Obituary of Melanie Marie Brochu
Melanie M. Brochu, 82, wife of John P. Brochu, passed away peacefully at her home November 10, 2023 after a 28 year battle with Parkinson’s Disease with her loving family by her side. She was born January 10, 1941 in Brewer, the daughter of Carl V. and Viola E. (Hartt) Browning.
Melanie grew up and lived in South Brewer her entire life. She graduated from Brewer High School in 1959 and Husson University in 1989. After graduating from Husson, she began teaching in the Bangor Adult Ed Aspire Program. In 1960, she married the love of her life, John “Jackie” Brochu. After marrying, they purchased her family home in South Brewer, where they raised their six children and continued to live until her passing. As a young girl, she loved to dance and attended the Polly Thomas School of Dance where she excelled in both Tap and Ballet. Not too long ago, she decided, all on her own, to pull out her tap shoes and do a little dance in the kitchen – the smile on her face spoke volumes and brought so much joy to her heart. She commented, while dancing, that she was doing this to show her great granddaughter, Evelyn, who at the time, was taking tap dance lessons. Throughout her marriage, she and her husband, Jackie, could always be found on the dance floor whenever the opportunity arose, bringing smiles to their faces and making fond memories together.
Melanie was a dedicated wife, mother and friend. Her homemade bread, chocolate chip cookies, pizzas and school lunches were the envy of her children’s friends and family. When visiting, she made sure you never went home hungry and had a little something for later. Her famous chocolate chip cookies have been shipped around the world to family and friends from California to Qatar. They were a welcome sight to all who received them as a sign of her love and a little piece of home. Her favorite hobbies were knitting and quilting and she always had multiple projects going. She could knit, watch TV and still have a conversation with someone. Her skills were incredible. Her beautifully handmade quilts can be found on all the beds of her family’s homes. In 2005, she won 1st place in a quilting contest for a quilt she designed and created titled, “A Bluebeary Blankie”. In the 1980’s, Melanie began running with one of her best friends. Little did she know this would be one of the greatest achievements in her life. She found great joy in daily running and joining any and all of the local 5K road races. One goal of hers was to run the Bonnie Bell 10K Race in Boston which she did not only once, but twice.
Melanie was her happiest when doing something for others. She was always the first to lend a hand, cook a meal or mend some clothing. She always had an ‘extra’ stash of homemade trinkets, quilts, backpacks or porcelain dolls dressed in homemade clothing made up just in case she needed a little something to give away and make someone smile. She volunteered throughout her life when the need arose - a Boy Scout Den Mother, a Brownies Leader and Assistant Softball Coach. She volunteered her time delivering for the Meals on Wheels Program when the children were in school, and extended her knowledge teaching both sewing and cooking classes for the Home Economics program. In later years, she looked forward to seeing her friends at the Senior Exercise Class at the Brewer Rec. which she attended faithfully every week. One of her favorite games to play, year-round with family and friends, was Scrabble (and took it very seriously!). Many a time the good old Webster’s Dictionary had to be resorted to for clarification. There was no pulling one over on her, she loved to play and score the biggest word score, no matter who her opponent was. She and her husband, Jackie, enjoyed watching golf together where she cheered on her favorite player, Freddie Couples.
”Small, but how dear to us…” was the quote she chose for her senior yearbook. We may not know what she was thinking when she chose this quote, but what we know now is that it describes her to us. She was a small lady, with a heart of gold and the strength of an army and will always remain very dear to us. She will be missed beyond measure by all who had the pleasure to know her and love her. To honor the life of Melanie, we, the family, ask that all attending her services wear bright colors in her honor.
The family would like to express their gratitude to St. Joseph Hospice, and a special thanks to Kris, Chris, Christine and Brenda for the care and kindness you gave to Melanie. Fulfilling her final wishes to be at home would not have been possible without all of you.Thank you.
Surviving in addition to her husband of 63 years are six children, Joseph Brochu and his wife Ellen of Orrington; Timothy Brochu and his wife Cindy of Brewer; William Brochu and his wife Susan of Oakland; Christopher Brochu and his wife Lynn of Brewer; Aimee (Brochu) Cyr and Craig Wooster of Holden; Samantha (Brochu) and husband Mark Morneault of Madawaska; nine grandchildren, Patrick Brochu; Ryan, Brochu; Zachary Brochu and wife, Allie; Benjamin Brochu; Grace Brochu; Jessica and husband Chris, Briana Brochu, Gabby Hogan and husband Kyle; and Alec Morneault. Four great grandchildren, Teegan, Owen, Evelyn and Eli. Two brothers, Walter and Linda Browning of Prospect, and John and Roberta Browning of Hermon. In-laws, Frances Faucher, Joyce and Gary Poulin, all of Massachusetts; Patsy and Richard Ruth of California, Gail Trask of Florida and James Brochu of Brewer. Many nieces, nephews and close friends.
Family and friends may visit Friday, November 17, 2023 from 4:00–7:00 p.m. at Kiley & Foley Funeral Home, 69 State St., Brewer. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Saturday, November 18, 2023 at 10:00 a.m. at St. Paul the Apostle Parish, St. Teresa’s Catholic Church, 425 South Main St., Brewer. Burial will be at Mt. Pleasant Cemetery, Bangor and reception will immediately follow at the St. Teresa Parish Hall directly across the street from the Church.
For those who wish, memorial contributions may be made to Brewer Parks & Recreation, Melanie Brochu Scholarship Fund, Attn: Aimee Cyr, 318 Wilson Street, Brewer, ME 04412. Messages and memories of Melanie may be shared with her family on the tribute wall of kileyandfoley.com.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Melanie Brochu, please visit Tribute Store
Mass of Christian Burial
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In Loving Memory
1941 - 2023
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