On July 22, Cecile O. Brown celebrated her 100th birthday at her home in La Mesa. She was joined by friends at a party that included balloons, food, cake and an arrangement of 100 roses to honor the local centurian. Brown also delighted guests by singing some of her favorite oldies — the longtime Padre fan even included a rendition of “Take Me Out to The Ball Game.”
Brown was born in Queen City, Missouri. Her childhood was spent on her family farm with her father, mother, two sisters and one brother. She studied education at Northeast College in Missouri, and received her master’s degree from San Diego State. She taught from 1944 through 1972 for the San Diego City School District.
Cecile and her husband, Captain James R. Brown — Marine Corps Captain, POW survivor and accomplished artist — bought their La Mesa home in 1960. During the time her husband served in the Marine Corps, Cecile learned to speak and write in Chinese, while stationed in China.
She continued to live in the same house after her husband passed away, about 27 years ago, and is still residing as the original homeowner — 56 years (and counting).
Cecile is a voracious reader, talented artist and loves to travel. She regularly attends the annual Small Image Show in Balboa Park’s Spanish Village Art Center that her husband helped found in 1976 and after each show, she honors him and supports local artists by purchasing a piece of art each year. Although she has not been able to personally attend the Small Image Art Show the past few years, she has sent an entrusted proxy to be present and purchase an art piece on her behalf.