Tracy Brown

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Tracy Lee Brown
06 Jan 1944 - 12 May 1992
Puddletown Dancers Memorial Panel 3LL


Friends remember Tracy Brown as a man of enthusiastic energy.

Business associates remember him as a dynamic trial lawyer.

And people concerned with assisting AIDS victims are thankful he was an early advocate of organizing support groups for AIDS sufferers.

"Tracy was the one who kept saying we have to organize this from the beginning, so it will be strong," said Bob Rohan, former president of the Northwest AIDS Foundation.

"Had it not been for that kind of advice, the AIDS Foundation wouldn't be what it is today, and many people who are getting AIDS care from many community-based groups in Seattle wouldn't be getting it."

That advice came in 1984, before Mr. Brown was diagnosed with the disease. He died Tuesday at his home on Star Lake in south King County. He was 48.

Mr. Brown was instrumental in the early fund-raising for the foundation. He was one of four people who served on the first finance committee. Later, he served as foundation vice president.

A native of Fort Dodge, Iowa, Mr. Brown grew up in Manson, Iowa, and was graduated from the University of Iowa. He came to Seattle in 1966 to attend the University of Washington Law School.

In 1969, he joined the Seattle law firm of Skeel and McKelvy.

Ten years later he was a founding partner of Betts, Patterson and Mines and served as its president from 1982 to 1988, when failing health forced him to leave the firm.

"Before he became ill, he was a very effective trial lawyer, highly intelligent," said a partner, Bruce Hurst.

Active in the gay community, Mr. Brown also was one of the first board members of the Pride Foundation, a nonprofit group that raises funds for gay and lesbian nonprofit organizations. He also was a founding member of the Seattle Men's Chorus.

"He just had unbounded energy and tremendous enthusiasm in anything he got involved in," said a longtime friend, restaurant operator Scott Glascock.

Another friend, attorney John Forderhase, said, "Tracy took great joy in his home, his garden, his friends and his animals," which included two dogs, a cat and a macaw.

"Tracy was a man who was not only a very dynamic, hard-charging trial-lawyer type, but there was a very soft and caring side to him," Forderhase said.

For example, he would hire men from the Millionair Club or other charities to tend his garden or do handiwork for him. "He was always reaching out to the underprivileged," Forderhase said.

After he left the law firm, Mr. Brown operated two flower shops, including Colors in the Broadway District, greeting customers with his pet macaw perched on his shoulder, Forderhase recalled.

Mr. Brown has no survivors.

A private memorial service will be held.

Friends suggest remembrances to Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, 606 S. Olive (580), Los Angeles, CA. 90014, or the Chicken Soup Brigade, 818 E. Pike St., Seattle, WA. 98102.[1]



  1. The Seattle Times (Seattle, WA) Monday, 18 May 1992