Thursday, June 6, 2013

Cynthiana Ellen Brown 1924 - 1998

Cynthiana was born the 15th of February, 1924 in Los Angeles, CA. to John Ray and Edith Nesbitt Brown. 

Cynthiana's father John Ray Brown Sr. was born in January 13, 1885 in Kentucky and her mother, Edith Nesbitt was born in Northern Ireland in 1889. It would be interesting to know how the two met.  Edith had a high school education and her father was a college graduate, which may account for Cynthiana's interest in education.

In 1919 her father is living in Lund, Iron, UT which is 35 miles from Cedar City.  He is farming.  This is where Cynthiana's brother, John Ray Jr., was born 31 Mar 1919.  By 1920 the family has moved to Los Angeles and J. Ray Sr. is a structural carpenter. The family really likes to use initials in their names.  

In the 1930 census Ray owns his own ice distribution business in the San Antonio district of Los Angeles county. They lived on at 1323 East 77th street.  This area is near Little Tokyo in downtown Los Angeles. Paradoxically the location of her home is a school today.  Cynthiana was 6 in 1930. 

Cynthiana grew up in Los Angeles. She had a happy childhood and devoted her life to creating the same for all children.

By 1940 John Ray Jr. is typesetting in a printing company. Her father is in the ice business doing retail and delivery and it appears her mother isn't working.  Cynthiana has completed 3 years of High School at Fremont High School at 7676 S San Pedro St, Los Angeles, CA 90003

At UCLA Cynthiana is a member of Phi Upsilon which is a sorority for those interested in primary and general education.  Upon graduation she is inducted into Delta Phi Upsilon which is reserved for the upper 15% of her class.  She received her B.A. in education from UCLA February 26, 1944 and shortly thereafter received her masters in administration from the University of Southern California.

In 1947 she joined Seeds University Elementary School as a first grade teacher.  This job requires one to work tirelessly to uphold the school's excellent tradition as a lab school for the School of Education at UCLA.

From 1948-1 989 she works as a demonstration teacher and later assistant principal.  Cynthiana came in each morning, turned on the lights, opened the doors and put the coffee on.  She was an old fashioned school marm, meaning she was strict, friendly and all about the business of education.  You never needed to worry about the safety of your child when Cynthiana was around.  She was the rock of the schoolShe was watchful. 

During the Madeline Hunter years at UES, Cynthiana took care of the day to day running of the school. 

She enjoyed watching life unfold and taught children to observe the world around them. During summer school, she taught puppetry and later was the principal of Summer School.  Children were shown Cynthiana's extensive collection of puppets for inspiration and then she encouraged them to create their own from of mountains of foam, wood, cloth, felt, sequins, ribbon and glue.  Some of her puppets are on display today at the UCLA Lab School, Gonda Library in special glass cases.  They were generously donated by Jan Cohn.

Cynthiana was involved in many elaborate field trips to Canada (northwest Indians), Northern California (gold country) and Arizona (Hopi and Navajo Indians) .  The trips were well planned and students viewed them as the highlight of the year. Most of the time children would be given sketch books so they could make both written and pictorial observations of what they were learning. Even though these trips were physically taxing Cynthiana was always on point and aware of everything that needed her attention.

Her lively curiosity about the world around her led her to correspond with more than 25 pen pals, some of whom she wrote to for over 25 years.  Cynthiana used to say, "Open your eyes. Look around. Every time you'll see something new." At other times in the Redwood forest at UES she would ask the students to keep silent and listen to what they could hear. 

In 1960 she took a trip to her mother's homeland, namely Shannon, Ireland.  At the time she is living at 232 Chateau Street, Playa Del Ray, LA. 

Cynthiana lived with her mother for many years.....including her later years in her Malibu home. Her brother, Ray was a special love of her life.  

Her brother Ray was married had a daughter.  The niece was a favorite of Cynthiana's. They traveled together along with the Ray's wife. Ray died quite a bit before Cynthiana and quite suddenly.  Ray was an artist of some sort or may have been in carpentry or something in that field.  He died very suddenly in the 1986.

After retirement in 1989, Cynthiana wanted to travel, which she did.  On a trip to southeast Asia she caught a bug.  Because she was Seventh Day Adventist she refused medical treatment and soon went downhill.  For a time she was at home, then at a nursing facility in Newport Beach and finally she died.  Her whereabouts are unknown.  

Cynthiana Brown, daughter, sister, friend, demonstration teacher, and assistant principal, worked at the University Elementary School from 1948-1989.  Her retirement lasted 9 years until her death August 20, 1998.

