Cynthia Brown Kelly
Cynthia Brown Kelly - whose life was best captured by her favorite song "You are the Sunshine of my Life" - beloved wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt and friend to so many, passed away, on Palm Sunday, March 29, while her cherished nephew Monsignor John Talesfore prayed the Our Father with us all beside her.
Cynthia was a third generation San Franciscan, with an exuberant zest for life. She was our family convener, lovingly gathering generations of Browns together throughout her lifetime. She was fully engaged in politics, art, the great outdoors, and most important her family and wide circle of friends.
She attended West Portal School, Aptos, Convent of the Sacred Heart and Star of the Sea Academy where she was Valedictorian, and where she met her lifelong friends Jean Walker Lowell and Eileen Mellon Shea. Cynthia was a member of Delta Gamma sorority and graduated from San Jose State in 1955 with a degree in Education. She taught elementary school and enthusiastically continued her adult education at USF and Stanford.
Cynthia was the proud daughter of Gov. Edmund G. "Pat" and Bernice Brown, and the cherished sister of Barbara Casey Siggins, Gov. Jerry Brown (Anne Brown) and former Treasurer Kathleen Brown (Van Gordon Sauter).
Cynthia married the love of her life, Joseph Ignatius Kelly in 1957 and was blessed with 58 years of love and laughter in marriage. She was the beloved mother of Kathleen (Kevin Holl), Joe, Jr., Carol (Andrew Clark); Patricia (Dennis Carlin) and Cynny (Patrick Sheehan). She was the adored "Noni" to Kaitlin and Claire Cynthia Holl; Joe Joe Kelly, Andrew and Emily Clark; Denny, Cynny and Bernie Carlin; Kelly, Patrick and Kevin Sheehan.
She loved parties and dancing and hosted a record number of baptisms, first communions, graduations, weddings, birthdays and fourth of July celebrations. She was an avid tennis player and swimmer. In fact, she carried her bathing suit everywhere she traveled.
Cynthia served on the boards of the SF Fine Arts Museums and the Modern Art Council. She was a personal friend to some of our most distinguished local artists. She also served on the board of the Foundation of SF City College and Heritage House.
Deepest thanks to Elizabeth Fairbanks, Bernie Hennessey, Dr. James Davis and UCSF team including Drs. Conant, Dall'Era, Poe, Santhosh, Landefeld and Adler for their loving care.
A Memorial Mass will be celebrated Monday, April 6 at St. Cecilia Church, 2555 17th Ave., SF at 11:00 am.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her name to UCSF Foundation.