ForeverMissed
This memorial website was created in memory of our sister Sheila Brown.  She had a gift for building community.  We hope to celebrate and connect with that network of communities here ... family, friends, spiritual, environmental, educational, and music.  Please share photos, memories, music, recordings, and inspiration here.

Remembrances for Sheila can be made to the Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association.  Simply click on the link, select the amount, select one time donation, and in the box below "Would you like to apply your contribution towards a specific program? If so, which program?" type "Sheila Brown Remembrance".  Donations will support trail and habitat restoration in Camp Long and the Longfellow Creek Watershed. 
Posted by Ann Powers on July 24, 2021
I only met Sheila a few times through Yvonne, but felt an instant fondness and connection. I would have valued her already as the sister of one of the kindest and most giving people I’ve ever known — but her own droll sense of humor, willingness to connect and enthusiasm for the Pacific Northwest where I was also raised won me over. She has left a real legacy there and amongst her family and friends. I send my deepest sympathies to all who mourn her.
Posted by Robert Hinrix on July 24, 2021
I knew Sheila through our times at music camps, and we shared our love of Latin music, politics, nature, and just sincere friendships.  At times when i felt lonely, or down, she always seemed to be there with a smile.  That meant the world to me then, and still does today.  I'm so grateful for the times that we spent together. My condolences to her family, she will be deeply missed. 
Posted by Elizabeth McGhee Hassrick on July 24, 2021
My first memory of Sheila was when I was maybe 5 years old, playing hide and seek on the back hill with the neighborhood kids from overhill road. She saved the day, when I was attacked by a swarm of wasps, defending their nest. I must have had more than 20 stings by the time she rescued me and got me safely home for a vinegar bath. Sheila and the older brothers and sister were in charge of endless games of kick the can, beckon the bacon, hide and seek. Seems like Sheila has been helping others play outdoors ever since. Thank you Sheila, for getting us all outside in nature. Rest In Peace. Love, Elizabeth and family
Posted by Christine Kelly on July 23, 2021
Sheila,

You were always kind, and you were so accepting. You may have never known on this earth how your quiet, gentle spirit influenced me, but rest assured it did. I would look forward to your rare but poignant Facebook posts the same way I had looked forward to your visits to the print shop. I knew they would change me, always in small yet meaningful ways.
Posted by Giovannina Souers on July 13, 2021
Thanks so much for putting this beautiful remembrance for Sheila together. I worked with Sheila for the last 6 years, and in the short time I knew her she taught me so much. As my mentor and friend, I miss her. I miss her steady answers to all my questions, her calm voice in our weekly check-in's and her passion for Camp Long and the environment.
Giovannina
Posted by Elaine Chuang on July 6, 2021
Of my many regrets, one is that I came into Sheila Brown's sphere of influence only in late 2016 (and as a Seattle Parks and Recreation volunteer, it was always somewhat peripherally). In this part of her "Later Reign” it was overtly apparent that she was a respected and beloved person of standing in the “larger' Community, the Delridge Neighborhood and at Camp Long. At any such coming-together that I might happen to attend, seasoned Sheila-colleagues and friends always abounded!

In my little ‘box’ I’ll hold onto that gentle, wry smile of hers, and those few but always memorable words uttered! 

Thank you so much to Philippa & Co. for the June 19th Camp Long Remembrance gathering, which brought many “Sheila Groupies” into close proximity! That event delivered a lovely touch of happiness: seeing and hearing from the many. Good balm to the shock and sadness of losing her. And I lucked into some real “quality time” spent with Mom (see added photo)!

