Frances B. Brune, a retired secretary, dies

Frances Brune was an enthusiastic Baltimore Colts, Orioles and Ravens fan.
Frances Brune was an enthusiastic Baltimore Colts, Orioles and Ravens fan. (Handout / HANDOUT)

Frances B. Brune, a retired secretary and inveterate sports fan, died Sept. 29 in her sleep at Bonnie Blink, the Maryland Masonic Home in Hunt Valley. The former Timonium and Lutherville resident was 99.

“She would have turned 100 on Oct. 8,” said a son, Bernard “Bernie” Brune of Wiltondale.


The former Frances Bridget Zelaznicki, the daughter of Anton Zelaznicki, and his wife, Mary Zelaznicki, owners of Andrew’s Shoe Service, was the fourth of eight children. She was born and raised in East Baltimore.

After graduating in 1937 from Eastern High School, she went to work as a secretary for the Jersey Ice Cream Products Corp. At the time of her marriage to George E. Brune in 1940, she was a nursing student at Bon Secours Hospital.


The couple moved into a home on O’Donnell Street in Canton, where they lived until moving to Lutherville in 1958.

In 1953, Mrs. Brune, who had given birth to seven children in 11 years, returned to work as a secretary for Carr-Lowrey Glass Co., a Wesport bottle maker that was founded in 1889.

She briefly worked for the Baltimore County Health Department, then took a job in 1958 as a secretary at the Olin Mathieson Chemical Corp., where she remained until the 1960s. She later was a part-time women’s apparel sales associate in Hutzler’s Towson department store.

From 1979 until 1984, when she retired, Mrs. Brune was a secretary at Crum & Foster Insurance.

Mrs. Brune, who was an avid gardener, was also known for her homemade candy, especially her white chocolate molded angels, which she began making in the fall for the holidays.

“She gave away all of them, and some traveled as far as Europe,” according to a biographical profile submitted by her family.

Mrs. Brune was an enthusiastic Baltimore Colts, Orioles and Ravens fan.

In 2008, she moved to St. Elizabeth Hall at Stella Maris Hospice, where she lived until last year, when she moved to Bonnie Blink.

“Our mother had a strong faith that she instilled in her children,” said her son. “She also stressed the importance of family, a love of nature and kindness to others.”

Mr. Brune said his mother’s favorite expression was “When you’re raising children, the first one hundred years are the hardest.”

“She almost made it. She died nine days shy of her 100th birthday,” he said.

Her husband, a sales manager for Sea-Land Service, a container shipping line, died in 1994.


She had been a communicant of Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic Church in Towson.

A celebration of life gathering for Mrs. Brune will be held from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday at Bonnie Blink, 100 International Circle, Hunt Valley.

In addition to her son, she is survived by another son, Michael Brune of Timonium; two daughters, Mary Brune Burke of Towson and Frances Brune of Richmond, Virginia; 19 grandchildren; 25 great-grandchildren; and three great-great-grandchildren. She was predeceased by another son, George Brune, who died in 2018; and two daughters, Kathleen Brune in 1989 and Brigid Brune Lickteig in 2014.

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