Lillian Constance Brownlow (nee Middlefell)was born October 8th, 1927, the second of three children to Robert and Sylvia Middlefell in Lancaster, England. She attended Lancaster Girls Grammar school and then proceeded to receive training as a chemical assayer at the Springfield’s nuclear power plant. It is there that she met Stanley Brownlow who she would then marry in Perth, Australia in 1955 before moving to the town of Bachleor in the jungle of Australia’s Northern Territories. Lillian and Stan returned to England in 1957, purchased a home near to Liverpool in the Village of Formby where they would then have two sons, Colin and Nigel. In 1965 the couple emigrated to Canada, first to Elliot Lake in Northern Ontario, and then two years later to Trail, British Columbia. While in Elliot Lake Lillian worked as technician in the laboratory of the local hospital. During her following forty-three years in Trail, Lillian concentrated on raising her family and being an active member of the community. As a result of declining health Lillian left Trail in 2011 and moved to the Belvedere residential care facility in Coquitlam where she passed away peacefully on Thursday, November, 19, 2015.
Lillian was born at a time when society was still recovering for the tragedies of the First World War while dealing with the worst periods of the great depression. Like others of her generation, it imbedded an endearing appreciation for the simple things in life: her family; home cooking; gardening, and nature were her passions. A hobbyist naturalist, Lillian was fascinated by local fauna and wildlife especially the many small birds and wild flowers of the Kootenays.
The Girl Guide movement was a large part of Lillian’s life from her being a Girl Guide to later a Guide leader in England, Australia, and Canada. Between 1969 and 1980, Lillian served as Girl Guide District Commissioner for Trail and Area Commissioner for the Kootenays. Later she became one of early members of the Trail Trefoil Guild until her health prevented active participation. Lillian received several awards through her years in Guiding, including a medal of merit and the Eva Wrangler Tiger Lily Award recognizing her continued commitment to the true spirit of Guiding.
Lillian’s life saw its share of tragedy. Her parents passed away while Lillian was still a young woman. At the age of 52 she suffered a severe and paralyzing stroke and only a few years later lost her husband in an unfortunate car accident. Despite her handicap she lived independently for another twenty-two years keeping a positive and youthful perspective throughout. Those who knew Lillian knew she was not shy to state her opinion and was fiercely independent but never failed to lend a hand to a friend in need.
Lillian will be deeply missed by her brother and sister in-law Robert and Nita, her sons Colin and Nigel, her daughters in-law Helen and Emilia, her six grand-children Christina, Alastair, Andrea, Kevin, Hilary and Duncan, and the many people whose lives she has touched. Those wishing to make a donation may do so to the Girl Guides of Canada, British Columbia Council – in Memory of Lillian Brownlow. Her family wishes to thank the staff of the Belvedere care home for the compassionate care of Lillian during the last four years. Information regarding a memorial will be published shortly.