A life lived serving others in the hallmark of Florence Brown, stepson Malcolm Brown says.
The Calvin Community Church member died last week, at age 86, in Bupa Windsor Park after being admitted for respite care.
Mrs Brown’s (nee Hamilton) funeral was held last Friday.
Mr Brown said that when his stepmother was born, she was no expected to live because she was so small.
“That started the development of the cast iron determination,” Mr Brown said.
Later when she wanted to train as a nurse she had to overcome her parents’ opposition; they thought she would not be strong enough for the job.
“She had to fight tooth and nail to become a nurse.”
She rode a motorbike between her home in Tuatapere and Southland Hospital.
Once she decided to apply for the mission field there was more opposition from her mother.
She went to Nepal, where she worked in a hospital, in 1969.
At one point she served as a midwife to the royal family.
During one of the country’s revolutions, wounded soldiers loyal to the family would come to the palace.
“She would have to patch them up to get them back fighting again.”
After 25 years of working in Nepal, she left the mission field to nurse her mother in Tuatapere.
Where her mother died, Mrs Brown went on several short-term mission trips to Nepal and India.
In 2004, at the age of 69, she married Mr Brown’s father Alan.
It took the family a little while to adjust to their new family member, he said.
“She was too nice.”
Mrs Brown had a heart for people, especially those who were far away from their home.
“Anybody Nepalese or the Indians, she was always looking out for them and calling in to see them.
“She just had the all encompassing type of personality that just accepts everybody where they were at.”
Mr Brown said his stepmother had a very strong Christian faith.
The day before Mrs Brown died, Malcolm’s wife Jo visited her.
Mrs Brown was peaceful and not afraid to die.
At one point, Mrs Brown asked Jo if she heard a voice.