Rochelle “Shelly” Brown

by | Oct 12, 2022 | Obituaries

Virginia Beach—Shelly Brown died peacefully at home in Virginia Beach, Virginia, one day before her 89th birthday.

She was born and raised in Sydney, Nova Scotia, as Rochelle Gaum, where she and her sister Eleanor were sometimes mistaken for their British royal contemporaries, Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret Rose.

After attending McGill University in Montreal, she moved to Detroit in the early 1950s to study nursing. While working as a Registered Nurse at Sinai Hospital of Detroit, she met Dr. Saul Brown, who became her husband and the father of their three children. In her profession as well as her family life, she was a kind and nurturing presence, quiet but keenly intelligent and attentive to those she loved—her husband, her children, and after her husband’s tragic death, her longtime companion, Buddy Newman.

The joy she found in her family was extended to her passion for the beauty of art of all types. Wherever she was, she sought out museums, galleries, and craft fairs. She had a particular appreciation for Southwestern art during her years of living in Arizona.

Her final years were spent in the loving care of her daughter, Judy Mitnick, and her family. She also cherished and was cherished by her sons, Joel and David Brown, her daughter-in-law, Lorraine Brown, her son-in-law, Wayne Mitnick, and her grandchildren, Ben Brown, Emily Brown, Jason Mitnick, and Josh Mitnick. Many nieces and nephews, grand-nieces and grand-nephews in the Richmond and Sandberg families, and the children and grandchildren of Buddy Newman, all adored their lovely, warm, and funny Aunt Shelly.

Arrangements were private by the family. Donations can be made to Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Online condolences may be offered to the family at