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Nicholas Brownrigg


1932 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
Nicholas Brownrigg Obituary
Nicholas Gawen Brownrigg 12/22/32 9/28/18 Nick was finally able to "go home" during the early morning hours of Fri., Sept. 28. He passed peacefully at home in Cleone CA after a long illness. Nick was born in Pasadena and remained a lifelong Californian. He attended Midland School in Los Olivas, where he learned to love the early California homestead environment. He then attended Stanford University majoring in English and graduated in 1957 after also serving in the Navy between his sophomore and junior years. He married Linda Lovelace in 1959 and had a son, Michael, and a daughter, Sylvia. In 1971 he met and married his wife Valerie Arden in San Francisco. After their honeymoon in Mendocino and the drive back to Ukiah over the beautiful Comptche-Ukiah Road they decided to find a place in the hills of Mendocino County. And they did, it was an old homestead from 1870 called the Circle C Ranch and closely resembled Nick's old digs at Midland. Nick and Valerie lived there for 29 years, off the grid. A never ending adventure for two city folks. Every autumn there was a Circle C Apple Day potluck where everyone was invited to pick, crush and press apples from the old Gravenstein orchard. Juice day became the party of the year. By 1999 the Circle C became too difficult to maintain and they moved to Cleone, formerly a small mill town north of Fort Bragg. They loved their location on the dunes of Mac-Kerricher Park, where they and their beloved Samoyed Alia enjoyed walks on the dunes and 10 Mile Beach. Nick was an avid tennis player in his younger days, winning many local tournaments. He loved to travel, was an innovative cook, amateur winemaker, writer, poet, art collector. He loved music, particularly classical, early jazz, 60's rock and blues. He played a mean boogie-woogie too! He acted in local theater in Ukiah for many years in many roles. He is best remembered as a benevolent Herr Drosselmeyer in Mendocino Ballet's Nutcracker. In addition to his wife of 47 years, Valerie, and his children Mike (Marty) and Sylvia (Sedge Thomson), Nick leaves behind six grandchildren, Nick, Gracie, Jack, Peter, Sam, and Romilly, step-grandson Henry, brothers Victor and Peter Engel and their families, as well as many, many friends and his little Border Collie Skye. He loved you all. Many thanks to our local Hospice, MCDH and the paramedics who always arrived promptly and treated Nick with respect and humor, Dr. Rochat, Dr. Harris, and Nick's many caregivers. We all managed to keep him home throughout his illness. Nick was a man with great presence, wit, and humor. He will forever be missed! Please open a bottle of good wine to toast Nick, then make a donation to in his name. He would like that. There will be a memorial celebration sometime in the future.
Published in Ukiah Daily Journal on Oct. 25, 2018
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