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Mercedes (Colombana) Brown

Mercedes Colombana Brown

November 25, 1914 - August 28, 2011

Mercedes, 96, passed away on August 28, 2011. She was born November 25, 1914 in Bakersfield, CA to Giuseppe and Amabile Baratto Colombana who immigrated from Crespano del Grappa , Italy.  Through the years, most of the family relocated in San Francisco where Mercedes worked at her brother-in-law's "Venetian Bakery".

She moved to Santa Barbara in her 20's and worked at "Brooms" and the "Townhouse" restaurants. She got into the grocery business when she married Harley Brown who managed the A&P Market at Chapala & Sola.  In 1946 they opened a mom & pop grocery store at the corner of De La Vina & Haley St. and named it "Brownie's Market " . They operated it until they retired in 1977.

Many will remember the get-togethers at the Mesa family home that Merc loved so much. She loved to cook, especially for her grandchildren whom she adored. In her retirement years she enjoyed tending to her Cymbidium Orchids, family visits, and trips to Vegas. She liked being a part of the community of Italians here in Santa Barbara and the Italian-American Boot Club. She was also a member of the UFCW Retirees Group.

Mercedes was preceded in death by her beloved "Brownie", her parents, and eight siblings: Giovanni Colombana, Teresa Menneghetti, Fred Colombana, Inez Fontana, Rose Benelli, Gino Colombana, Joe Colombana, and Angelina Petrocello. She is survived by her children Janet Crandall (Darrell) and Bob Brown (Elaine); grandchildren Eric Crandall, Tricia Crandall, Jeff Brown, Troy Brown (Leeanna); great-granddaughter Brooklyn Brown; sister-in-law Josephine Colombana of Bakersfield and many nieces, nephews and cousins. We will miss you, Nonna!

The family would like to convey a special thank you to the compassionate and dedicated staff at Santa Barbara Convalescent Hospital. Remembrances can be made to the Alzheimer's Association, 1528 Chapala St., #204, Santa Barbara, CA 93101. Funeral services were held at St. Raphael Church on Friday, Sept. 9th at 10:00 am, followed by interment at Goleta Cemetery.