Katharine (Katie, Kathy) Kennedy Brown died in the early morning of April 27 in Davis, California surrounded by family. For several years with courage and fierce independence she battled the devastations of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.
Katie was born on July 15, 1946 in Torrington, Connecticut, spent her early years in Kent Connecticut, where her father taught school, and summers in Thornton, New Hampshire. Later, her family moved to Easthampton, Massachusetts and Tilton, New Hampshire, where she spent her middle and high school years. She spent her college years in Thornton, New Hampshire graduating from Plymouth State University in 1969.
Katie was a born individual. At the age of five she threw a football as well as an adolescent boy, refused dresses, and insisted on wearing a coonskin cap to church. She loved animals, especially dogs and cats, music, singing, playing the guitar, poetry, moonlit nights, the woods, Mad River, the White Mountains, gardening, and justice. She was strongly opposed to the Vietnam and Iraq Wars and participated in marches and sit-ins.
She spent time right after college in VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America). She was assigned to Lowell, Massachusetts. In her twenties she traveled to Europe for several months. In her thirties and early forties she traveled back and forth between California and India. She lived in an ashram in Ganeshpuri and spent three weeks working in an orphanage of Mother Teresa’s. Back in the States, she lived in ashrams in Oakland and Santa Monica.
She received a Certificate of Gerontology from California State University in Sacramento. Her last employment was with the Yolo County Department of Mental Health, where she especially enjoyed her role as a Senior Peer Counselor. Her life work and passion was giving service to others. She lived with and assisted many, many older people over the course of her life.
She was predeceased by her father, Chester H. Brown Jr., her brother, Jonathan P. Brown and her mother, Barbara N. Brown, all of whom she helped care for to the end of their lives.
She is survived by two sisters, Stephanie Brown Fehm of Davis, California and Susan Brown Norris of Andover, New Hampshire; a niece, Gretchen Fehm Blake of Gold River, CA, her husband Ian Blake and daughters Anna, Allison, and Elizabeth; a nephew, Matthew H. Norris of Seattle, Washington and son Tobin Norris; and several cousins.
For their love and steadfast support throughout Katie’s illness, her family wishes to extend their deep appreciation to caregivers Lorrie Brennan, Regina Brown, and Lilliana Rodriquez; friends Linda Duval, Kathy and Jerry Marr, Kathy Speck and her sweet dog, Mazie, Patti Willey and her loyal black cat, Henry.
Katie will be immensely missed and forever remembered by her family, especially her ability to make things beautiful, to appreciate the splendor of the natural world, and to treasure the joy of play. Namaste, dear Katie.
A celebration of Katie’s life will be held at a later date. Katie’s family requests that donations may be made in her honor to: The ALS Association, Greater Sacramento Chapter at: alssac.org or SPCA: 6201 Florin Perkins Road, Sacramento, California 95828.