Mary S. Brown, 75, a cultural activities specialist who was honored for her volunteer work in organizing programs for children at Wolf Trap Center for the Performing Arts, Catholic University and the District school system, died of liver failure Aug. 27 at her Washington home.
Mrs. Brown was named a "Washingtonian of the Year" in 1983 by Washingtonian magazine for starting children's theater and opera programs at Wolf Trap, as well as discussion sessions with artists and other activities for youngsters.
"Somewhere there is a 10-year-old opera lover, a disadvantaged child who has discovered theater and a group of kids who delight at Wolf Trap's Theater in the Woods every summer," the magazine noted. "They all owe their experiences to Mary Starrs Brown."
Mrs. Brown began performance festivals for disadvantaged children at Wolf Trap, and directed a program at Catholic University to bring theater groups to children. She also chaired the D.C. schools Widening Horizons initiative to introduce children to various occupations.
The Interior Department honored her for her work at Wolf Trap in 1995, saying that more than 100,000 visitors had benefited from her summer interpretive programs there.
Mrs. Brown was also national chairman in the United States of the London-based Cheshire Foundation for Housing for the Physically Handicapped from the mid-1980s to the mid-1990s. The organization built 10 group homes for disabled people across the country.
Mrs. Brown was born in Youngstown, Ohio, and raised in Washington, where she graduated from Notre Dame Academy and Catholic University. She was a clerk and secretary at the State Department as a young woman, working with officials who helped establish the United Nations.
Her volunteer work in this area also included being president of a Lung Association chapter and chairing the junior girls program of the U.S. Golf Association. She was a member of Kenwood Golf and Country Club and the Sodality at Annunciation Catholic Church in Washington.
Survivors include her husband, Willard E. Brown of Washington.