Surrounded by his loving family, Thomas Everett Brown, 88, passed away in his home in Sonoma, Calif., on Feb. 27, 2020. He previously lived in Belvedere from 1973 until 2000, and grew up near Naperville, Illinois.
Tom’s long life was far fuller than most. It included a career in architecture that he loved and excelled at, running his own firm in San Francisco from 1970 until 2000. He also drew satisfaction from volunteer work for the historical societies of Naperville, Ill., and Belvedere, serving as president of the Landmarks Society, as well as genealogical research, watercolor painting, and managing a small vineyard on his property.
Throughout his life, his greatest pleasure came from flying airplanes, including a World War II Stearman biplane, boating, and driving old cars. The favorite of his many vehicles was a 1915 Ford Model T that he had owned since 1950, drove out to California from Illinois with his son in 1984, and since deployed in many July 4th parades.
Born on Nov. 11, 1931, Tom was the last generation to live in the family’s ancestral farmstead called Oak Cottage, which was built by his pioneer great-grandfather in 1850. Upon graduation from Naperville High School, he studied architecture at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana and served in the U.S. Air Force. After traveling and living around Europe and Australia, he settled in the San Francisco Bay Area in 1960.
Tom was dynamic, wise, and generous, with a dry humor that would have been more familiar in England, and will be sorely missed by many people. He is survived by his loving wife, Faye; ex-wife Torunn; children/stepchildren Everett, Samantha, Christina, and Peter; and five grandchildren, nephews and numerous other relatives, spread as far as London and Norway. He was predeceased by his second wife, Anne, the Belvedere-Tiburon librarian from the 1970s through the 1990s, and his sister, Nancy. A small memorial gathering was held on March 1 at his home.