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Letter: Dr. Charlotte Rush Brown a ‘True Pillar of Our Community’


To the Editor:

It is with great sadness that we mark the passing of our dear friend Charlotte Rush Brown, MD.

Her spirit of enhancing access to services for the senior community will forever live on within Waveny LifeCare Network.  In the early 1960’s, many New Canaan residents were concerned that an increasing number of their neighbors, friends, and family, many of them long-time residents, were moving out of town because of a lack of appropriate housing and inadequate support services for the elderly. 

With this concern for their community and with a heartfelt purpose, Charlotte and her husband, Dr. David S. Brown, along with several of their friends and clergy from seven New Canaan churches, established the Interchurch Service Committee to address this issue. These efforts eventually led to the planning of what later became Waveny Care Center.

With the group’s perseverance, Waveny Care Center officially opened its doors on Sunday, April 6, 1975. Charlotte provided many wonderful years of guidance and support to Waveny, devoting hours of time in service to our seniors. 

In 1998 through the Jeniam Foundation, Waveny was able to honor Charlotte and her husband David with the installation of the Brown Geriatric Evaluation Clinic for their role in the co-founding of Waveny Care Center. They were both thrilled to have the Clinic dedicated to them and wrote in their published thank you letter, “Having our names attached to this undertaking, and then to receive such regal mention for our parts in the environment in which it was conceived and developed, is generosity quite beyond our descriptive powers.”

They are shining examples of what can be accomplished when mission driven, purposeful individuals see a need, find and execute meaningful solutions for the betterment of our entire community in such a selfless way.

Charlotte Rush Brown, MD was a true pillar of our community and a true blessing for those who knew her. Waveny and New Canaan will be forever grateful to Charlotte and will forever honor her memory and carry on their vision for the senior community, which has grown exponentially in number since her initial involvement. 

Please join us in extending our deepest condolences to Charlotte’s children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and to all the members of the Brown family at this sorrowful time and honor her memory by expanding our support for our senior community.


Russell R. Barksdale, Jr., MPA/MHA, FACHE
President & Chief Executive Officer, Waveny LifeCare Network

3 thoughts on “Letter: Dr. Charlotte Rush Brown a ‘True Pillar of Our Community’

  1. The world has lost a true treasure.

    How lucky I was to work next to Charlotte in our studio at the New Canaan Sculpture Group for many years. She was an intelligent, insightful and extremely kind woman.

    Every Friday for years we were able to share lunches together….Christmas parties and ideas about the next show we were planning.

    David, her devoted husband, when he was stronger, contributed the sign that adorns the outside of our studio in Waveny Park.

    They were a very inspiring couple.

    Charlotte Birnbaum

  2. I was lucky to have known Charlotte for many years. We were members of a group called the UN and World Affairs study group, and also commuted up to Yale to audit a course on world population and the environment. She and David were both incredible people. He was my doctor when I first moved to NC, and we, too, were members of a discussion group on national and community affairs. They never lost their interest in the world, and watched the BBC News every night. I visited Charlotte in the beautiful life care community where she lived in Providence, and, although her ability to get about and her hearing were going, she was as bright, curious and opinionated as ever, and missed New Canaan and all her many friends here. I will always remember her.

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