Joan Ruth (Wilton) Browning of Bradenton, Florida, passed away unexpectedly on December 14 at Blake Medical Center after a sudden illness with family at her bedside. She was born on June 19, 1930, in Brooklyn, New York to Arthur Thomas Wilton and Ruth Hall Wilton. After graduating from Our Lady of Wisdom Academy High School in 1949, Joan attended St. Vincent’s Hospital School of Nursing in New York City, becoming a Registered Nurse in 1952. Joan met her eventual husband John, who was a Navy sailor on leave, on a bus while traveling across country from San Francisco to New York City in 1954 after she worked parttime at several hospitals in California. They were married October 27, 1955. During their early marriage, John and Joan lived in Naples, Italy, Texas, and California. They were blessed with 5 sons whom they loved very much. After her husband retired from the Navy in 1968, the family moved to Bradenton, Florida. At that time, she worked night shift in the Emergency Room at Manatee Memorial Hospital. In 1972 she was approached by two of the founding physicians of L.W. Blake Memorial Hospital to establish and lead the Emergency Department which opened in 1973. In 1975 she developed Manatee County’s Paramedic Training program and taught evening classes for six years. During her tenure at Blake, she also served as interim Director of Nurses, Assistant Director of Nurses and the first Director of Critical Care (ICU, CCU, PCU, ED). Prior to retiring from full-time nursing in 1992 she earned the distinction as a Nurse Practitioner. She remained active in the local medical community as a mentor to new nurses. In addition to her professional career, she was active in St Joseph’s parish and sang in the parish choir from 1995 to 2008. In her free time, she wrote poetry and published over 200 poems. She and her husband enjoyed traveling the country in their RV. Her favorite destination was Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort. Joan was a devout Catholic and strong woman of faith, who attended Mass every week, prayed the Rosary and Divine Mercy daily. During the past few years her mobility became limited, and she was confined to a powerchair. Despite her mobility challenges and other medical conditions, she continued living independently and remained in the family home. She was an example for all.
Joan was preceded in death by her husband, John Thomas Browning, her father, Arthur Thomas Wilton, her mother Ruth (Hall) Wilton, her grandson Jason Andrew Browning. Joan is survived by her sons Paul Browning of Sandy, UT; Kevin Browning of Lakewood Ranch, FL; Jeffrey Browning (Katherine) of Debary, FL; Dr. David Browning of Atlanta, GA and Matthew Browning of Arlington, VA; along with Sister Maureen LoVetro (Allen) of Inverness, FL; Grandchildren, Shannon, Erin, Jeremy (Holly), Ryan, Kyle, Adam, Kate, and Anne; Great-Grandchildren, Elaina, Mirabel, and Melody; many nieces, nephews, and extended family. Joan was a loving mother, wife, grandmother, great-grandmother, godmother, and friend to all.
A visitation and Rosary will be from 4:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, December 28, 2021, at Griffith-Cline Funeral Home, 720 Manatee Avenue West, Bradenton, FL. Funeral services will be held at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, 3100 26th Street West, Bradenton, FL, on Wednesday, December 29, 2021, at 11:00 a.m. She will be laid to rest alongside her husband at the National Cemetery Columbarium in Sarasota, Florida during a Spring ceremony in 2022. Condolences for the family may be made online at www.griffithcline.com. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St Joseph’s Catholic Church, Bradenton, FL (www.sjcfl.org ) and/or Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Venice, FL (www.catholiccharitiesdov.org ).
The family would like to thank Mom’s physicians Dr. Jorge Hernandez and Dr. Gino Sedillo, as well as Blake Medical Center's CVICU nurses Danny and Tonya. We are grateful to her personal assistant Jacqueline “Jackie” Gagnon for over five years of personal assistance and companionship.