Maryann Brown, a longtime resident of Williams Canyon, passed away peacefully on Dec. 15, surrounded by family. She was 80. Maryann is survived by son Thomas Brown and wife Britt, granddaughters Haley and Taylor Brown of Walnut Creek, and daughter Kathryn Brown of Oakland Hills, California. She is further survived by extended family, including JB, friends, and her beloved cat Princess.

“Nana Mabs,” as she was affectionately known within our family, inspired all of us with her love of life and the gracious way she lived. We have all been forever shaped by her generous spirit, unwavering values, wisdom, wit and amazing tenacity. She radiated positivity every day, and taught us what mattered most — the simplicity of living a life with those you love. We will continue to celebrate her by living life the way she said we should, “Remember to always be a generous winner, but, more importantly, a gracious loser.”

She leaves a lasting legacy as a devoted mom, second mom, mother-in-law and Nana; our family matriarch and therapist, a loyal friend to many, a pioneer (moving from New York to California in the 60s), a canyon settler (50-year resident), a community activist, a SCWD director, a grant writer, a child care director, a columnist (the "Canyon Beat"), a fire survivor (house lost/rebuilt after 2007 fire), and a tireless cancer warrior.

Her passions included: a love of cooking, “the kitchen was her life,” a love of dancing, especially while in the kitchen, a voracious reader of books (British mysteries topped the list), gardening every inch of her beloved canyon, and relishing the role of head cheerleader and biggest fan of her two cherished granddaughters.    

She received wonderful care from everyone affiliated with St. Joseph Hospital in Orange during her long and courageous battle with lung cancer. In her memory, contributions can be made to in support of cancer research. A “Celebration of Life” will be held in the spring when her flowers are in bloom; this was her wish.

She will be dearly missed and forever in our hearts. Veni. Vidi. Vici.

Maryann Brown


February 2019