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Martha Ann “Jackie” Brown was born May 27, 1943 on Long Island (Copiague), New York to the late Alfred and Ruth (Brinkman) Klatz. Jackie entered into eternal rest on March 20, 2023 in Surprise, Arizona. She is survived by her husband of 41 years, Ron.
Jackie was raised on Long Island, NY and at the age of 7 she and her brothers Martin and Tommy were separated from their mother and entered into the Foster Care system. Because of this experience which included abuse, Jackie persevered and learned conduct and survival skills. Despite many obstacles, Jackie thrived.
In 1961, Jackie graduated from Levittown Division Avenue High School and went on to attend Pace College in New York City for a short time. After High School Jackie moved around and worked as an EKG Technician.
Although her legal name was Martha, most knew her as Jackie. This nickname was given to her in the mid-sixties when many of her friends started calling her Jackie because she looked like Jackie Kennedy. Jackie shared the story of being asked by strangers if she was Jackie Kennedy and on one occasion, she was riding the bus when a stranger asked and she replied, “If I was, would I be riding a BUS?”
In the early 1980’s, Jackie went to visit a friend in Hawaii. While there, she met Ron who happened to be the friend’s next door neighbor. Ron was in Hawaii on Navy military duty. Ron and Jackie hit it off and Jackie moved from New York to Hawaii where she and Ron were married in Honolulu on December 12, 1981. Jackie felt blessed to have a good husband and the advantages of being a military spouse.
Rons duty stations took them to South Korea where Jackie taught Kindergarten for the Department of Defense. She also taught English at the War College and the Korean Navy Academy. While in Korea, Jackie was also President of the Navy Wife’s Club in Chinhae. After the Navy brought Ron and Jackie back to California, Jackie worked for Longs Drugs as an Immigration I-9 Specialist helping to bring pharmacists to the U.S. during a shortage of pharmacists in the States.
In 2004, Ron and Jackie saw change in the culture in California. As a retired military couple looking toward the future, continued rising prices and rent presented a bleak outlook on living well and home ownership in California. Jackie’s friend from Hawaii had moved with her husband to
Arizona and Ron and Jackie had met a fiduciary who lived and worked in Scottsdale who brightened their hopes for the future. In 2005, they visited Arizona and ultimately moved to Wickenburg, Arizona in 2006. Jackie became very involved in church and community activities. She loved St. Alban’s Episcopal Church. She was the President of the Episcopal Church Women (ECW) for a few years. She was instrumental in the success of the ECW Holiday Bazaar every year, helping with sewing and crafting days. Jackie had a special passion for helping families in need and often helped organize food and gifts for the ECW Christmas families. Jackie was a wonderful hostess and often provided goodies for after service Coffee Hour. Even when she wasn’t hosting Coffee Hour, she was often in the kitchen helping others. She also represented St. Alban’s at the annual AZ Episcopal Diocese Convention. When she first moved to Wickenburg, Jackie volunteered for Terry Goddard’s satellite office at the Community Action Partners office during Goddard’s bid for Secretary of State. For more than 12 years, Jackie enjoyed volunteering at the Desert Caballeros Western Museum in Wickenburg. She worked in the museum Gift Shop and helped with the annual Cowgirl Up celebration. She was a member of Las Senoras Auxiliary to the Desert Caballeros Western Museum serving as Treasurer for a time and worked on many of their fund raisers. And, at one time she was the Treasurer for Classy Classics Car Club.
Jackie enjoyed people, she never met a stranger, and was a good friend to many. Jackie had a special attraction for anyone who was, like her, from New York. Jackie learned the importance of hard work at an early age and carried a strong work ethic with her. She learned to try and try again until she got it right. She had a great center of gravity. Jackie had a passion for travel and felt blessed that she and Ron were able to visit many destinations. She once said that she would like to fit the places that she had visited into the 1962 Hank Snow song “I’ve Been Everywhere Man, I’ve Been Everywhere.”
Jackie explored life with curiosity and was inspired by those closest to her. She was tenacious at times. She was not shy when it came to giving advice. If you were willing to listen, she was willing to give it. Jackie loved the Lord and was strong in her Faith. She loved life and found joy in helping friends celebrate all of life’s precious moments. Jackie loved to attend a good party, she was lively and fun to be with. She enjoyed finding a good deal and loved a good yard sale.
Jackie passed away after a courageous battle with cancer. She is survived by her husband, Ron, Nephews Martin and Danny Blackwell, Nieces Beth Blackwell and Christine Sorbello and sister-in-law Pat Blackwell. She was preceded in death by her parents and her brothers Martin and Tommy.
A Memorial Service will be held at St. Alban’s Episcopal Church in Wickenburg, AZ on Saturday, April 1 at 1:00 PM. A reception will follow in the Parish Hall.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to:
St. Alban’s Episcopal Church Women
357 W. Yavapai Street
Wickenburg, AZ 85390
P.O. Box 2252
Wickenburg, AZ 85358