak from Kmart.

She loved her sons, Elgin and Wayne. She supported them only as a mother can when they had hard times in school, work, or as they were raising their families. Each of her children and grandchildren know and appreciate all she gave. She loved her grandchildren and was at all of their school event and games taking TONS of pictures.

She loved her time with the sorority sisters of Beta Sigma Pi where they did lots of community work around Orange. She also loved playing in her monthly bunko club with her friends where she always wanted to know who won. She enjoyed socializing with all of the people from her church on the first Tuesday of the month for a good pot luck dinner.  She especially enjoyed the volunteer service at the Lutcher Theatre, being able see all the plays and shows, and through her love of flowers became a volunteer at Shangri La for a short period of time. So needless to say she was a busy lady always having to check her pocket calendar to see if she could fit something else in.

We all joke that she drove more miles than racer Mario Andretti, as we feel the poor wheels on the cars never stopped spinning, but it gave her great pleasure to share, help and of course “gossip” on the latest news about Orange and her circle of friends at all the meetings and luncheons.

We are all sure that she is telling everyone what to do in Heaven and catching up on what’s next to do. We know she will tell Bill, “let’s go”, as they embark on their next adventure.

She was preceded in death by her parents and her husband, Billy Browning.

Marie is survived by her sons, Elgin Browning and wife Verniece, of Orangefield and their three daughters, sons-in-law, and six grandchildren and Wayne Browning and wife Becky, of Buna and their two children and son-in-law; siblings, Jacqueline Lapeyronnie, Simone Daudou and Edward Daudou, all of France; along with several nieces and nephews.

Serving as pallbearers will be Elgin Browning, Jake Browning, Wayne Browning, Kyle Bolyard, Ricky Bolyard, Damon Burton, Chance Istre and Robbie Rider. Honorary pallbearers are Alan Flanigan and John Tallant.