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Grace Brown

Grace Brown, a Santa Rosa antiques dealer with a keen eye for collectibles, has died. She was 96.

Brown was a fixture at local flea markets and estate sales for the past four decades, said daughter Jeri Del Bonta of Santa Rosa.

She had a knack for estimating the value of old things, especially glassware and beaded bags, her daughter said.

"I think she did pretty good," her daughter said. "Over the years, people would say, 'Let's take this to Brownie and see what it is worth.'"

Brown died Aug. 8 at the Lodge at Paulin Creek. She suffered a mini-stroke earlier in the year.

She was born Grace Margaret Young in Santa Rosa in 1917. Her father was a butcher and her mother was a nurse.

She graduated from Santa Rosa High School in 1935 and was married to the late Verle V. Brown the same year. The couple had two children.

Brown was a PTA president at Santa Rosa and Slater junior high schools. She also was a member of the First United Methodist Church of Santa Rosa and the Rose Valley Chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star.

"My father used to say she'd talk to a telephone pole if it would answer," her daughter said. "She was just a really outgoing person."

With her children grown, she pursued an interest in antiques. She bought and sold things she discovered at yard sales and elsewhere.

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