Coastal Post Online


December, 2003

Carolyn Brown Passes

   Carolyn L. Brown, Ph.D., a nationally recognized advocate for children, lost a long battle with cancer on November 4, 2003.  She was surrounded by her loving family and friends.
   During more than 35 years of work with at-risk children and young adults, Dr. Brown helped many hundreds of children and families toward better lives.
   Born in Spokane, Washington on November 17, 1937, Carolyn was an only child and led an adventurous and independent childhood. As a young woman she attended Whitworth College where her adventuresome spirit led her to India for a year of study abroad.
   In 1971, Carolyn founded The Growing Mind, a pioneering school in Berkeley, California for learning-disabled children. The Growing Mind later came to be known as Full Circle Treatment Center, a center for boys with emotional, neurological and learning challenges. She served as Director and later on the Board for many years. Her spirit will always reside with the school.
   In 1975, she co-founded Commonweal, a health and environmental research institute in Bolinas, California.  She served as Chair of the Board for 10 years and then as a Board Member for 28 years.  Her true passion was her position as Director of the Children and Young Adults Program at Commonweal.  She was the person people called when they had exhausted all possibilities of help for their children.  Her greatest gift was her ability to focus on the strengths in every person regardless of their difficulties.  She believed in people when no one else did.
   In later years, Carolyn created the Roundhouse, a residential program for young adults. With her guidance students would pursue schooling, job skills and healing through artistic expression. Many young adults and families lives have been touched by her grace and compassion.
   Carolyn received national recognition for her work.  She received the Albert Elias Award from the National Council on Crime and Delinquency, the Jenifer Altman Foundation Award for her services to families and children, and she served as Chair of the California Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Advisory Council under Governor Jerry Brown.
   Carolyn is survived by her loving family Charlie, Cameron, Chris, Meloni, Stephanie, Anita, Ed, Houston, Casey, Lily, Quinn and Nancy.  She also leaves behind many close friends who will be forever touched by her generosity, strength, love and kindness.
   A memorial service to celebrate Carolyn's life was held on November 22nd, 2003 at 1:00 p.m. at Grace Cathedral located at 1100 California St., San Francisco.
   Contributions to Carolyn's memory can be made to Hospice of Petaluma at 416 Payran St., Petaluma, Ca. 94952 or the Children and Young Adults Program of Commonweal at P. O. Box 316 Bolinas, Ca. 94924. 



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