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For immediate release

For more information contact:
Rhonda Rosenberg, Director of Communications
King County Housing Authority
(206) 574-1185

Delores Brown, King County Housing Authority Commissioner, Dies at 73

March 1, 2010

Delores Brown, 73, a long-time resident of public housing and community advocate who served as a commissioner of the King County Housing Authority, died Feb. 25 at Valley Medical Center of congestive heart failure.

After becoming disabled and unable to work, Ms. Brown moved to a public housing complex in White Center in 1986. She later transferred to Valli Kee apartments in Kent to be closer to her doctor. It was after moving to Valli Kee that Ms. Brown turned her appreciation of public housing into a mission.

Ms. Brown was appointed to KCHA’s Board of Commissioners by County Executive Ron Sims in 2003, where she helped guide the Authority’s programs and policies.

“Delores was a very dedicated member of our Board and was exceptionally committed to the well-being of residents,” said KCHA Executive Director Stephen Norman. “She was also a wonderful friend and neighbor to the families living at Valli Kee.”

Ms. Brown was a very visible presence at Valli Kee. She was active in supporting the Somali community by working as a mentor for middle-school youth and volunteering at Somalian community events. She loved children and found ways to be involved in their lives. She always had a piece of candy and could be found at the school bus stop greeting children when they got home from school.

“She was the kindest person I ever met,” said KCHA Board Chair Nancy Holland-Young. “In addition to being a very special friend, she was an active and productive commissioner who always strove to make the Authority better. She was a remarkable human being.”

Valli Kee resident Viola Fick remembers Ms. Brown as someone who took her responsibility to be a good neighbor and a good commissioner seriously.  “She was a very caring person,” said Fick.  “She was very good to the people around her. If they didn’t understand something, had a problem, or needed help filling out paperwork, Delores was the person they’d ask. She was there for anyone who needed her; you could count on her.”

Ms. Brown was enormously proud of her work with the King County Housing Authority. In the course of her role as commissioner, she enjoyed meeting and working with many elected officials including U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, U.S. Rep. Jim McDermott, Former King County Executive Ron Sims, and Kent Mayor Suzette Cooke.

One of Ms. Brown’s last accomplishments was to persuade KCHA to build a new community center for the 200 children living at Valli Kee. Ground is expected to break on the community building later this summer.

“The new community center will be a fitting legacy,” said Norman. “She’s always been there for the kids – and now she still will.”

She is survived by six children, five grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

A celebration of her life is scheduled for 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 6 at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 12817 SE 256th St., in Kent.

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