Frances Bremmer Brin, 85, most recently of Arkansas City, Winfield, and Pratt, KS, died in Ely, MN January 29, 2019. A Memorial Mass will be held in Damar, Kansas sometime this fall.
Frances was born on a dairy farm near Booker, Texas during the Dust Bowl Days, one of eight children. At 20, she graduated from Mount St. Scholastica (now Benedictine Colleges) in Atchison, KS. With her Feather Weight Singer sewing machine, she moved to Damar, Kansas to begin her teaching career. Robert Brin, a scrappy young farmer, won a bet with his cousin when she agreed to go on a date with him. There was no phone on the Brin farm. “Text” messages between Robert and Frances were pinned to the jackets of Robert’s youngest siblings who were in Miss Bremmer’s class.
They were married in Damar on July 25, 1955. Robert’s work for Northern Natural Gas Company moved them from Damar to Midland, TX to Garner, IA, to Cloquet, MN, and Pratt, KS. Frances taught or worked as a librarian wherever they landed. She started libraries in both the elementary and middle schools in Garner. In Cloquet, she taught gymnastics to young children. In Pratt, as librarian for the Skyline school, Frances developed the state’s first electronic book catalogue.
Mrs. Brin commanded the classroom even as a substitute teacher. But many former students describe her as the teacher who made a difference with encouragement or redirection with humor. She was passionate about learning. Frances taught her children, grandchildren, and others sewing, writing, and science. She shoved furniture aside to teach the Jitterbug. Her kids danced and performed in beautiful clothing she created (including three-piece suits). Frances loved family camping trips and long walks, in part because they were learning opportunities. This Texas girl learned to ice skate, cross country ski, and swim as an adult. She dubbed her ‘techniques’ ice dusting, three-point skiing (two feet and a fanny), and feet floating.
Her love of children and teaching sustained her through Alzheimer’s. In her mind, she interacted with kids. They were always delightful, always her joy.
Frances is survived by her children: Becky (Michael) Manlove of MN; Bob (Michele) Brin of MN; Charlotte (Charles) Bigler of MO; Sharon (Lee) Hathaway of NJ; and Yvonne (Dr. Alan) Marcotte of Winfield, KS; twelve grandchildren: Joshua, Candace, Katelyn, Lauren, Morgan, Cosette, Manon, Brennon, Danielle, Nick, Joseph, and Celin plus ten great-grandchildren; brother Dale, and sisters Barbara and Carol; and so many students. When she died, she was greeted with joy by her husband Robert; parents Maida and Konrad, two sisters Dorotha and Mary, two brothers Konrad and Edward, granddaughter Rachelle, son-in-law Michael, and many other loved ones.
For all of us lucky enough to call her Teacher (Mom and Grandma were synonyms), may we continue to hear her chuckle and share her joy in learning, and kids, and life. In parting she always said, “God loves you and so do I.” God loves you, too, Teacher, and so do we.
Please give memorials in Mrs. Brin’s name to the school, library, or Teacher of your choice.