Age 86, of Mt. Lebanon passed away peacefully at home on Monday, December 13. She was born on March 5, 1935 in Havertown, PA. She was the daughter of the late Victor and Magdalene Frings and sister to the late Suzanne (Bill) Pittenger. She is survived by her sisters Patricia Pittenger and Karen (Tom) Deiley. Though born and raised in Philadelphia, she called Pittsburgh home for 65 years.
Gretchen will be dearly missed by her family. She is preceded in death by her late son Michael Brown. She is survived by her five other children: Leslie Wagner (Bob), Jennifer Olverd (Dan Chester), Susan Finnigan (Tim), David Brown (Nancy) and Kelly Brown (Oliver Desnain); fifteen grandchildren: Drew (Kate) and Joah Brown (Brian); Sydney (Ben) and Gretchen (Roberto) Wagner, Lucy Callaghan (Joe); Payton, Margaux (Davis) and Harrison (Shuka) Olverd; Tyler and Isabel Finnigan; Jesse and Marshall Brown, Alyssa Fitch (Carlton); Audrey and Chloe Desnain; seven great-grandchildren: Eli Brown, Max, Gavin and Jack Brown, Lee, Grace and Teddy Fitch.
Gretchen's utopia was her home on Forest Glen Drive, which she and her late former husband, R. Marshall Brown, built together in 1957. There she enjoyed gardening and being surrounded by many loved ones who visited and lived with her throughout her life. She was an avid tennis and paddle tennis player. Gretchen was a member of a number of garden and bridge clubs and enjoyed piano lessons and collecting art. She had fond memories of sharing family time in Ocean City, New Jersey and traveled often to visit her children from France to California. Gretchen had an abundance of artistic talents that enriched and inspired us all. Her greatest legacy, though, is her large and loving family.
Special thanks to her caregivers and staff at Gallagher Hospice for helping us make her feel well cared for and comfortable at home. Friends will be received from 5:00-7:00 p.m. with a service beginning at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, December 21, at William Slater II Funeral Service (412-563-2800), 1650 Greentree Rd, Pittsburgh, PA 15220. www.slaterfuneral.com