Michael Brown
1947 - 2021
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Michael Collins Brown
Aug 4, 1947 - Feb 21, 2021
Michael Collins Patrick (Mike) Brown, the recently retired Director of Communications for the Archdiocese of San Francisco, died peacefully at home on Sunday following a long battle with cancer. He was 73.

Mike served as Associate Editor of Catholic San Francisco, the Archdiocesan weekly, and worked closely with the archbishop and the 93 parishes of the Archdiocese of San Francisco, capping off a half-century-long career in public relations. He began his professional career in 1968 as a copy boy for the San Francisco Chronicle, transitioning easily to Senior Columnist Assistant to the late nationally syndicated columnist Charles McCabe, editor, and book review staff writer.

In 1981 he became the Director of Alumni Relations and University Communications for the University of San Francisco, where he served his alma mater for over a decade cutting his teeth in crisis communication through the dissolution of his beloved USF Don's basketball program. Similarly, he expertly guided corporations such as Southern Pacific Railroad, Fleishman Hillard, and Consolidated Freightways directing strategic communications and managing chaotic situations with ease and calm. Mike was a founding partner at Brown and Raleigh, a full-service public relations firm but his devotion to the Catholic Church and his spiritual life were never far from Mike's heart.

In 2002 he was recruited to serve as Director of Communications and Community Relations for the Oakland Catholic Diocese overseeing public relations and communications for the highly anticipated Cathedral Project. In 2011, he moved to the San Francisco Diocese to work with Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone. Mike was named 2020 Communications Director of the Year by the U.S.–Canada Catholic Press Association and retired in January of 2021 after a 52-year career.

Mike was born in Spokane, WA in 1947 and moved to the newly developed community of Ladera in the foothills of the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center in 1954 with his parents Ralph and Eleanor Brown, now deceased. He attended St. Raymond's Elementary school, rode the train each day to Bellarmine College Preparatory, and completed his Bachelors' Degree in English at the University of San Francisco in 1969. He is survived by his wife of 51 years, Kathy Fenton Brown with whom he raised four children in his childhood home in Ladera. He is also survived by daughters Becky Brown of Ashland, OR and Molly Toapanta Brown of Mindo, Ecuador, sons Michael Brown of Ft. Collins, CO, and Thomas Brown who is now raising the 3rd generation of Browns in the family home in Ladera. Mike's seven grandchildren live across three states and two continents and range in age from 2 to 24. Although Mike was an only child, he leaves behind a large and ever-growing family who carry the memory of his dry wit and warm heart for generations to come.

Funeral arrangements are set for 11 a.m. Thursday at Saint Raymond Catholic Church in Menlo Park. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in his memory to Catholic Charities.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in San Francisco Chronicle from Feb. 23 to Feb. 28, 2021.
11:00 AM
Saint Raymond Catholic Church
Memories & Condolences
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16 entries
March 8, 2021
So very sorry we didn’t get a chance to meet Mike; he & Kathy had very recently moved to The Forum, where we met Kathy in the pool one Monday morning. Sending positive thoughts to Mike’s family - wishing for them strength & courage at this sad, stressful time. Warmly, Carol & David Fitting
March 7, 2021
True to his family and his faith. What a full life Mike led! Left this life far too soon. My heartfelt condolences to his family.
Rich Keith
March 4, 2021
I had the pleasure and the privilege of working with Mike at Southern Pacific and then later at Consolidated Freightways. Mike was a consummate professional, supportive to his fellow employees, and a joy to work with. A wonderful man both personally and professionally and I am blessed to have known him.
Wayne Bolio
March 2, 2021
Such a nice man. Remember him from alumni association helping students.
Judith Garvey
February 27, 2021
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Charles and Gail McCabe
February 25, 2021
Such a larger than life but gentle, caring soft soul with nothing but warm wonderful things to say about everything. Mike was inspiring with talent galore and so glad to have been his friends for so long. Memories of Mike’s caring consideration for all, will be such a lasting tribute and positive memory. Go in peace, Mike. You certainly will be missed.

Sue and Gene Chaput
Sue and Gene Chaput
February 25, 2021
I took great joy from any encounters with Mike. His warm smile, and loving attitude were uplifting. his competence remarkable. His courage and serenity in suffering inspired one. I will deeply miss him. I would like to offer my condolences to Kathy, his children and grandchildren, the depth of whose grief in the loss of such a loving spouse and father I can only imagine,
Judith Roach
February 25, 2021

I remember Mike as always having a big grin and great sense of humor.My thoughts and prayers go out Kathy and the family.
andrea h lynn
February 25, 2021
We were co-grandparents to Janey, Macy and Charley. I just regret not being able to see him more because we lived in Colorado. I always enjoyed visiting. Mike had a way of making one feel comfortable.
Joe n Sue Hubert
February 25, 2021
Mike and I were co-grandads to Macy, Janet and Charley. I always enjoyed visiting with Mike. My only regret was not being able to get to know him better.
Joe n Sue Hubert
February 25, 2021
Jim and I are sending our condolences. I remember Mike’s friendly warmth.
Prayers to you and your family.
Pat Tobin Stevens
Pat Stevens
February 24, 2021
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Bill & Nancy Grove, V64
February 24, 2021
I met Mike at USF. I was so very sorry to learn of his passing and for Kathy and his family. The thing I remember about Mike is his gentle, cajoling humor and seemingly easy going demeanor--a good man, husband, father, friend, and a true gift to all those who knew him.

Ronie Dalton
February 24, 2021
I Went To St. Raymonds Elementary School . . Grades 2-8!!! Mike, As I Remember Him, Was A Quiet, Yet Confident Boy!! Everyone Loved Him!!
By Reading His Resume. Which Is Quite Extraordinary, It Fits The
FriendlyPerson We All Knew!! Rest In Peace, Mike!!!
John Mercer
February 24, 2021
Even as a child, Mike was a teddy bear ... comforting, friendly, lovable. As we reached adolescence, he was one of the gentle-men of our class, courteous, respectful and quietly charming. We were classmates for seven years at St. Raymond's. We had the opportunity to work together planning our Golden Plus Reunion. He will be missed.
Margaret Maughan
February 24, 2021
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Judy and John Doyle. (208D)
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