By MARY FOPPIANO, Avila Beach Civic Association

Anne M. Brown was born in Los Angeles but raised in Santa Barbara. She attended the University of Washington School of Nursing in Seattle. That is where she met her husband, El, who was an oral surgeon and practiced in San Luis Obispo for 34 years. Anne and El were married for 53 years before his death. They purchased their 2 bedroom/1 bath Avila Beach property in 1967. Every summer, they would load up their cat and dog and the kids and move to that little house for the summer. Anne said they had such great memories of playing at the beach. She said that every night after work, El would go out to the Pier, jump in the water, and then come home and have a beer. After the “Big Dig,” they tore down that little house and built their home in 2002. 

Anne was a nurse and was a volunteer Public Health nurse while she had their four children, Marian, Barbara, Cini, and Rich. She went back to work when Marian was 10 years old as a home health care nurse. Her background as a nurse and public health advocate introduced her to many organizations and nonprofits, where she could utilize her strengths. One of the organizations she worked with was the Children’s Home Society of California, a nonprofit organization that had originally started as an adoption agency and then adapted into working to protect children in communities throughout California. Anne and other members of the auxiliary formed the local nonprofit Central Coast Funds for Children, which focuses on children in need within San Luis Obispo. Anne has remained as a trustee of this organization. Anne retired from Public Health and the San Luis Coastal School District in 1993.

In addition to all the health care and children’s advocacy organizations, Anne still found time to be a supporter and administrator of Festival Mosaic as well as a supporting member, donor, and docent for the Cal Poly Performing Arts Center. Her love of performance, music, and education fueled her desire to support these organizations and help develop them for future generations to enjoy.

Anne has been a member of the Avila Valley Advisory Council for over 14 years. She is respected for her insight, competence, and efficiency. She reviews and makes very pertinent comments regarding all new proposed projects submitted to the Avila Beach sub-committee and the Land Use sub-committee.

Anne has been a strong member of the Avila Beach Civic Association Board of Directors for many years. She has provided support through leadership, donations, and hard work. Anne has always been there to help our community because she said Avila Beach is a special place. She misses when it was a real town with kids going to school and people living there before it was overtaken by vacation rentals. 

When I asked Anne why she has given back to her community for most of her life, her response was that as a citizen of this world, she felt that it was important to pay attention and do what she can to make it a better place. She said that she got her desire to help others from her mom, who was also a nurse during World War II. She went with her mom to roll bandages and learned to knit for the Red Cross. 

Anne’s dad was an orthopedic surgeon and major during World War II. He thought he was going to be stationed in Alaska, so 10-year-old Anne knitted him a heavy scarf. The joke was that he was stationed at 29 Palms and really did not need a heavy scarf. 

I know that Anne is appreciated for all that she has done for the Greater Avila Beach community as well as all of the organizations she has assisted. A few years ago, the Avila Beach Community Foundation presented Anne with their Community Spotlight award for her Leadership in the Avila Beach community. The ABCA Community Service award is just one more way that we are able to let Anne know how much we appreciate and value her.