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Well-known Black Diamond resident dies days after 108th birthday

Erma Brown made an indelible mark on the Southern Alberta town where she lived for more than 90 years.
WW-Erma Brown  RK 2910WEB
Erma Brown sitting in her room at Rising Sun Long Term Care Centre in Black Diamond on July 16, the day before her 108 birthday. Brown died on July 26.

Black Diamond’s longest-lived resident has passed away. 

Erma Brown was 108 years old when she died on July 26. She left her mark on the town and was a great booster of Black Diamond and the hard-working spirit of the west. 

She came to Black Diamond in 1929 and was involved in many aspects of town life. Her contributions can be seen throughout the town. 

Brown played major roles in bringing the Oilfields Hospital, seniors housing, a library and the Bob Lochhead Memorial Park to Black Diamond. 

She volunteered for numerous causes and organizations, including the Black Diamond Community Association and the Black Diamond Women’s Institute. 

Even the Black Diamond landmark in front of the Town Office can be traced back to Brown’s influence. 

During a park naming process, the community chose to name a park after her, and Erma Joy Brown Park is located beside Oilfields High School. 

She had a long working life and was the Town’s secretary-treasurer for over 20 years. 

Brown lived in her own home until the age of 107 and spent her final months at the Rising Sun Long Term Care Centre, where she spoke highly of the care she received. 

Born on July 17, 1914 in Purple Springs, Alberta, she moved with her family as a teenager to Black Diamond, where she later married and had children.

Brown is predeceased by two husbands and is survived by two children, five grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandsons.