Francesca Paula Brown Photo

Our beloved Francesca Paula Brown, known as Frances to many, passed away peacefully on April 15, 2021 at her home in San Rafael, CA, surrounded by her loving family. She was 94 years old.

Born on December 3, 1926 in San Bruno, CA to Tullio and Carmella (Mirabella) Sarra, Frances grew up in the Sunset district of San Francisco, where in adulthood she worked as an organizer for the clothing workers’ union. She met the love of her life, John Brown, as a child, and began dating him in her teenage years at Commerce High School. They married in 1947 at Mission Dolores Basilica and happily raised three sons in San Bruno.

In 1977, together with her husband and sons, Frances started a family business, Frank’s Fisherman Supply, which is located in San Francisco to this day. Frances and her husband later moved to San Rafael in 1993 to help raise their grandchildren.

Throughout her life, Frances’ warm, generous spirit, openness, and quick-witted humor made her magnetic. Family and friends meant everything to her and she was known for being an extraordinary wife, mother, grandmother and cook. Her specialties were Sicilian and Northern Italian dishes she learned to make as a girl from her mother.

Frances is survived by her husband of 73 years John Salinas Brown, three sons John Anthony Sr. (Didi), Kenneth (Susan), and Ronald (Kristina), four grandchildren John Anthony Jr. (Lora), Chelsea, Mallory (Mark), and Samuel, and three great-grandchildren June, Riley, and Gabrielle.

A private family viewing will be held at Keaton’s Mortuary in San Rafael, CA on April 26, 2021 from 10 - 11 a.m., followed by a celebration of life held at the Italian Cemetery in Colma, CA, from noon to 1 p.m.. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to Francesca Paula Brown’s memorial fund at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

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