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Memorials: Orange County Friends Meeting

Mary Patricia (Pat) Brown

Date of birth

Feb. 11, 1925

Date of death

April 22, 2016


Orange County Friends Meeting

Memorial minute

Orange County Friends Meeting remembers the life of Pat Brown, beloved member of Orange County, Marloma and Pacific Ackworth Meetings, and former AFSC staff member.  She died on April 22, 2016 at the age of 91.

Pat Brown (Mary Patricia Chidlaw) was born in San Bernardino County, CA on February 11, 1925 to parents Kenneth and Mary Katherine Chidlaw. She had two older brothers and a younger sister. Pat’s father was a worker in citrus groves, and her earliest memory was of living in a house in the middle of an orange grove. She grew up in Claremont, where she attended the Congregational Church and Claremont schools. She was always grateful for the intellectual stimulation and arts enrichment she received in the community of Claremont.  

During the Second World War Pat attended the University of Oregon, worked in a steel plant in Fontana, a paper mill in Portland, a radio station, and spent a summer in a Bracero camp near Portland. She then returned to Los Angeles, where she married Michael Brown, who was in the Merchant Marine. She lived in several nearby towns--Tujunga, Pasadena and Temple City--raising two sons and two daughters-   Michael, Sarah, Deborah and Matthew - as a single mother after her marriage ended in divorce.

Pat‘s connection with Quakers began with Pacific Ackworth school, which her children attended, and her membership in Pacific Ackworth Meeting.  She worked for the American Friends Service Committee office in Pasadena as a volunteer and a paid employee for many years and is remembered fondly by many who served on its committees.  After retirement, she moved to Leisure World in Seal Beach, where she became a member of Marloma Meeting in Long Beach. In 1999, she moved to Laguna Hills, where she shared an apartment with Barbara Brady, a friend from Pacific Ackworth and AFSC, after the death of Barbara’s husband.  Pat transferred her membership to Orange County Meeting in 2001, and she and Barbara were for many years a wise and loving presence in the meeting. They enjoyed travel, photography, and art, and were active in book discussions, committees and other meeting activities despite degenerating eyesight that left Pat legally blind.  Pat’s gentle, yet incisive, warmth and experience were an invaluable gift to our meeting, and especially to younger attenders new to Quakers. After Barbara’s death in 2009, Pat eventually moved to board and care homes in Arcadia and San Gabriel, closer to her family. She died in 2016, at age 91. Pat is survived by her four loving children: Michael Brown, Sarah Petre, Deborah D'Montegney, and Matthew Brown.