Linda Marie Brown passed away on January 8, 2017 at home in San Mateo in the company of her life partner, George Leishman, and her son, Jim Brown. Linda Ravano was born on February 3, 1930 at Saint Francis Hospital in San Francisco. Her parents Clelia and Louis Ravano were Italian immigrants from Nervi, who had established businesses and owned property in San Francisco, Madera, and Mendocino County.
She was a loving sister to her brother Louis Ravano. She also dearly loved her brother Attilio who had died during WWII. As the daughter in an extended Italian family, Linda grew up with Italian traditions and spoke fluent Italian. She attended Presentation High School in San Francisco, where she met some of her lifelong friends. She then attended St. Joseph's School of Nursing in San Francisco and graduated with an RN degree.
Linda and her future husband James Brown started dating at St. Monica's Club. They arrived in style to the dances and picnics in Jim's MG convertible. St. Monica's Club was a vibrant gathering place for college-aged youths from San Francisco's Richmond District, where both of their families lived. The couple formed many fine and long-lasting friendships during that time. They were married at Star of the Sea Church on December 1, 1951. For their honeymoon, they took an exciting, adventurous month-long road trip through Mexico. Their passion for travel and exploring different cultures continued throughout their life together. Until Jim's death in 1999â€”for over 48 yearsâ€”Jim and Linda shared everything they treasured in life: love, family, laughter, friendship, travel, art and culture in the Bay Area.
While raising their family, Linda and Jim stayed in touch with their Richmond District roots, and family gatherings were fun-filled events with the grandparents, great aunts and uncles; and many cousins to play withâ€”Lou and Alice Ravano's children: Louie, Kathy, Carol and Linda; Marylona (Jim's sister) and Cappy Lavin's children: Rachel, John, Mark, Kenneth, Suzanne and Steven; Bill (Jim's brother) and Toni Brown's children Jessica and Joshua. Holidays, vacations in Tahoe, and Easter Egg hunts at Jim's parents house included one group of cousins or another. The Ravanos, the Lavins and the Browns all cherish memories of unforgettable visits to the Hopland house over the years.
Linda also kept in touch with family in Italy, an important long-term connection for both sides of the family: in Nervi-Genoa, Maria Teresa Ravano (now deceased), Mario Nossardi and partner Piera Artesani, Ludovica and Dante Caparella in Quinto-Genoa, Sandra and Renato Tringali and their daughters Ilaria and Erica in Rome.
Linda's greatest joy was her familyâ€”her children Vicky, Jim, Bill, Susan, and Liza. She found her deepest purpose as their mother, loving, caring and guiding them to become the wonderful people they are today. She also deeply loved and was extremely proud of her grandchildren. She always felt that her family was her greatest accomplishment in life and that she could not be prouder of who they were becoming.
In 2002, Linda met George Leishman, who brought her much happiness, comfort, love, and fun, in the last years of her life. She always expressed her good fortune in finding such a great partner. He was her best friend, soul mate, and sweetheart. They shared many interests and passions; including their love of travel, dancing, fine dining and family...not to mention bridge. They traveled far and wide together. George and Linda spent part of almost every winter and summer in Hawaii. Their sharp minds made for a great partnership in playing tournament bridge, one of their favorite pastimes.
Linda had a diverse set of careers and pastimes. After nursing, she became a travel agent, a real estate agent, a property manager and a savvy investor. Her other greatest love was art. She studied art and art history throughout her life and herself was an accomplished painter for over 60 years. She studied painting with her brother-in-law William H. Brown in the '60's. Her paintings are bold, colorful and lovely, just as she herself was.
Linda is remembered by many for her energy, love, and affability that always brought levity to a room. Her marvelous smile and laugh remain in our hearts. She was known for her ability to converse and to tell great stories. One would never need to see a movie after she had because once she had seen it, she could retell it in such charming detail, that one felt as if they had been there and seen it with her. It was like that with her conversation too, wherever she was, whether hosting a bridge game or walking through the streets of some far-away city, her conversation was stimulating, interesting and always full of grace and charm. She was also a talented cook and was a member of a gourmet cooking clubâ€”she delighted her family and friends on many occasions with delicious meals using her treasured recipes. Linda decorated with panache and impressed all with the many lively parties she threw.
Linda is survived by her partner George Leishman and his loving family; her brother Louis Ravano, her sister-in-law, Alice Ravano, and their family; her sisters-in-law, Mary Lavin and Toni Brown, and their families; Linda is also survived by her five children and their spouses: Vicky and Marcus, Jim, Bill and Jeanine, Susan and Carlos, and Liza and Ale; and her grandchildren Amber, Carlo, Sara Joy, Lena, Linda, Joshua and Esther; and her great-grandchildren Zoe and Nymeria; and cousins Marna and Oreste (Tooney) Nossardi, in addition to family in Italy.
Special thanks to France Rogers, Rose Paquette and Maria Refundo from Home Care Professionals who helped care for our mom in her final year of life.
Friends and family are invited to attend the Memorial Mass for Linda at 11am on January 21, at St. Bartholomew's Church in San Mateo, 300 Alameda de las Pulgas. A reception will follow in the church's auditorium next door at 600 Columbia Drive at approximately 12:45pm, after the mass.
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