Terrible news today. One half of the iconic Brown twins died on Wednesday night. Vivian Brown passed in her sleep at an assisted care facility in the city. She was 85. According to the Chronicle, "Brown suffered from Alzheimer's disease, her twin, Marian Brown, told the Chronicle in August, when the pair were facing their first extended time apart in decades. Vivian Brown fell in July and was admitted into doctors' care, where she remained until her death."
Her sister, Marian, is obviously bereft as this was the person to whom she was closest her entire life. Neither of the sisters married and remained symbols of San Francisco via TV and commercial appearances. In August, Vivian was hospitalized, which prompted many fans to offer donations to the cash-strapped pair who relied on Social Security.
The sisters were born and raised in Michigan, where they attended graduated as co-valedictorians in 1945, giving the valedictory speech together. They even earned matching degrees in business education from Western Michigan University and left for San Francisco in 1970 where they both found work as secretaries at downtown businesses.
I can only hope that Marian makes it through this exceptionally tough time. On a personal note, I enjoyed seeing the pair around town, whether it be on the 30-Stocktoin (saw them twice on it!) or at Uncle Vito's Pizza. As one half of a twin myself, I know that the bond between twin siblings can be pretty intense and is always profound. Sad day, folks.
Feel free to share with us your Brown sisters encounter. Seems like they were the last local color of the female variety in this town.
Below, footage from 1997 of Vivian and Marian Brown from the Westfield Shopping Mall.