An Appreciation: Annette Brown

Submitted by Marge Heckman, et al

“A faithful friend is a sure shelter,
whoever finds one has found a rare treasure.”

Sirach 6:14

Annette Brown – Courtesy image

There are many heavy hearts in Bedford this week as we mourn the passing of a rare treasure indeed, our dear friend and neighbor, Annette Brown.  There is a hole in our community that will be very hard to fill.

For many, Annette seemed invincible and we all rallied behind her as she fought a valiant struggle against advanced lung cancer for the last 21 months.  Though the miracle she and we hoped for was not to be, even in her passing Annette inspired us with the grace, dignity, and determination that were so much a part of who she was.  Even during the most difficult times, she always looked beautiful and kept her unforgettable smile.

Annette was many things to many people though I know she would agree that the roles she considered most important in her life were those of wife and mother.  She loved her husband Peter and her two children, Emily and Andrew, with an amazing passion and they were always foremost in her mind and heart.

A member of the Bedford community for 23 years, Annette never hesitated to jump in when and where help was needed.  As a member of the boards of both BEST and the MSPA for several years, Annette brought new ideas and excitement to fundraising efforts. If you ever attended the circus and carnival that BEST sponsored for many years, you can thank Annette. She was one of the catalysts for first bringing Bucky and Gigi and the “Big Top Circus”to Bedford to the delight of hundreds of kids over the years.  Great friendships were developed between those of us running and contributing to the Parent-Teacher organizations alongside her and we feel blessed to have shared those moments with her. And who can forget that million dollar smile as she strolled the Common conducting interviews with excited prom goers for Bedford TV during the annual Prom Stroll?

Annette was an active and beloved member of St. Michael’s Church.  Her deep faith was her anchor and she lived its values of kindness, goodness, compassion, and service in all aspects of her life.  She taught in St. Michael’s religious education program for many years and her legacy and grace will live on in the lives of the many children she touched as she planted the seeds of faith in their minds and hearts.

One friend described Annette as one of the “most happy and content people I have ever known,” and I would add one of the most generous and kind.  Whether it be sharing the challenges of motherhood with other Moms in her circle, supporting a friend with a recent cancer diagnosis, or driving someone to a medical appointment, she was always there with an open heart and a listening ear. Many of her acts of kindness were done behind the scenes and with little fanfare.  Annette also shared her love of the ocean and her beloved Chatham home with many of us over the years.  The grains of sand around Chatham hold many cherished memories.

Annette was truly a gift to everyone who was blessed to know her. The light she has left behind will never grow dim as it has embedded itself in our hearts forever.  We now have another angel in heaven watching over us.  So, we say farewell and rest in peace dear friend.

Many thanks to those who shared their reflections with me for this tribute:  Anna Bueno, Lita Verrier, Patricia Marks, Lore Griffith, and Kristin Ferrari.

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