She touched thousands of lives by her example, her kindness and her diligence as an exemplary teacher and friend. Kent Gardiner

Fom Ancestry: BROWN, Cynthiana E; Los Angeles T (CA); 1998-8-20; janmrw

1920 Census:

1930 census

1930 census:

 Location of home in 1930:

1940 census

Full 1940 census sheet:

 1941 Fremont High School:

John C. Fremont High School

7676 S San Pedro St, Los Angeles, CA 90003

1942 John C. Fremont High School:

1944 UCLA Yearbook:

 1944, UCLA graduation list:


1951 Cynthiana trained many student teachers: (she was often referred to as Miss Brown)

1953 -54, UCLA directory:

Cynthiana lived right on the beach, which is now government owned.

Property today:

Photos from her career:

Cynthiana and her class on the steps of the old H building.

1960 passenger list from Shannon, Ireland to Chicago: (her mother was from Northern Ireland)

Cynthiana Brown at piano, Community Hall, 1960s

Cynthiana supervised the yard for many years, Dino Yard, 1960s

Cynthiana did "yard duty" for many years looking after the safety of children.

Watching children on the dino yard with Jack:

Cynthiana Brown and fellow teacher and friend, Jack Sutton 1970s.

Lto R Janet Harkness, Stan Davis, ?, Cynthiana Brown

Olga Richards, art teacher left and Cynthiana Brown on right.

This appears to be a photo from a motel bedroom on a field trip.  Cynthiana is reviewing the student's trip journal.
1986 Field Trip

Cynthiana in the UES Redwood forest teaching students how to observe their envirnoment.

Cynthiana's puppet collection from her summer school class. 

Cynthiana's puppets in glass case in the UES Gonda Library, 2014

Cynthiana's puppets in the UES Gonda Library, 2014

Cynthiana's puppets in the UES Gonda Library, 2014

Signatures from the early 1970's

1980 letter: 

Primary Address in Malibu
6644 Wildlife
Malibu, CA 90265
Birth date:  15 Feb 1924

This house was sold December 17, 1996 and Cynthiana died on August 20, 1998 which means her house was sold a year and half before her death, probably to help pay for her care.

Malibu CA 90265       / month
4 Bed / 3 Bath / 2500 sq ft

Charming redone California Ranch home on a lush and expansive one acre. Designed with an understated elegance, the home has a seamless indoor/ outdoor flow with big windows framing the incredible natural setting. Light, open and spacious, the homes exudes comfort and warmth with beautiful oak floors, and wonderful continuity from room to room. 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath main house with 1 bedroom, 1 bath guest house. Lovely outdoor patio with spa, fire pit and seating area under the gazebo. Huge lawns in back and front yards with play areas and stairs down to a landscaped private sanctuary; a serene little park of its own. Casual and tastefully crafted, this home resonates with the quintessential California beach lifestyle.

Other Addresses:
232 Chateau Street, Playa Del Ray, CA (in 1960)
24729 B Miss Cynthiana Ellen Br, Malibu, CA, 90265
[6644 Wildlife Rd, Malibu, CA, 90265-4303] 
[1617 Corinth Av, Los Angeles, CA, 90025 (1996)] 
[1670 Corinth Ave, Los Angeles, CA, 90025-3153 (1996)] 

Also Known As: Cynthiana E Brown
Residence Date: 01 Apr 1997-01 Nov 1998
Residence Place: Malibu, California, United States
Birth Date: 15 Feb 1924
Phone Number: (213) 457-2043
Phone Number Recorded Date: 01 Oct 2007
Address: 6722 Fernhill Dr
Address Continued: Malibu, California 90265
Address Date: 01 Apr 1997-01 Nov 1998
2nd Address: 1670 Corinth Ave # 2
2nd Address Continued: Los Angeles, California 90025
2nd Address Date: 01 Sep 1996-18 Jul 2001
3rd Address: 6644 Wildlife Rd
3rd Address Continued: Malibu, California 90265
3rd Address Date: 02 Feb 1991-01 Oct 2007
Possible Relatives: C E Brown, Ce Brown
Record Number: 145079586

Christian Science Chursh in Malibu where Cynthiana went to church, 28635 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu, CA 90265
Cynthiana was .3 miles or a 6 minute walk to church but to walk she would have to cross PCH.

