February 5, 1926June 25, 2020

Ella Maxine (Pharis) Browning, 94, of Sun City Center, died on June 25, 2020. She was born on February 5, 1926 in Belington, West Virginia. Ella was the fourth of twelve children born to Andrew Jackson (coal miner) and Flossie Elizabeth (Kelley) Pharis (home maker). Ella was married to Hobert H. Browning from March 1948 until his death in January 1980. They had three children.

During Ella’s life she traveled, as an Air Force wife, to Great Britain (where her youngest son was born) in 1955. She was stationed at USAF bases in Ohio, Florida, Texas, Alaska and Michigan with her husband and children until his retirement in 1967. He retired at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida.

During World War II, Ella worked at a defense plant in Pennsylvania, where she was a shell loader, placing shells in the casings. Her main role, in her adult life after marriage, was a homemaker and mother. To help with finances, Ella took jobs as a babysitter and farm hand. She was immensely proud of her rural roots as a coal miner/farmer’s daughter and as a West Virginian. While in retirement in Florida, Ella was a member of the Port Tampa Womens’ Club and a 25-plus year volunteer for Meals on Wheels. She loved to cook and share her baked breads and cakes with her friends and family,

Ella is survived by her three children: two sons; Ronald Browning, wife Donna of Florida and their combined family of 4 sons and 2 daughters (DeeAnne Napper Toledo, husband Gary of Arizona; Dion Napper, wife Becky of Florida; Debra Napper Walker of Florida, Dominic Napper, wife Lisa of Florida, Robert Browning, wife Laura of Florida, and Richard Browning, wife Kathryn of Virginia); and Randy Browning, wife Kathy of Florida and their daughter (Kimberly Browning of Florida); one daughter Cathy Browning Kelly, husband Shawn of Florida and their fur family of four cats (Minx, Smokie, Max and AshLee, two dogs (Sugar and Spice). Eleven great-grandchildren (Taylor Napper Manning, husband Josh of Florida; Morgan Napper of Florida; Jacob Walker, wife Chae of Florida; Devin Pellum of Florida; Darien Walker Palmer, husband Ronnie of Hawaii; Katie and Liam Finney of Florida; Landon and Levi Napper of Florida; William and James Browning of Virginia). Two great-great grandchildren (Emerson Napper and Saint Drake Walker of Florida). Ella is also survived by additional family and friends: Family: one sister, Betty Poling and her children and grand-children of Ohio; two brothers Harl Pharis, his children and grand-children, and Jack Pharis, wife Judy and their children and grand-children, all from West Virginia. Friends: Ken and Joyce Balsley of Florida, Kenny and Sandy Rollins of Florida and many, many more.

Ella will forever be remembered for the love she gave so freely and for the legacy she has left for her family and friends. She will always be a “coal miner’s daughter.”


  • Visitation

    Wednesday, July 1, 2020

  • Funeral Service

    Wednesday, July 1, 2020



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Kenny & Sandy Rollins

June 27, 2020

Ms. Browning was so special to us. She treated us like family and will have some great memories of her that we will cherish forever. Her stories were the best, she loved all her family and talked about them often. She would make us fresh baked bread and she was kind & loving to our kids. She lived a great life. She was the best neighbor & we loved her like family.