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Court community mourns passing of Jan Browning

Copyright © 2019 Albuquerque Journal

Jan Ramey Browning, wife of U.S. District Court Judge James O. Browning and a woman remembered as “someone you wanted to emulate because it always seemed like she did the right thing,” died last week after a short illness. She was 63.

Jan Browning

“The federal court community is devastated,” said U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Harris Hartz. “Her passing leaves a hole in all of us.”

Jan Ramey and Jim Browning met in first grade in Hobbs and married shortly after college. She waited tables to get Jim through law school in Virginia and enticed him to come back to New Mexico where they raised three children. They were married for 40 years.

An accomplished pianist who as a child taught herself to play on a neighbor’s piano, Jan had a degree in music education from West Texas State University and a master’s degree in ministry from Pepperdine University.

Jan was a longtime music education teacher at Albuquerque Christian School and Sunset Mesa Schools. And she was an active volunteer at Montgomery Church of Christ in Albuquerque where she taught classes and sang on the praise team.

She loved poetry as well as music and was known for her graciousness as a hostess and warm smile in greeting people.

Former state Attorney General Hal Stratton described her as the anchor of the Browning family and an independent and accomplished woman who pursued her career “as a beloved and admired music teacher.”

He said she set an example for others to follow.

“It seemed like she always did the right, moral thing – the hard things and not taking the easy path in life,” Stratton said.

“All of us who know the Brownings are better off for knowing her, and she will be missed dearly.”

She is survived by her husband and their three children, Eli, Jacob and Elizabeth Bell.

Jan passed away Wednesday in Dallas, where she had spent time recently with Elizabeth and husband Zac’s three children – Bennett, Emma and Aubrey.

A visitation is scheduled from 5-8 p.m. Monday at French Funerals at 10500 Lomas NE. A service will be held at Netherwood Park Church of Christ at 5101 Indian School on Tuesday from 4-6 p.m. with a reception to follow featuring Jan’s favorite: green chile enchiladas from Monroe’s.

A second service is scheduled at 2 p.m. Wednesday at the Jefferson Street Church of Christ in Hobbs, with burial to follow at Prairie Haven Cemetery.