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Margaret Ayre Brown ’65

A picture of Margaret Ayre Brown

Margaret Ayre Brown ’65, June 7, 2011, at home in Honolulu, Hawaii, from pancreatic cancer. Margaret earned a BA in literature from Reed and married Ronald P. Brown ’64. They eventually settled in Honolulu, where Ron was professor of mathematics at the University of Hawaii. Margaret completed her training as a certified occupational therapy assistant at Kapiolani Community College in 1985. After working several years in the hand clinic at Tripler Hospital, she worked as a leader for groups of frail elderly. In 1989, the Occupational Therapy Association of Hawaii named her certified occupational therapy assistant of the year. Margaret did charitable work, mostly through Church of the Crossroads in Honolulu, and also volunteered with the American Cancer Society’s Reach to Recovery program. She helped establish Hui Manawale’a, Crossroads’s branch of an interfaith cooperative effort to support elders and the disabled. She also helped establish Family Promise to provide immediate housing and long-term solutions for the homeless. After her breast cancer diagnosis in 1995, she began a daily practice of centering prayer and became a certified instructor in that practice, leading weekly centering prayer meetings at Crossroads. Margaret was a political activist, passionately devoted to promoting peace, and was a founder and leader of the Hawaii chapter of the Friends of Sabeel, a Christian Palestinian movement for peace and justice in Palestine and Israel. She was co-organizer of the 2010 Sabeel Conference at the Cathedral of Saint Andrew in Honolulu and received the Church of the Crossroads Martin Luther King Jr. Peacemaker Award in 2011. The award honored Margaret’s vital and caring presence in the congregation and the great respect for her work at the church and in the community. Margaret was widely read, and her gift for writing with clarity and precision was constantly employed in her many activities. She loved the outdoors and enjoyed ocean swims, daily walks, and backpacking trips with her family and friends. Margaret was also classically trained in piano, violin, and cello. She sang in several choirs and danced with a hula halau. She was a founding member of the Kaimana Ceili Band and organized and recruited people for Celtic and old-timey fiddle music jams in Honolulu. Ron wrote, “Perhaps two-thirds of the people at a big jam at her memorial service had been introduced to this music by her.” Survivors include Ron, daughter Sara, son Peter, and her sister and brother.

Appeared in Reed magazine: December 2011

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