Fresno, Ca – Anna Elaine Brown, 70, of Fresno, passed away suddenly on Wednesday, November 20, 2019. She was born July 1st, 1949, in St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada as the daughter of Malcolm and Grace Kennedy.
Anna was never formally educated in the classical sense of the word. She was, however, one of the most street-smart people you would ever meet. Never fond of school, especially as a woman in the 1960’s, where just wearing pants got you into hot water, she decided to instead forge her own identity and education through the numerous people she would meet, especially those in and around the Sunset Strip club scene in Los Angeles, when it was swinging, being a part of the action instead of just hearing about it.
It was in 1965 she met a soldier named Ben. Anna said she knew from the moment she saw him that he was the one. They did the typical things young couple did at that time and place, which is fairly common now: they lived together for two years, had a baby, and then got married in the Summer of Love, in September 1967. They were married for 35 years until his death in 2002.
She is survived by three brothers, James, Michael and Joseph; three children, Ben Jr., Rachel and Aaron; Aaron’s wife Patricia, four grandchildren Angel, Gilbert, Patience and Yvonne and 7 great-grandchildren.
She is now with those she loved and missed dearly, including her grandmother Delores, mother Grace, brother David, Aunt Ginger, husband Ben and her first child, Adrian.
In spite of the love she and Ben shared, things were never easy for the two. Often in the 1970’s, he had run-ins with law enforcement, and would spend long stretches incarcerated. While Anna collected welfare for her three surviving children, she often worked as a cleaning lady under the table. It was until years later that her children found out the horrible truth about this work: she was often sexually harassed by clients, but she never said a word, and kept doing whatever she needed to do to put food on the table and a roof over their heads. “A mother doesn’t always get to do what she wants”, she said once, “but she does what she has to do”.
Of all of the things Anna loved to the most were listening to music, collecting R&B, Motown and Soul records and singing, especially while tending the numerous plants she always loved. Among her favorites were Jackie Wilson, Smokey Robinson, The Supremes and the Temptations. Her oldest son Ben Jr. is the curator of a weekly music program, and dedicated a recent program to her at this URL: https://aceofspadespdx.blubrry.net/2019/12/08/george-lucas-mrs-anna-brown-asked-me-to-tell-you-thank-you/
There was no service at the time of her death. However, in accordance with her and Ben’s wishes, in January 2020 they will both have their ashes scatted out at sea off of the Oregon coast.