Valeria Madeline Colombatto Brown
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Valeria Madeline Colombatto Brown

Hull - Colombatto Brown, Valeria Madeline of Hull, Massachusetts, formerly of Farmington Hills, Michigan and Santa Fe, New Mexico, passed away on May 18, 2020 at the Life Care Center of the South Shore in Scituate. She was 93.

Born in Chicago, Illinois to the late Joseph John and Valeria Agnes (Zygutis) Colombatto, she grew up in Detroit, Michigan, where she attended Cooley High School and earned money handpainting silk neckties. She earned bachelor's and master's degrees in Fine Arts at Wayne State University, later becoming certified as the first Art Therapist in Michigan and as a counselor by the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors, and Therapists. Valeria studied group therapy at Esalen under Fritz Perls. After teaching art at Oakland Community College, she was employed as an adjunct assistant professor, psychiatry, at Harper Hospital in the Detroit Medical Center.

Upon retiring, Valeria bravely established a new life in remote Abiquiu, New Mexico, enthralled by the West and New Mexico's Native American and Hispanic cultures. With her husband James, she built an adobe home and found a place in the community of artists there. In their later years, she and James resettled in Santa Fe for a decade before joining his daughter and her family in their restored fishermen's boarding house in Hull, Massachusetts.

As a fine artist, Valeria was represented by the Rubiner Gallery in Michigan and sold paintings privately through the annual Abiquiu Studio Tour. She was an accomplished cook and ballroom dancer, as well a lover of the outdoors.

Valeria was the beloved wife of the late James Howard Brown, who died in 2019. With her first husband, the late Dr. Mario Petrini, she had six children, as well as a foster child, Ubaldo Rodriguez. She was the devoted mother of Elisa Petrini of NY, Mark Petrini and wife Deborah Jones of NY, Odette Petrini of MI, Matthew Petrini of SC, John Petrini and partner Sarah Curtis of NY, Andrea Petrini and partner John Lee of NY, and Darcy Brown Doty and husband Dean of Hull, MA. She was the loving grandmother of Henry and Lucas Petrini of NY, Iris Zhong Tao McNally of MI, Matthew David and Heaven Arnetta Petrini of MI, Ramona Petrini and Joseph Petrini of NY, and Thea and James Doty of Hull, MA. She was preceded in death by her siblings, Joseph Colombatto and Dorothea Colombatto Brown.

Valeria will be interred privately at the Massachusetts National Cemetery, Bourne. A Celebration of Life Service will be held at a later date on Cape Cod. Commemorative donations may be made in her name to the Detroit Institute of Arts ( and to Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu, New Mexico (

Normally, the funeral is an opportunity for the community to gather in support of one another. Although we cannot gather together with Valeria's family at this time, friends may still offer their support by visiting and sharing a special memory or message. For those who cannot access the website, please call 1-800-KEOHANE to have your message added

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Published in Detroit Free Press & The Detroit News from May 23 to May 24, 2020.
No memorial events are currently scheduled. To offer your sympathy during this difficult time, you can now have memorial trees planted in a National Forest in memory of your loved one.
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1 entry
May 24, 2020
I will always remember Val's beautiful roses which she so kindly took the time to bring to work to share with us at the hospital. She was a kind and thoughtful woman
Roberta D. Walden
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