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Lanell (DeWees) Brown

January 5, 1931 ~ October 28, 2017 (age 86)

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LaNell DeWees Brown, 86 years old, completed her journey in this world and began her new life in heaven on October 28, 2017. She passed away peacefully at the home she shared with her daughter and son-in-law.

LaNell was born Rita LaNell DeWees to Edna VeNora Askins DeWees and Clarence LeRoy DeWees on January 5, 1931 in Cordell, Oklahoma. She attended school in southeast Oklahoma at Consolidated 8 where her parents were teachers and her dad was the principal as well. Her family moved from the Cordell area and she attended high school in Oklahoma City at Putnam City High School and graduated in 1949. While in high school she played bass drum in the marching band and loved playing basketball with a team that reached the state championship tournament her senior year. She also attended Oklahoma State University, formerly known as Oklahoma A & M, for two and a half years.

She married her childhood sweetheart, DeVern Lee Brown, after graduating high school, but they went their separate ways after he returned from the Korean War. She later married Charles R. Norris and they had two children together – RaMona Lee and Lantz Michael. LaNell became a single mother to RaMona and Lantz and sacrificed a lot of personal wishes and desires to give them the best that she could. An amazing man, Richard W. Frick Sr., came into their lives and was “Daddy” to RaMona and Lantz until he passed away in 2001. Richard and LaNell were married 32 years. LaNell reconnected with her childhood sweetheart, DeVern and they remarried and lived together in Tulsa, Oklahoma until his death in 2008. Following DeVern’s death, LaNell returned to Texas to be closer to her children and grandchildren.

LaNell was an administrative assistant most of her working life and was a very loyal employee to the Bechtel Corporation, Ebasco, and Houston Lighting & Power when employed by them. She was very proud of the work done and the role she played in the building of the South Texas Nuclear Power Plant. She retired from HL & P.

LaNell loved music and was an accomplished accordionist being trained by the best and performing on radio and television professionally for a short period of time. She continued playing occasionally, volunteering to play at various events. She was also an avid sports enthusiast, but basketball and baseball were her favorites. The Houston Rockets and Astros her favorite teams, but she loved watching college football, basketball, baseball, softball and professional tennis, golf and NASCAR racing or any other sport she could find!

LaNell loved her family! She is survived by her daughter RaMona Riggs and husband Chris; son, Lantz Norris and wife Chandra. She had three grandchildren – Calvin Skrivanek, Jr. and wife Kelly of Needville, TX; A’Lissa Haneline and husband Micah of Midland, TX; Cordan Norris of Minot, North Dakota. She also had nine great-grandchildren: John Michael Bass, Liyah and Haley Hancox, Luke and Lily Skrivanek (Calvin & Kelly’s children); Hunter and Bennett Haneline (A’Lissa & Micah’s children); Draedyn and Alexa Norris (Cordan’s children). Additionally, LaNell is survived by two step-grandchildren and four step-great-grandchildren – Michael Burkett and wife Trish and their children Gerry and Brandon; Amanda Riggs and her children Christopher “Topher” Riggs and the newest member of the family Teagan McFarland.

She is also survived by her brother, Don DeWees of San Antonio and her favorite nephew Dr. Nick DeWees and his wife Helen of Houston, TX.

The family would like to thank LaNell’s special friend and caregiver Rosie Powell Brown and Autumn, Linda, Eva, Maria, Sandra and Adrianne of Accredited Home Health and Hospice.

Funeral Services will be held on Wednesday November 1, 2017 at Faith United Methodist Church @ 1:00 p.m. 4600 FM 359 Richmond, TX 77406. Burial will take place in Cordell, Oklahoma on Friday November 3, 2017 at Lawnview Cemetery @ 10:00 a.m.

In lieu of flowers, LaNell requested donations be made to The V Foundation which was co-founded by Jimmy Valvano and funds research for victory over cancer or a charity of your choice. More information about the V Foundation can be found at You can also send a donation to their mailing address: V Foundation for Cancer Research, 14600 Weston Parkway, Cary, NC 27513 and attaching the form found at

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