BRAWN: Elinor Elizabeth (Libby), nee Clarke of London

Elinor Elizabeth (Libby) Brawn, nee Clarke

On Saturday, November 18, 2017, Elinor Elizabeth (Libby) Brawn passed away quietly in her sleep at her home in London, Ontario following a lengthy illness. Libby was born in Amherst, Nova Scotia to Karl and Blanche (nee Lawrence) Clarke as the middle child between her older brother Ritchie and her younger sister Linda, moving soon after to Halifax, Nova Scotia. Upon graduating from Dalhousie University with a BSc, Libby moved to London, Ontario and started working as a Lab Technician at Westminster Hospital. Her brother and sister also ended up moving west from Halifax to Montreal and Toronto respectively, and in those early years there were many trips back and forth and family visits. As their respective families grew up and changes ensued, they weren’t able to stay as close, but Libby continued to love and care for her siblings and would cherish the opportunities that they did have to see each other. It was while working at Westminster Hospital that she met her husband Clarence Brawn and they were married for almost 40 years before his death in 1996. Together they managed to raise three rambunctious boys, Stephen, Christopher and David. Table manners, politeness and respect for elders were not just expected but demanded in the Brawn household under Libby and her parenting style which could be called “traditional” with no sparing of the rod (or wooden spoon in this case) and where “washing your mouth out with soap” was not a figure of speech. There was also with a lot of fun and humour in the house and despite the consequences for misbehaving, none of the boys ever questioned how much they were loved. During those earlier years, children were expected to play outside. After the boys completed their chores, and yes, there were chores, the boys would hear the familiar refrain ” I don’t care what you do, but you are doing it outside and I don’t expect to see you inside again until dinner. It was a time when the neighbourhoods were safe, and if Libby didn’t have eyes on us, the neighbours and friends’ mothers always did…most of the time. It may seem unreasonable today, but the boys actually spent the day outside playing football and kick the can and building tree forts and exploring the woods that existed back then and just being boys with their friends. Libby played an active role not only in the boys lives, but in the lives of all of their friends growing up, many of whom stayed in touch with her as adults and all who can still recount stories about Libby from their formative years. Libby loved to cook and entertain and was never as happy as when she had prepared a full gourmet meal for a house full of friends and relatives. Her other passions were bridge where she was Life Master several times over, curling at the Ilderton Curling Club where she was always proud of her Eight Ender and golf that she played as long as she was physically able. Her biggest passion however was laughter and she never missed an opportunity to indulge, even when it was at her own expense. Libby is predeceased by her husband Clarence, and parents Karl and Blanche Clarke and is survived by her brother Ritchie (Diana) Clarke and Linda (Garth) Manning, as well as her three boys Stephen (Kate), Christopher (Liisa Freure) and Dave (Julie) Brawn, and by seven grandchildren, Michael, Caitlin, Kurtis, Kendra, Sarah, Wilson and Abigail as well as many nephews, nieces, great-nephews and great-nieces. A service will be held at the A. Millard George Funeral Home, 60 Ridout Street South, London at 4:00 pm on Thursday, November 23,2017. Donations are being accepted to the CNIB, 747 Base Line Road East, London ON N6C 2R6 or the Lung Association, 2-639 Southdale Road East, London, ON N6E 3M2. We are inviting all who knew her to come to a Celebration of Libby’s Life at the Byron Freehouse, 1288 Commissioners Road West in Byron at 6:00 pm on November 23, 2017. Please bring some amusing Libby stories to help us laugh and say goodbye to a very special woman. Online condolences, memories and photographs shared at

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