Kathy Brown, 50, of Helena died on Jan. 11, 2012 as she lived — thinking of others. She was trying to keep her truck from rolling into her neighbor’s shop when she was crushed against a telephone pole by an open truck door.
Kathy was born on July 21, 1961 in Chestnut Hill, Pennsylvania. She moved with her family to Whitefish, Montana at age 2 and to Helena at age 5 when her father became the Dean of St. Peter’s Episcopal Cathedral.
Most recently, Kathy operated Kathy’s Café in the Walt Sullivan (Labor and Industry) building and dished up more than delicious food. It was a place to find a warm smile, a sympathetic ear, genuine interest in one’s life, friendly ribbing, perhaps some down-to-earth advice, and credit for those short on cash. State Employees who came to Kathy’s Café found a friend, sister, other mother, and, if need be, mother confessor — just as Blue Cross and Blue Shield employees did when Kathy ran the Blue Cross, Blue Shield cafeteria — and just as rough core-drillers did when Kathy ran the kitchen for a gold exploration crew in Livengood, Alaska. To daughter, Erin, she was simply the best Mom in the world who will be forever loved and missed.
Kathy brought incredible multi-tasking skills and a can-do attitude to all she undertook. She rarely said “no” to a request, and she rarely worried about compensation. She thought nothing of whipping up a tasty meal for 30 people on two hours notice. In addition to her day job, she cooked dinner¬¬s for Wonderful Wednesday gatherings at St. Peter’s Cathedral, cooked meals for the Native American Togendawagen Service every other Saturday evening, and catered numerous special events including many fundraisers for people in need. Kathy’s specialty was fancy deserts, but she mostly loved making the comfort food her customers wanted and needed. She nurtured the bodies and souls of her family, church, and community and will be deeply missed by all who were fortunate enough to experience her generous spirit.
After graduating from Capital High School in 1979, Kathy worked as a dispatcher for the Highway Patrol for several years then went to Vermont to obtain a Culinary Arts degree at the New England Culinary Institute. After returning to Montana in the early 90s, she worked as a chef for the Montana Club, St. Peter’s hospital, and various local restaurants before taking on the Blue Cross Blue Shield cafeteria, which she operated for nearly 10 years. She subsequently operated the kitchen for a gold exploration camp in Alaska for three summers and, most recently, Kathy’s Café in the Walt Sullivan building.
Kathy is survived by her daughter, Erinn Schmidt; her mother, Katharine Brown; her father, Raymond Brown and step mother, Joyce Brown all of Helena; by her brother, Raymond Brown Jr. (Susan) of Basin and Raymond Jr.’s daughter, Nikhia; her brother Timothy (Val) and their sons, Dustin and Jacob and grandchildren of Woodland Park, CO.; her sister Lura Brown of Coeur d’ Alene, ID; her brother Nicholas Brown of Pullman, WA: her brother Samuel Brown of Helena; her dogs Buddie and Kodie and her cats Stinker and Beans.
A Requiem Eucharist will be held 2:00 p.m. Monday January 16th at St. Peter’s Episcopal Cathedral on Park Avenue. Placement of her cremated remains will be in the Columbarium Wall at the cathedral. A reception will also be held at the church immediately following the service. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that memorials be sent to the Lewis & Clarke Humane Society, P.O. Box 4455, Helena, MT 59604 or to St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, 511 N. Park Ave., Helena, MT 59601. Condolences may be sent to the family by visiting: www.aswfuneralhome.com