News - January 9, 2008

Obituary: Patricia Brown helped shape Portola Valley

Patricia "Pat" Brown, who with her husband, the late Robert V. "Bob" Brown, helped shape the community of Portola Valley, died Dec. 26 at her home in Westridge. She was 78.

For more than 50 years, Pat and Bob Brown lived in Portola Valley, where they raised their four children. The couple was active in town affairs throughout the years. They were involved in the incorporation of Portola Valley in 1964 and local government for more than 25 years. Mr. Brown was a member of the first Town Council and mayor three times.

Ms. Brown was born on April 19, 1929, in Sedro-Woolley, Washington, where she spent her childhood. Her parents, Earl and Pearl Hegg, were members of a pioneer family in the community.

She graduated from Stanford University with a bachelor's degree in education in 1951. While at Stanford, she met her future husband, Bob Brown. They were married in 1952 and built their house in Westridge.

An avid storyteller and puppeteer, Ms. Brown is remembered by many school children for her puppet shows and story hours at local schools and libraries. She was a member of the Palo Alto Storytellers Guild.

The Browns were supporters of the Friends of the Portola Valley Library and were among the major donors to the library's children's section in 1969. They took the lead in securing a home for the library in the restored classroom building of the former Portola Valley School.

Ms. Brown was president of the Friends of the Portola Valley Library from 1983 to 1989, and retired from the board in 1995.

Pat and Bob Brown traveled widely throughout Europe and to many corners of the world, say family members. They were active and dedicated conservationists and environmentalists. Locally, they gave generously to the Peninsula Open Space Trust and Sempervirens Fund, and joined and supported many other local organizations.

Elsewhere, they supported the Big Sur Land Trust (Monterey Peninsula), the Sierra Club, Yosemite Fund, as well as the Skagit Land Trust and Whatcom Land Trust in Ms. Brown's home state of Washington.

Ms. Brown enjoyed story-telling, reading, gardening, beachcombing, hiking and theater, especially on the Monterey Peninsula, where the couple had their second home after retirement. Her lifelong traits of generosity and kindness touched all who knew her, say family members.

Ms. Brown is survived by her children, Kristin Brown of San Diego, Loren Brown of Palo Alto, Susan Brown of Potsdam, Germany, and Brian Brown of Portola Valley; and five grandchildren. Her husband, Robert V. Brown, died in 2005.

No services will be held. The family prefers that memorials be made to the Sempervirens Fund, Drawer BE, Los Altos, CA 94023; phone 968-4509.


Posted by Collette Hegg Wilson, a resident of another community
on Feb 23, 2008 at 4:51 pm

Ms. Brown was my third cousin. Her mother was the sister to my grandmother, Cora Benson Hegg. Her dad was the brother to my Grandpa
William Anton Hegg. Her Brother was Fred Hegg who passed on Nov. 28, 2007. My father was William Wayne Hegg who passed on July of 1979. I knew of Ms. Brown briefly and she was truly a very dedicated human being. If I could only be half the human being she was. I just wish we could have cloned Pat, Fred and Wayne several thousand times over this world would be a better place, full of more dedicated human beings that care for others.

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