The Christian Science church is located on a busy stretch of Pacific Coast Highway.

in the House of Representatives
  • Mr. BERMAN. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to express my admiration, respect and gratitude to Cynthiana Brown, assistant principal of Seeds University Elementary School. After 42 years as a teacher and administrator, Cynthiana is retiring. She will be greatly missed.
  • Throughout her distinguished career as an educator, Cynthiana's commitment to the learning process has never faltered. Since 1947, when she joined Seeds University Elementary School as a first grade teacher, she has worked tirelessly to uphold the school's excellent tradition of administering the finest education to thousands of children. Her humanitarian commitment to cherish, recognize and nurture every child's uniqueness while providing a strong academic foundation has earned her a well-deserved reputation as an outstanding leader in elementary level education.
  • Her service with Seeds University Elementary School has helped countless children become devoted, eager learners with a zest to grow intellectually, socially, emotionally, and physically. All of those fortunate enough to know Cynthiana have been enriched by her ability to communicate the great lessons she has learned in this selfless service. Her tireless gifts of time and energy demonstrate the importance of our community and the responsibility to give to others as well as to receive from them.
  • Cynthiana received her B.A. in education from UCLA in 1945 and shortly thereafter received her masters in administration from the University of Southern California. She was born and grew up in Los Angeles. She had a happy childhood and has devoted her life to creating the same for all children. Her lively curiosity about the world around her leads her to correspond with more than 25 pen pals, some of whom she has written to for over 25 years.
  • Cynthiana Brown has an impressive record of dedication to self-understanding and creative expression through the joy of learning. It is an honor to ask my colleagues to join me in saluting this remarkable woman.
I think Cynthiana was cremated and ashes spread...but I was not officially informed about this...Her sister in law and niece were in charge.  I did receive a call saying she had died from Mrs. Brown.....KL visited Cynthiana in the recovery center in Newport  Beach a number of times before she died in that facility.  She had two parents and lived in Central Los Angeles. She lived with her mother for many years.....including Malibu home.  Her brother, Ray was a special love of her life.  Her died very suddenly in the 1970's.  KL

1910 census

This may not be Cynthiana's father because he is a civil engineer and Cynthiana's father was in the ice business.  TBD

1910 census:

Cynthiana's brother John Ray Brown in the 1940 census:

Name: John Ray Brown
Age: 21
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1919
Gender: Male
Race: White
Birthplace: Utah
Marital Status: Single
Relation to Head of House: Son
Home in 1940: San Antonio, Los Angeles, California
Map of Home in 1940: View Map
Street: E 77th Street
House Number: 1323
Inferred Residence in 1935: San Antonio, Los Angeles, California
Residence in 1935: Same House
Sheet Number: 7B
Occupation: Type Setting
Attended School or College: No
Highest Grade Completed: High School, 4th year
Hours Worked Week Prior to Census: 40

We know the Brown family was in Utah because John Ray Brown was born there in 1919.  Could this be his father registering for the draft in Iron County?  In the censuses he calls himself Ray Brown. Was his real name John Ray Brown and his son is a Jr?

This is Cynthiana's brother John Ray Brown Jr:

The mother's name matches, the birthplace and date of birth match. 

John Ray Brown 
Social Security #: 569229357
Gender: Male
Birth Date: 13 Jan 1885
Birth Place: Kentucky
Death Date: 24 Aug 1956
Death Place: Los Angeles
Mother's Maiden Name: Ray
Father's Surname: Brown

Utah WWI draft registration: 

  Lund is a small unincorporated village located in the Escalante Valley of northwestern Iron County, Utah, United States, about 35 miles northwest of Cedar City. The town, established in the early twentieth century, was a station stop on the Los Angeles and Salt Lake Railroad (later Union Pacific Railroad), and was a community center for early twentieth century homesteaders. The area's population was never large, however, and most early settlers were unsuccessful due to the region's harsh and arid climate.  A population decline began in the 1920s, however, due to the failure of most of the homestead-era farms.

 1920 census:

Name: John R Brown Jr.
Age: 0
Birth Year: abt 1920
[abt 1919] 
Birthplace: Utah
Home in 1920: Los Angeles Assembly District 73, Los Angeles, California
Street: East Twenty-third Street
Race: White
Gender: Male
Relation to Head of House: Son
Marital Status: Single
Father's Name: John R Brown
Father's Birthplace: Kentucky
Mother's name: Edith Brown
Mother's Birthplace: Ireland
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members:
Name Age
John R Brown 34
Edith Brown 31
John R Brown 0



  Could this be Cynthiana's brother's death? 

Name: J Ray Brown
Social Security #: 561168916
Gender: Male
Birth Date: 31 Mar 1919
Birth Place: Utah
Death Date: 21 Sep 1986
Death Place: Merced
Mother's Maiden Name:   Nesbitt



Beaver County News 1919-12-10




Looking behind the classroom door : a useful guide to observing schools in action by john I. Goodlad,M. Frances Klein and associates- Cynthiana E. Brown and others.

Author: John I Goodlad; M F Klein and Cynthiana Brown
Publisher: Worthington : Ohio,C.A.Jones Pub., 1974.
Edition/Format:   Book : English