Cruikshank’s Halifax Funeral Home

2666 Windsor Street, Halifax, NS


Rosemary Kathleen Simpson Johnson Mason-Browne

January 19, 1927December 18, 2019

Rosemary Mason-Browne died of heart failure in her home in Halfax on December 18, 2019. She was 92 years old. An accomplished graphic artist and educator, she had lived in Nova Scotia since 1979. She was active and engaged with family and friends until the final hours of her life. In accordance with her wishes, she has been cremated, and her ashes to be entrusted to All Saints Cathedral in Halifax. A memorial service will be conducted for her in May, 2020 at St. George's Round Church, Halifax.

Rosemary Kathleen Simpson Mason-Browne was born in Port Sunlight, Cheshire, England in 1927 to J.B.E. Johnson, an aeronautical engineer and test pilot, and his wife, Elsie. She lost both parents during the Second World War. After matriculation, she studied pedagogy and medical illustration at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. In 1947, she married Neville Mason-Browne, a medical student at the University.

Rosemary emigrated to Canada with her husband in the mid-1950's, settling in B.C. in 1955. She earned a B.Ed. at U.B.C. and taught fine art at the secondary school level for many years in Fort St. John and Kelowna. She also taught at Wesley College in Belize from 1968 to 1969.

Rosemary produced medical illustrations for the textbook, Synopsis of Dermatology (1966), and for a series of papers related to clinical psychiatry. But her true vocation was painting. One of her paintings, "Granville Street", was accepted by a jury for the Vancouver Art Gallery, while another, "Farewell to the U.K.", was accepted on a similar basis by the Beaverbrook Gallery in New Brunswick. In fact, she painted on a high level for most of her adult life and created a substantial body of work --- much of which is currently in private hands and has yet to be formally assessed or curated. She was also co-founder of the Magpie Gallery in West Vancouver.

In 1979, Rosemary moved with her family to Cape Breton, where she and her husband renovated a Victorian house on Main Street in Louisbourg. At that time, Rosemary also taught painting at the Lyceum in Sydney. After Neville's death in 1985, she re-established herself in Halifax where her daughters and grandchildren were close to hand. During her residence in Halifax, she volunteered as a docent at the Nova Scotia Art Gallery and with the Alter Guild at St. Georges Round Church, participated actively in Elder Learners (St Mary's University), and was an enthusiastic member of Wordsmiths, a club for writers. For much of her life, Rosemary was an inveterate traveller who regaled family and friends with compelling stories about her experiences in Egypt, India, and other countries. Sadly, she has now, for the moment, travelled beyond our reach. She is survived by her devoted children, Nicholas (Patricia), Anne (John Kavanagh), and Jane; by her grandsons, Rhys (Samantha Sanford), Elliot (Taylor), Byron, and Owen; and by her great-grandchildren, Nella and Lucy Rose. She is also survived by a number of beloved friends: Fay Barton, Pat and Barb Kinahan, Victor and Mary Miles, Gertrude Shane, and Barb Rogers. Rosemary loved flowers. Donations of flowers for the service in May would be welcome. She also supported many local charities (e.g. YouthNet at St. Georges Round Church, 2222 Brunswick St., Halifax) and donations to a charity of your choice in lieu of flowers also would be greatly appreciated. An announcement regarding a memorial service for Rosemary will be released in May. A memorial page for Rosemary is also available at: www.cruikshankhalifaxfuneralhome.com


Rosemary Kathleen Simpson Johnson Mason-Browne

have a memory or condolence to add?

James Mellon

January 21, 2020

My sympathies to the Mason-Browne and Kavanagh families.

Virginia Stephen

January 19, 2020

Dear Jane and family
I was so saddened to hear of your mother’s death. I remember Rosemary fondly from my time at the AGNS. She was a gifted art educator whose work as a docent in the school program opened doors to engaging with art for many, many visiting students. She was an inspiration to many, including me. She had a life well lived and will be truly missed.

With all sympathy
Virginia Stephen, and also Harold Pearse

Gordon Whitehead

January 19, 2020

Dear Anne,

We just heard of your mother's passing. Our thoughts are with you. Your mother was obviously quite an achiever, and contributed positively to the life of those around her.

Her legacy as an artist, and the family members she leaves behind who are carrying on some of her personality traits, values and helpful ambitions, continue to benefit others.

May whatever consoles you in such a loss be present in abundance.


Gordon and Dawn Whitehead
Bridgewater, Nova Scotia

Tammy Manning

January 16, 2020

Dear Anne & family,

My condolences for the loss of your mother. I really enjoyed reading about her fascinating life and her love of art. What an accomplished, artistic and interesting woman.

Thinking of you,

Tammy Manning & John Young

Fay Fullerton

January 16, 2020

Many happy memories of a long friendship dating back to 1953. With love and sympathy to you all.

Gordon & Marlene Moore

January 15, 2020

Dear Anne & Family

We are so sorry to hear of your loss, it sounds like your mother lived a full and rewarding life. I hope her spirit lives on in you and your family. Please accept our deepest condolences.

Gordon & Marlene Moore

Susan Doucette

January 14, 2020

Dear Anne and Family,
Rosemary sounds like such a lovely, interesting and accomplished person who will be very much missed by her family and friends. I am so sorry for this sad time for you all. Please know that my thoughts are with you.


Greg Noel

January 14, 2020

Anne and family,
So sorry to hear the tragic news. Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this most difficult time.

The Noel family