Faye died peacefully at the age of 83 on April 3, 2013, at her home in Los Alamos, where over the last few months she was visited and cared for by friends and family.
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Faye was born in Cleveland, Ohio on October 20, 1929 to Emma and Joseph Kelsch. As a child and young adult she studied and enjoyed tap dancing, ballet, and other dance forms. In her youth an interest in the arts and crafts also became prominent, and she went on to attend Case Western Reserve University, and then the Cleveland Institute of Art, where she focused on learning artistic techniques in weaving, ceramics, and silversmithing. She then moved to New York City, where she worked on projects with renowned silversmith Ludwig Wohlpert at the Jewish Museum. This work included several silver pieces that were later placed within the Jewish Synagogue portion of the faith chapel at the Colorado Air Force Academy.
Faye also took an interest in rock climbing, frequenting the Shawangunk Mountains in New York, and it was there that she met David Brown. They later married, and with their son Nicholas moved to Geneva, Switzerland.
After several years in Europe, she and her family moved to Los Alamos in 1967. Here Faye became active in the local community, through helping in the public schools, being involved with the National Organization for Women, and with the Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church, where she was a parishioner, and helped with the planting and care of flowers and shrubs at the church. She also worked as a volunteer building and maintaining trails in New Mexico and Colorado.
As well, Faye was an enthusiastic reader who frequented the Mesa Public Library, and would often find used books there which she would give to children, the homeless, and others whom she thought might enjoy them.
She was an innovative artist and her home was filled with a variety of artwork, collected natural objects, and the lamps she had made from old barrels, leaves, paper, and even a hat. An avid gardener, she could often be found in the backyard with her parsley, tomatoes, chard, marigolds, hyacinths, forsythias, and a variety of native plants that she nurtured. She enjoyed collecting and splitting firewood, and despite her illness did a fair bit of these activities over this past summer.
Faye was a great appreciator of the natural world, experiencing it through activities such as cross-country skiing, hiking, biking, and camping. Often she joined in outdoor adventures with the Sierra Club, Los Alamos Mountaineers, the "Wednesday Irregulars" and went on numerous flower walks with friends and family throughout the region. As well, she climbed 43 of the Colorado 14,000 foot peaks. Faye also traveled abroad to view five total solar eclipses, and elsewhere to see many vistas, natural wonders, arts, crafts, and to meet interesting people along the way.
She was known to be, caring and kind, vibrant, spirited, creative, and for her colorful knitted sweaters and hats. She frequented museums and art galleries regularly. Her favorite expressions were, "hola," "keep alert," "tip top," and "all is going according to Hoyle." Recently, after a year with pancreatic cancer she said, "I think maybe it's time I just slipped away."
Her presence, positive attitude, and incredible spirit will be missed, though it might well be felt in the winds amongst the flowers in the mountains and meadows. She is survived by her husband David Brown of Los Alamos,; son Nicholas Brown of Santa Fe; aunt Bernice Mileski of Las Cruces; and her cat AKA "Hey You Cat". All those who loved her are encouraged to attend a funeral service at 10 a.m. May 10, 2013 at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church, reception to follow, and a gathering on May 11 of friends and family which will include a walk to spread her ashes in a nearby mountain meadow. Please contact the family for details and RSVP if attending. In lieu of flowers, please send memorial donations to Esperanza Shelter, or Bienvenidos Outreach Inc. in Santa Fe, N.M. or
Published in Los Alamos Monitor from Apr. 8 to Apr. 11, 2013