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In Memory... Jean Cook Brown (1936 - 2010)

Posted By Jessica Cambio, Thursday, September 30, 2010
JEAN COOK BROWN (1936 - 2010)

It is with a sense of loss that the Ministries and Faith Development
staff group informs you of the death of the Reverend Jean Cook Brown.
She died on August 17, 2010 at Avery Heights Assisted Living Facility in
Hartford, CT.  Her death was peaceful and her children were beside her.
Rev. Brown was 74 years old.

Rev. Brown was born on September 21, 1936 in Manchester, CT, to Aaron
Cook and Elizabeth LeShay Cook.  She graduated from Connecticut College
in 1958 with an economics degree and from the University of Hartford
with a Masters in Education in 1964.

While teaching third grade at the Roaring Brook School in Avon, CT, she
attended the UU Church of West Hartford where she had been married.  She
volunteered as a Sunday school teacher and thus began five decades of
dedicated service to the congregation.  As her involvement in the church
- especially in the Religious Education program - grew, it led to her
employment in 1973 as Assistant to the Minister and then as the Director
of Religious Education.

As Director of Religious Education, Rev. Brown created and led many
programs for children and their families, including weekend family
retreats.  She especially enjoyed inviting the children to slumber
parties at the church as "a way for them to feel that the church was
their home.”  Under Rev. Brown’s leadership, the religious education
program grew from 70 to more than 300 children.

Rev. Brown’s commitment to the church continued to grow and deepen.  She
broadened her involvement with the church by preaching and providing
pastoral care and she began to think about the ministry.  She enrolled
in the Independent Study Program of the UUA, graduating in 1992.  She
also earned her Masters of Religious Studies from Hartford Seminary in
the same year.  In 1993, she was ordained and called by the West
Hartford congregation to be their first Minister of Religious Education.
She served in that capacity until 2004, when she became part-time
Minister for Pastoral Care so she could spend more time with her
husband.  She retired in 2008 and was named Minister Emerita the
following year.

Rev. Brown provided leadership to other UU churches through her
involvement with the RE Team of the UUMA Connecticut Valley District.
She chaired that group for a number of years.  She also volunteered at
Prudence Crandell Women’s Center for victims of domestic violence.

Rev. Jan Nielsen, current minister in West Hartford, wrote in a letter
to the congregation, "Throughout her service to our congregation, Jean
ministered with thoughtfulness and creativity and she was a warm and
vital pastoral presence to people of all ages.”

Survivors include her husband, James Cashel Brown; her children,
Christopher Lyman Brown of Los Angeles, Roger Lindsey Brown of Hartford,
and Bettina Ann Brown of Cape Cod.  She also leaves her sisters,
Elizabeth Gabel and Amory Stansfield and her sister-in-law, Patricia

Donations in honor of Rev. Brown may be made to the Commemorative Fund
of the Universalist Church, 433 Fern Street, West Hartford, CT 06107.
Funds will be used to restore Rev. Brown’s favorite stained glass
window, the Good Shepherd.

A Service to celebrate the life of Rev. Brown was held at the
Universalist Church of West Hartford, CT.  Please send notes of
condolence to Rev. Brown’s children c/o Universalist Church of West
Hartford, 433 Fern Street, West Hartford, CT 06107-2002.

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