And getting to see the content you’ve adorned this site with has been wonderful. 
Posted by Tracy Rathke on July 2, 2021
I worked at CYO summer camp with Sheila. She will forever be remembered for her kind, inclusive leadership. She was passionate about wild things and getting kids outside to experience the gifts from the natural world. She was a friend to all. I will miss our Thursday night zooms with our friend. The last zoom she was able to attend we had music and it filled my heart to hear her singing. Happy trails sweet friend. You are dearly missed. 
Posted by elaine nye on June 29, 2021
My family & I will all miss Sheila, taken from us too soon. My daughter Philippa  had a close friendship with her for more than 25 years. They shared two lively border terriers. She became part of our family, we enjoyed many festivals (Christmas etc) together & many beach walks near my home. There were lively conversations, Sheila was knowledgeable on so many subjects. She & my son Adrian both play guitar really well, she loaned him her instrument when he came to visit. My sympathy to her mother, sisters & all her family in their sad loss.
Posted by Bernadette Roberts on June 28, 2021
I met Sheila in Spain, where we walked on a pilgrimage for peace with Jesuits to celebrate the 500 year anniversary of their order. Both recent JVs we shared curiosity, skepticism and adventure. Sheila brought kindness, music, and intelligence to our journey, as she continued to do in our friendship these last 30 years. I can't begin to thank her for the friend she was to me, nor to explain how deeply I miss her, how I feel a connection to her spirit in a hummingbird on a trail, a forest hill of ferns, and a song. Thank you Sheila
Posted by Tony Jenkins on June 23, 2021
I will miss Sheila's dry wit and wry smile - she always made me laugh at unexpected times. Most of my memories of her are somewhere in nature: sitting by a lake or walking along a forested trail - she loved being outside, under the trees, with her family and close friends. We will remember Sheila for her quick intelligence, her musical talent, and her warm heart.
Love, Tony & Philip

Leave a Tribute

 
Recent Tributes
Posted by Ann Powers on July 24, 2021
I only met Sheila a few times through Yvonne, but felt an instant fondness and connection. I would have valued her already as the sister of one of the kindest and most giving people I’ve ever known — but her own droll sense of humor, willingness to connect and enthusiasm for the Pacific Northwest where I was also raised won me over. She has left a real legacy there and amongst her family and friends. I send my deepest sympathies to all who mourn her.
Posted by Robert Hinrix on July 24, 2021
I knew Sheila through our times at music camps, and we shared our love of Latin music, politics, nature, and just sincere friendships.  At times when i felt lonely, or down, she always seemed to be there with a smile.  That meant the world to me then, and still does today.  I'm so grateful for the times that we spent together. My condolences to her family, she will be deeply missed. 
Posted by Elizabeth McGhee Hassrick on July 24, 2021
My first memory of Sheila was when I was maybe 5 years old, playing hide and seek on the back hill with the neighborhood kids from overhill road. She saved the day, when I was attacked by a swarm of wasps, defending their nest. I must have had more than 20 stings by the time she rescued me and got me safely home for a vinegar bath. Sheila and the older brothers and sister were in charge of endless games of kick the can, beckon the bacon, hide and seek. Seems like Sheila has been helping others play outdoors ever since. Thank you Sheila, for getting us all outside in nature. Rest In Peace. Love, Elizabeth and family
her Life

Environmental activisim and youth education

Sheila was engaged in the West Seattle environmental activism community, both through her work and as a volunteer.  She was known as a great mentor and courageous leader of teams.

As Education Program Supervisor at Camp Long for 17 years, she was responsible for
initiating the partnership with 4H that resulted in the building of the Challenge course at Camp Long. She was active in race and social justice issues at the City, and committed to getting kids of all backgrounds to appreciate and experience the natural world. She helped create the Leadership in Equity and Environmental Facilitation (LEEF) program for developing BIPOC youth leadership in environmental education. The program has recently been expanded so that youth leaders will be employed to lead environmental programming for the Parks Department. Prior to working for the Seattle Parks and Recreation Department, Sheila’s managed education programs for Earthcorps.

As a volunteer, she was a Board member for the Common Acre, a nonprofit involved in community agriculture habitat restoration and bee keeping projects, and was a volunteer in the development of the Longfellow Creek Legacy Trail, and in open space preservation in Delridge.

