Betty Jean Brown

November 29, 1940February 4, 2021

Betty Brown, who loved to be called “Mom” by her kids, went home to be with Jesus on Thursday, February 4, 2021.

Betty was born in Beaumont, Texas, on 11/29/40 to Leonard and Clementine Sterling. She married Willie O. Brown on September 28, 1956. Betty and Willie moved to Des Moines, Iowa, in the early ’60s. She began to raise her children, Elizabeth Ann, Eric Christopher, Jason Edward, and Willie Oscar Jr., with love and devotion.

Betty was a strong, caring, and loving woman that genuinely impacted everyone she met. Her passionate love for her family and others was always on full display as she was always willing to look after everyone’s needs. She loved Iowa but was always concerned when the weather was dicey. She would never want her family to travel in any type of storm.

She was affectionately known by many as Mrs. Brown, Aunt Betty, and Betty Jean. She was always thinking of others. Even in her last days, she was more concerned for those around her, trying to take care of her husband and comfort her family and friends.

Betty was Executive Administrator for Brown Brother’s Fencing for 45 years. She was an avid reader, loved crossword puzzles, her music, and was an amazing cook. No matter what time of day it was, she was always willing to cook for you and send you away satisfied. Those who knew her well knew about her signature dishes; gumbo, peach cobbler, smothered chicken, dirty rice, cornbread dressing, or grits and eggs. She loved the Lord with all of her heart, mind, and soul. She truly meditated on God’s Word daily!

She is survived by her husband Willie; her daughter Elizabeth (Burnard) Scott; sons Eric (Angie) Brown, Jason (Kim) Brown, and Will (Charlene) Brown; Grandchildren, Devan, Morgan and Tristan Brown, James Young, James and Jacob McDermott, Jordan Hall; her 8 Great Grandchildren; and her many beloved nieces and nephews. Aside from the children and grandchildren she doted on, Betty is survived by her sisters Shelia Harris and Barbara Westbrooks; and brothers Bradley, Charles, Joseph, and Paul Sterling.

A Celebration of Life Service will be held at McLaren’s Resthaven Chapel 801 19th Street, West Des Moines, IA, 50265 on Wednesday, February 10, 2021, at 1:00 pm (CST). Burial will be at Glendale Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, we believe it was Betty’s desire that memorial tributes be made in the form of charitable donations to the future care of her loving husband, Willie Brown. Donations can be made to Venmo @Will-Brown-331 or mailed to 7122 Reed Lane, West Des Moines, Iowa 50266.


  • Alton Sterling
  • Corey Sterling
  • Bobby Sterling
  • Tristan Brown
  • Jacob McDermott
  • Billy Matthews
  • Larry Brown, Honorary
  • Bradley Sterling, Honorary
  • Charles Sterling, Honorary
  • Joseph Sterling, Honorary
  • Pastor Paul Sterling, Honorary
  • Anthony Jones, Honorary


  • Visitation

    Wednesday, February 10, 2021

  • Funeral Service

    Wednesday, February 10, 2021



Betty Jean Brown

have a memory or condolence to add?

Barbara Gray

February 10, 2021

I remember how when I would go shopping with aunt Betty, she would drive around for the perfect parking spot and when she found/got the one she wanted she always said “ Thank you Jesus “ she told me that you should always thank Jesus because whether it’s something good or bad he is responsible for it and he has a reason for it. Thank you Aunt Betty for loving and caring for me, for all of us. Teaching me to love myself and being there for my kids. You will truly be missed and we will see you again.

Denise Hoston

February 10, 2021

My Aunt Betty was one of the most sophisticated and beautiful person I know. She passed her love of reading to me. One Christmas we came to Texas and I stayed at her house. She had the huge collections of books. I liked to read and she gave me “Mommy Dearest” to read. It was my first “grown-up” book. I’m going to miss her so much. Aunt Betty I love you.

Rhonda Noel

February 8, 2021

My dearest Aunt Betty was an encourager whom loved all of her nieces and nephews! Some of my fondest memories with her was her talks of Jesus and her experiences that she shared of him. She was a worshipper, I loved watching her lift her hands and sing his praises. I also loved when we would get too loud and rowdy(the nieces&nephews) she would put us out “GET OUT” she would say and we would laugh and get to stepping 😂.
I have many memories but I will share one more.
I had the honor to visit her in December 2019 a couple days before Christmas as we sat and talked she told me of a vision she had with Jesus. She explained how he walked with her and explained somethings to her. I began to hum the song Just a Closer Walk with Jesus, but I didn’t remember the words. Aunt Betty fed the words to me with her impeccable memory and we worshipped our Lord and Savior together. I will never forget you my dearest aunt Betty❤️.

Pamela Sterling

February 8, 2021

My Dear Precious Aunt Betty was truly a treasure. My fondest memory was when I witnessed her generosity at my cousin’s Daniel birthday party one vivid summer. I witnessed my Loving Auntie giving monies to the children who did not have any so that they could participate like every other child. That act of kindness will forever stick with me because it taught me to be generous and to know how to give and bless others. It was such a kind and benevolent act that it has impacted me today to be generous like her because she made a difference and that’s why she has inspired me to make a difference in children’s life by teaching today.

Will Brown

February 8, 2021

You taught me so much Mom. How to draw. How walk. How to read. How to cook breakfast. How to talk. How to behave. How to stay in the word and praise Jesus with all my heart. How to Love. The list is so long......

And for that I will carry you every day with me in so many ways. I thank God for you now and until we meet again in Heaven.


Antionette Sterling

February 7, 2021

A Life Well Lived – Betty Brown

My dear precious, Aunt Betty! I love you!
As far as I can remember, everyone enjoyed visiting Aunt Betty and Uncle Willie’s house. We knew that we would be welcomed, well-fed, and would enjoy fellowship with one another. Aunt Betty’s warm and vivacious personality made everyone feel special and cared for. Your generosity was exceptional!

I am so glad to have so many precious memories to cherish of you. Thank you for teaching me to pray, to read scripture, to research. As a voracious reader, you taught me to read, discover and research. Thank you for the precious music you shared with me and the many life lessons that will always be treasured.

One occasion that sticks out in my mind was during an Easter week of celebration. Before Easter, we spent the entire week together in prayer, studying the scriptures, enjoying each other’s company. You made the scriptures come alive! I tried to listen intently to every word you shared.

Thank you for your authenticity and the many investments poured into my life, known and unknown. You celebrated and loved life! You loved family and friends and, most of all loved God! Until we meet again...