Andrea Brown, 75 from Mesa, AZ died on March 29, 2020 in Chandler, AZ under Hospice care. She had been ill since December 9, 2019.
Andrea was born in Lakewood, OH on May 25, 1944 to Doris K. Brown nee Jantz and Milton C. Brown.
She attended school in Lakewood, OH and graduated from Lakewood High School and then received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Miami University in Oxford, OH in 1966 where she had been on the Dean’s List for scholarship for seven semesters. She immediately went into teaching first grade which had always been her dream career since she was a small child. She was nominated for Teacher of the Year in El Paso, TX where she taught for 24 years of her 31 year teaching career. Andrea had a great interest in learning more about teaching children with learning disabilities. She also taught several years in the Head Start Program for pre-school children in the depressed areas of Cleveland during the summer months.
During her summer vacations, Andrea would hunt down garage sales for children’s books where she would purchase hundreds of books and then bring them to school for her students to check out and take home. Andrea had the special quality of giving herself to others, sharing her time, talents, and ideas, and making her students feel that they are very special.
Andrea loved her students and she loved traveling to locations where she could learn new things (and could shop)! Her college roommate and dear friend of 58 years, Ellie Knesper, would take trips with her throughout the year which she dearly enjoyed. Besides traveling, Andrea was an avid bridge player and loved to host bridge on Fridays at her home as well as scrapbook with another group of friends at her community clubhouse on the weekends. She also enjoyed music, singing with the Lakewood Civic Chorus and in the Pilgrim Lutheran Church choir. Her sister recalls that they would sing along with their mother in the car while on trips or just around the piano in our living room. “She loved harmonizing with me, a skill we taught ourselves while singing hymns in church. Andrea would point to the notes and get me to sing alto to her soprano when I was just a very young child. Because our parents were divorced in the early 1950’s, Andrea took on much of the responsibility of watching out for us after school. She always let me lick the beaters, and as the younger child, I am sure that I helped perfect her ‘teacher look’ that could usually bring order to a classroom. My job was always to get her to laugh, which I loved doing more than anything.”
The love of Andrea’s life was her daughter, Katharine Michele Brown Harder and her granddaughter Abbey Morgan Harder. There was nothing in her life that meant more to her. She counted the days until she would go to visit them in Houston, TX where Kate works for NASA, or when they would come to visit her in Arizona.
Andrea is survived by her daughter, Katharine (Kate) Harder, her son-in-law, Ron Harder and their daughter Abbey Morgan Harder. Her sister Donna Jean Brown Fritz (Gilbert, AZ) , her nephew Carl Matthew Fritz (Vernon Hills, IL) and cousins Linda Jantz Ruth (Lewes, DE) and Deborah Jantz-Sell (Fairfield, CT).
Because of the current Covid-19 travel and social restrictions, a memorial service will be held later this year.