• Beltsville News

Obituary: Brown, Brenda Mae (Hindmarsh)


Ming Yee Chen

June 6, 1943 was the birth day of Brenda Mae (Hindmarsh) Brown. She was born in Hastings, a small mountainous, coal mining town in western Pennsylvania, where she shared many happy years with her parents, John & Genevieve (Shutty) Hindmarsh and younger sister, Nancy Hindmarsh. The cold, icy winters were spent sled riding and having snowball battles. The spring and summer brought the blooming of backyard fruit trees, the planting of vegetable and flower gardens with mom and dad, and berry picking for fresh pies and homemade ice cream. Brenda had a very close-knit family who enjoyed weekly dinners and memorable year-round events with extended family. During Brenda’s school years at St. Bernard’s Catholic School, she was blessed to have the privilege of taking piano lessons from Sister Mary Patrick, which sparked a lifelong love for music- especially the classics. Brenda was selected to be the accompanist in the Cambria Heights High School band (state level), choir, two local dance bands and the town’s Rotary Club. In addition to the piano, Brenda learned to play the pipe organ and was also selected to be the organist for masses at St. Bernard’s Church. Music was her passion and her achievements were reached through perseverance, hard work and love for music. Throughout high school, Brenda spent her summers working in a clothing boutique in Michigan for her Aunt Mary. This must surely have been the time when she developed her zest for fashion and her signature style.

Brenda’s senior year,1961, was a hallmark year in her life when she chose to leave her small town of Pennsylvania to embrace the big city life of Washington, D.C. She did so with unbridled enthusiasm and determination, as she accepted a position at the Federal Aviation Administration as a Secretary for Air Traffic Services. She worked diligently, with commitment and perseverance, earning top secret clearance, many awards and several promotions- reaching management level as a Program Analyst for Airway Facilities. For Brenda, it was a “privilege and a pleasure” to have worked alongside numerous dedicated associates and directors, many of which remained dear friends and close to her heart. She embraced and enjoyed the professional challenges, felt “truly blessed” and was so “proud” to have been able to serve the FAA for 38 years.

After moving to the D.C. area, Brenda met and married her husband of 54 years, Kenneth E. Brown. They resided in Greenbelt, MD for 25 years with their three children, Robert, Kristine, and Rachelle. Brenda was very involved in her children’s activities and community events. She volunteered with the Boy Scouts, Spring Hill Lake swimming and baseball teams, PTA, and the College Park Polish Dance Group. She was a devout Catholic and a parishioner of St. Hugh of Grenoble Catholic Church. Her faith was a true anchor in her life providing strength and guidance each day. Upon retirement, Brenda and Ken moved to Beltsville, Maryland where Brenda enjoyed swimming, reading, taking educational courses, attending operas, and visiting with her grandchildren. Brenda Mae Brown, devoted wife, mother, and sister, passed away on Monday, September 26, 2022, in Solomons, Maryland. She was preceded in death by her loving husband, caring parents and brother, Robert. She is survived by her sister, three children, six grandchildren, Kevin, Tyler, Bryan, Dylan, Jenavieve, William, and her great grandchild, Archer. Brenda was a faith filled, strong, independent woman with a zest for the arts, music, culture, people, and life. She was an extremely dedicated, giving, passionate person who based her life on her Catholic faith, and love for her family and friends. Her life touched each of us dearly and her love and lessons will live on for generations.

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