Memorial services for Nebraska artist Mary Louise Tejeda Brown, age 96, of Chadron, NE will be at 10:00 AM on Saturday, June 3, 2017 at the Bethel Cemetery in Whitney, NE. It was Mary Louise’s wishes that a Mass or service be held at the Bethel Church upon completion of the interior.
A memorial has been established for the Bethel Church in Whitney, NE. Donations may be mailed to Chamberlain Chapel, PO Box 970, Chadron, NE 69337.
Mary Louise was born on January 11, 1921 in Los Angeles, CA, daughter of Elizabeth Kramis and Francisco Tejeda. She joined our Heavenly Father on May 28, 2017 at Crestview Care Center in Chadron, NE.
Mary Louise, as she preferred to be known, graduated from high school to enter the Frank Wiggins Trade School in Los Angeles where she focused on gaining the skills to become an artist. She began work as both an artist and a model for the Raymond Advertising Company in 1939. She returned from a trip to Mexico on December 7, 1941 as World War II rocked America.
During the war, she joined the engineering art department of North American Aviation in Inglewood, CA, as the first woman in a department of over 50 men. There she did illustrations for service manuals for the P-51 Mustang fighter aircraft and the B-52 bombers.
After the war, she married fellow artist Reynold Brown (1917-1991) and moved with him to New York City to start a family. She set aside her art career to raise her family that would consist of eight children, moving from New York to Temple City, CA and then La Verne, CA. She helped her husband in his career as he became a distinguished movie poster illustrator and encouraged him in his move to the western art market.
When he suffered a stroke in 1976, she gave him the critical care and encouragement necessary for him to recover and continue painting. Having fallen in love with western Nebraska during an art show in Crawford, Mary Louise designed a home for her husband and herself in Dawes County where she moved in 1983. Her life was consumed with the needs of her husband who passed away in 1991.
She then devoted her energy to a revived art career, 50 years after setting her work aside. She focused her energies on depicting the western Nebraska landscape in both small and large pastel paintings. She used her maiden name, Tejeda, as her signature. In Nebraska, her works were shown in Alliance, Chadron and Scottsbluff. Her works were also collected by the Museum of Nebraska Art in Kearney, NE. Forty of her paintings are in the collection of Marysville, KS.
Mary Louise formed a strong emotional connection with her neighbors, most of whom were farmers and ranchers. Their fields were an important part of her work.
She is survived by children Marie Reynolds, James Golden Reynold Brown, Vicki Franz Brown, Elisa and James Cipriano, Cristina Tejeda, Regina and Jerry Ochoa, Marta and John Norman, and Marianne and Larry Sasak; 13 grandchildren; 13 great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.
Mary Louise was preceded in death by husband Wm. Reynold Brown; parents Francisco Tejeda and Elizabeth Kramis Tejeda; sister Elizabeth Williams; brothers Francisco Tejeda; and Pedro Bravo de Tejeda.
Chamberlain Chapel is in charge of arrangements for Mary Louise Tejeda-Brown.