Fritzi Brown was leader in pageantry


Elinor (Fritzi) Lenora Brown, longtime resident of Mobridge, passed into the arms of our Lord on Feb. 26, 2012, at ManorCare Health Services of Aberdeen.
A memorial service will be held for Elinor at St. James Episcopal Church in Mobridge on April 28, 2012, at 10 a.m. Interment of her remains will follow at the A. H. Brown Mausoleum at Greenwood Cemetery in Mobridge.  Kesling Funeral Home of Mobridge is in charge of the arrangements.  In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to St. James Episcopal Church in Mobridge.

Elinor (Fritzi) Lenora Brown was born on January 28, 1935, in Bertha, Minn., to parents Clemens and Clara Berwald. Fritzi followed her father and family as he established cement products operations in Aberdeen, Mobridge and Baker, Mont.  
An active horsewoman and artist, Fritzi graduated from Baker High School in 1953.  She attended Northern State College in Aberdeen. She then followed her fiancé, Richard Schwan to Hollywood, Calif., where they were married in 1957.         
In 1964, she returned to Mobridge, and married Lowell Larsen in 1966.

Moving to Sioux Falls in 1975, she became involved in the Miss Universe organization, initially as North Central South Dakota director, then, later, accepting the role of South Dakota State Director in 1979.

 Fritzi guided many young women, serving as mentor and role model as “her girls” (as she frequently called them) competed for the honor of Miss South Dakota USA and Miss South Dakota Teen USA.  Fritzi would work with the young women after the state pageants, then personally support them by attending the national competitions with several of her staff members, especially, Helen Mauck and sister Sylvia Sackreiter.

 In 1983, Fritzi married Robert C. Brown and moved back to Mobridge to care for her mother-in-law Batteen Broe and, later, her mother Clara Berwald.

 Fritzi is survived by her son, Dr. Richard (Patricia) Larsen of Hurlock, Md., and daughter, Darci (Ken) McPeek of Etna, Ohio; sister, Carolyn (Bill) Switzenberg of Aiea, Hawaii; four grandchildren and one great-grandchild. Surviving nieces and nephews include LuAnn (Rod) Kessler of Buffalo, Wyo., Doug (Sadie) Sackreiter and Dwight (Judy) Sackreiter of Mobridge, David (Shawn) Switzenberg of Hilo, Hawaii, Samantha Kessler of Hilo, Kellen and Hayden Kessler of Buffalo, Wyo., and Aaron Sackreiter of Mobridge.

 Elinor was preceded in death by her father, Clemens, and mother, Clara, sister Sylvia and husbands Richard E. Schwan, Lowell D. Larsen and Robert C. Brown.  

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