Vi Ballengee-Brown 85, of Glen Burnie, passed away peacefully on May 30, 2018 at Morningside House of Friendship in Hanover, MD. She was one of 12 children, all now deceased. Vi was born in Beckley, West Virginia in 1933 to the late Clarence and Mary Lilly. Vi was raised from a small child by her beloved grandfather, Alonzo Lawson Lilly. She moved from West Virginia to Maryland in 1955. She was preceded in death by her first husband, Albert Ballengee in 1994, and her second husband, Richard Brown in 2006.
Vi was always a dedicated and hard worker, holding various positions over the years, including North Arundel Hospital and Westinghouse in Linthicum. She obtained her GED after raising her children and furthered her education earning an Associate's degree in Accounting. Vi was always eager to learn new things; she taught herself to play guitar and organ keyboard, she learned to paint and draw just by watching shows like Bob Ross. She had a beautiful voice and loved to sing from a young child. In her teenage years she traveled to Nashville with her sisters to the Grand Ole Opry where they sang on the same stage as two singers she admired, Minnie Pearl and Grandpa Jones. The sisters never got the opportunity to further their singing career, but this one event was a wonderful memory for them.
Vi loved being surrounded by friends and family. She cherished every minute with her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. There was never a time that she didn't welcome every visitor into her home with a smile. She was kind and generous to a fault, giving away personal items to a stranger if they mentioned "liking" something. Vi was a rebel before her time, standing up for any person she felt was being treated improperly, including those she had just met.
Vi is survived by her beloved children and their spouses whom she loved as her own children; Brenda and Russell Howell, Cathy Schoen, Charles and Barbara Ballengee, and John Ballengee. Her cherished grandchildren, Stacey and Christopher O'Neale, Ryan and Katie Ballengee, and Michael and Megan Howell. Vi was blessed with three very special great-grandchildren, Madison O'Neale, and Carrick and Rose Ballengee. Each being the highlight of her life every day. Also, Vi's beautiful granddaughter, Michelle Anne Schoen, who passed far too soon in 1994 and left her family with a broken heart.
Vi suffered for many years with dementia and Alzheimer's disease. The family is going to honor her final wishes for a small family-only gathering in her honor, which she expressed frequently. If anyone would like to make a donation in her name to Hospice of the Chesapeake, 90 Ritchie Highway, Pasadena, MD 21122 or Alzheimer's and Dementia Association, PO Box 96011, Washington, DC 20090, she would have been honored.