The Brown House
The Cathedral Annex and Bookstore building is being renamed "The Brown House" in memory of Brooks and Helen Brown. For those of you who are newer to the Cathedral, I want to tell you a little bit about their lives.
Brooks and Helen had a lifelong love. They were married for over sixty years. Brooks was a brilliant surgeon, and it was his innovative thinking that led to the building of rehabilitation hospitals here in Jacksonville. Brooks Rehab is now a household name.
Both Brooks and Helen adored St. John's Cathedral. Brooks was a visionary who was not afraid to take risks. He helped us create AgingTrue, one of the largest nonprofits birthed from this church. He also helped build the 635 apartments that surround us so that elderly could have safe and affordable homes.
Helen was one of the most beautiful and kind people I have ever met. She never tired of meeting me for lunch, and she took beautiful care of Brooks when his memory began to fail.
Brooks and Helen built a special home on the river in Mandarin. Much of the home was built by Brooks by hand. Helen suggested that they leave this home to the Cathedral. After their deaths, the property was sold for half a million dollars, which our Vestry used to pay off the mortgage on the Cathedral School and replace its roof.
We are thanking Brooks and Helen by dedicating the Cathedral Annex and Bookstore in their memory. Please join me in giving thanks for all our saints but particularly for these two. May they look down upon us and smile.