Sheila received the news that her third bout with cancer was terminal near the end of 2020. She decided to leave a legacy by raising funds for the construction of a gateway at the eastern entrance of Camp Long, designed to match the main entrance on Dawson Street. Nearly 80 donors contributed over $22,000, and the new gateway will be installed later this year. Remembrances for Sheila can be made to the Gateway Project c/o Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association. Donations will support trail and habitat restoration in Camp Long and the Longfellow Creek Watershed. 

Music community

Sheila loved music.  She initially studied music therapy before moving into education, and her hobbies often involved music. She sang with the Northwest Chamber Chorus, and went to Eastern Europe on a tour with that group. She was a staff person at the Puget Sound Guitar Workshop for many summers, and remembered as the lively host of many open mikes that went into the wee hours. She was a longtime fan of the Vancouver Folk Festival, even when it involved sitting in the rain wrapped up in a tarp.


Growing up and family community

The daughter of Jorge Diego Brown, from Argentina, and Antje Nancy Brown, a Dutch / Argentine, Sheila was born and grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, the eldest of three. She travelled to Argentina often and at age 15 her family moved to Rio de Janeiro, Brasil, where her father worked for Kaiser Engineers, where she completed her four years of high school at the Escola Americana do Rio de Janeiro (EARJ).  In high school she played the trombone and French horn, played a lead role in the musical Oliver, and was proud to have received the principal's award to recognize her achievements.  She stayed in touch with many former students from EARJ throughout her life. She planned to attend the 40th reunion for her class of 1980 in Rio last summer that was unfortunately cancelled due to COVID.

Her sisters, Doreen and Yvonne, shared caregiving with her longtime friend and companion Philippa Nye throughout the last 7 months of her life. Friend Sarah Satre and cousin Laura also offered loads of support, as did her vast community of friends in Seattle and Bellingham and her Argentine family members, who lifted her spirits with Zoom calls, text messages and Spotify playlists.
Sheila made a real effort to visit and stay in touch with her sisters, nephews and nieces, whom she loved dearly, always finding time to read with them, play board games, celebrate their achievements, and empathize with their struggles.  She had a special bond with her nephew Nico, who lived with her for his last two years of high school.  She also stayed in touch with and supported her many cousins and their children. 



Recent stories

Vancouver Folk Music Festival memories

Shared by Elise DeGooyer on June 22, 2021
I keep looking for a photo of meeting Sheila at Stage 2 at the annual summer festival, to get a bit of shade at the Utah Phillips stage, and continue our conversation about Joanna Macy and the Great Turning. But no photo to be found, just kept close in memory. I think one image that can capture those festival years is the final set, where the closing act sings us on our way out the gates. In 2017 that was our favorite Ferron, singing Testimony. Let this be a testimony to our friend Sheila’s life and integrity, singing her on her way:
But by my life be I spirit,
and by my heart be I woman 
and by my eyes be I open 
and by my hands be I whole…

White Owl Flies Into and Out of the Field - Mary Oliver

Shared by Carlos & Doreen Salazar on June 20, 2021
Coming down out of the freezing sky
with its depths of light,
like an angel, or a Buddha with wings,
it was beautiful, and accurate,
striking the snow and whatever was there
with a force that left the imprint
of the tips of its wings — five feet apart —
and the grabbing thrust of its feet,
and the indentation of what had been running
through the white valleys of the snow —
and then it rose, gracefully,
and flew back to the frozen marshes
to lurk there, like a little lighthouse,
in the blue shadows —
so I thought:
maybe death isn't darkness, after all,
but so much light wrapping itself around us —

as soft as feathers —
that we are instantly weary of looking, and looking,
and shut our eyes, not without amazement,
and let ourselves be carried,
as through the translucence of mica,
to the river that is without the least dapple or shadow,
that is nothing but light — scalding, aortal light —
in which we are washed and washed
out of our bones.