Helen and Les Brown was a unique couple. Living in Long Beach, Calif. the couple were born on the same day, New Year’s Eve, Dec. 31, 1918, and were married 75 years. Helen Brown passed away on July 16 and her husband died one day later on July 17.
The Long Beach Press-Telegram reported on the couple’s life together as well as their passing. Helen Brown had stomach cancer while Les had Parkinson’s disease.
According to the Press-Telegram, Les Brown was a Navy photographer and had his own studio while Helen was an experienced real estate investor, buying and selling various properties. The couple first met at Huntington Park High School although their burgeoning relationship was met with some criticism from their families as Les came from a wealthy background whereas Helen’s family was considered working-class. Despite the reservations, Helen and Les married when they turned 18, in 1937.
As their two sons, the elder Les Brown Jr. and Daniel Brown, describe the relationship as a mutual give-and-take. Speaking to the Press-Telegram, the sons describe their mother as stricter than their father and they put in the work needed to make the marriage last for 75 years.
The couple would spend every day together which included worship sessions at the local Kingdom Hall, enjoyed road trips throughout California and were beloved in the community. Friends described the couple as extremely compatible and Les Jr. agreed, telling the Press-Telegram they were made for one another. The couple spent their last years in the Long Beach district of Belmont Heights which lies just off the coast of the Pacific Ocean.
Daniel said to the Press-Telegram, “My mom often said she didn't want to see my father die, and he didn't want to live without her.” A joint service will be held for Helen and Les Brown on Saturday. The couple is survived by their two sons and seven grandchildren.
Charles Poladian joined IBTimes in October 2012 and, when not reporting on all things topical, can be found reading or photographing concerts.