Jeanne Yvonne Pinkett Brown was born on March 19, 1935 in Washington, D.C. to the late Alfred and Leland Pinkett. She was the youngest child of a devoted and loving family of seven girls and one boy. With six older sisters, Alfrieda, Irma, Juanita, Mildred, Gloria, Leland and one brother, Alfred Jr., Jeanne was that sassy baby sister who was “in charge” even at an early age. Although Jeanne was her given name, her many nieces and nephews called her “Sweet Aunt Jeanne.” God called her home to be with the Lord on August 21, 2012.
Jeanne was introduced to Christ at an early age. As a young girl she joined calvary Episcopal Church where she married. She later became a member of St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church where she was a faithful and loyal servant for over 40 years. Jeanne was very active at St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church singing on the choir and serving on the Vestry, as well as other committees including the Daughters of the King, and the Episcopal Church Women (ECW). Jeanne was always willing to help no matter the task.
Jeanne attended the D.C. Public Schools graduating from Dunbar Senior High School in 1952. Growing up, Jeanne was an exceptional athlete and attended Virginia State University majoring in Physical Education. She was very active in the physical education department participating in such programs as the modern dance group and the cheer leading squad. You could always find her dancing in all the musical shows and cheer leading at all the football games.
In 1959, she helped cofound the “Altruists Club,” both a social and charitable club. Jeanne was the first president and was instrumental in selecting the club’s charity of working with the young people who were wards of the D.C. Government.
Jeanne played a key role in helping the Club to later establish a college scholarship program to give scholarships to graduates of the D.C. Public High Schools. As one of the Charter Members she spent 53 years living in the Clubs’s Creed of Sharing and Caring.”
After graduating from college, she took her skills to Portsmouth, Virginia where she taught school. It was in Portsmouth that she met the love of her life, Maurice Brown. Jeanne returned home to D.C. and Maurice followed shortly thereafter. Jeanne and Maurice were married in 1960. God blessed this union with two sons, Maurice Alvin Jr., (Chip) and Mark Anthony Brown. After 41 years of marriage, Maurice passed suddenly in 2001.
Jeanne was born to each, as she was a natural born leader with a special “knack” of working with young people. She started her teaching career in Portsmouth, Va. and after returning home, she taught briefly in the D.C. Public Schools before getting a job as a physical education teacher at the all Black Hoffman-Boston High School in Arlington, Va. After the Supreme Court ruling in the “Brown vs. the Board of Education” case in the late 1950’s, which desegregated public schools nationwide, Jeanne went on to teach physical education at the integrated Williamsburg Middle School in Arlington, Va. During her many years at Williamsburg Middle School, Jeanne was an outstanding physical education teacher and coach. Among the many students she taught was journalist/author, Katie Couric. Jeanne was noted for her masterful coaching skills which produced her award winning track teams, leading them to win many local and state championships. Jeanne was named Outstanding Coach on several occasions.
After 37 years in the teaching profession, Jeanne retired in 1994 as a dedicated and devoted teacher and coach.
Jeanne had a loving and giving spirit always making you feel welcomed in her presence. She was a leader and an organizer extraordinaire. We each have our own stories to remember and our own memories to cherish. How can you forget when Jeanne became a Travel Agent due to her love to travel. She made it clear that she expected the family’s support and we had no alternative but to go on these trips.
We all knew how Jeanne loved the Redskins. She had season tickets and attended Redskins games for over 30 years. We also remember how Jeanne loved playing cards and playing sports. She was a member of the SABRICLU Bridge Club, otherwise known as the Saturday Bridge Club. Jeanne later joined another bridge club, traveling around the country playing bridge. Jeanne was also an avid tennis player and golfer. She was a member of two local tennis clubs.
Again, as we remember our beloved Jeanne, continue to cherish your loving memories of her.
Jeanne leaves to mourn and cherish her memory, two son, Maurice Jr. and Mark Brown; one daughter-in-law, Anita Brown; and three grandchildren, Sasha Sydnor, Chanice Maurice and Morgan Alexandra Brown. She is also survived by three sisters, Alfrieda Martin, Irma Bowman and Mildred Tabor and a special sister, Wilhelmina Marshall. She was preceded in death by her husband Maurice Brown; sisters, Juanita Chapman, Gloria Ownes, Leland Marshall; and brother, Alfred Pinkett Jr. Jeanne also leaves to cherish her memory, four special friends, Elaine Myrick, Ethie Waterman, Carol Barnes Marsden and Charles “Chuck” Jones; and many loving nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.