One could only aspire to touch as many lives and do as much good as our beloved board member, friend and mentor, Rev. Don Brown. Don will be greatly missed by his friends and family as well as his extended family at CUMAC.
His talents for listening, laughing and painting were part of what made him such a special person, as were his kindness and compassion toward all he knew and toward the less fortunate. Don was a calming and positive force in any situation. He was able to see both sides of a story and could find a solution to any problem.
Whenever CUMAC’s Board would meet, he would always be sure to steer discussions toward our mission of feeding people and changing lives. It was very common to hear Don’s wise voice asking “Wait- let’s think- how does this relate to our mission?”
This ability to focus on and commit to CUMAC’s mission was what made me seek Don out to become a member of our Board. After retiring as District Superintendent of The United Methodist Church in 1998, I invited Don to join the board. He told me he did not want to make any commitments for a year after his retirement, so I marked my calendar and called him exactly a year later. He joined the Board and was an exceptionally passionate contributor ever since.
He worked on the committees that enabled us to purchase the larger space we needed to help the overwhelming needs in this community. Don has been instrumental in building capacity and served as our Board President from 2001- 2006. Don and his loving wife Gail contributed a trip to the “Oceanaire” to our Have a Heart Auction every year. Don also always contributed one of his works of art to our “Have a Heart Luncheon and Auction”. The paintings always brought in one of the highest bids, which surprised and humbled Don every time.
At CUMAC we will keep Don in our memory whenever a meeting starts to head off track and it becomes time to refocus on our mission, we will honor his legacy every time we feed someone and the way he lived his life will remind us to remain humble and empathetic as we work to make a difference.
Written by Reverend Patricia Bruger, Executive Director Director of CUMAC.
CORRECTION: In our original publication, the author’s name was inaccurate; it has been corrected. [2/15/2013]