— Class of 1973
Send your news to class communications cochair Mary Hutchings Reed or directly to the BAM at email@example.com.
Ruth Kissin Helman ’73, of New York City; Oct. 2. She spent 40 years teaching history and literature at the Brearley School. She enjoyed classical music and traveling.
Kevin Hart ’73, of Oak Island, N.C.; Aug. 1, as a result of an automobile accident. He was a retired director of Putnam Northern Westchester Board of Cooperative Education Services. He received national recognition by the Ford Foundation for his innovative work linking the business and educational communities. He later worked at Cape Fear Community College in North Carolina. He is survived by his wife, Deborah; a daughter; a son; and brother Gerald ’71.
Chew S. Shannon ’73, of Memphis; Feb. 26. He was a retired engineer. For seven years he worked as a telephone engineer at South Central Bell and for 33 years he worked as a street lighting engineer at Memphis Light, Gas and Water. He is survived by his wife, Carolyn; a daughter; three sons; seven grandchildren; a brother; and a niece.
Felipe M. Floresca ’73, of Chevy Chase, Md.; Nov. 16, of brain cancer. He began his career as a legislative aide to U.S. Senator Edward Kennedy working to enact the Federal Empowerment Zone Act and Community Reinvestment Act. He was later appointed to the Urban Empowerment Council and Vice President’s Task Force on Youth Employment under President Jimmy Carter. He returned to New York in the 1980s, where he worked in the administration of Mayor Ed Koch as Executive Administrator for Rent and Housing Maintenance, NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development. Following this position, he was appointed vice president of the NYC Rehabilitation Mortgage Insurance Corp. and served as a member of the Mayor’s Ten-Year Housing Plan Task Force. In the 1990s he worked with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in Washington, D.C. He went on to serve in other positions, such as executive director of the San Francisco Housing Authority, chief of staff for policy for U.S. Labor Secretary Alexis Herman, and director of public engagement for U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan during the Obama administration. Additionally, he worked with the Charles D. Smith Jr. Foundation, Annie E. Casey Foundation, and Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation and was vice president of Emerald Cities Collaborative. In September 2018 he was the recipient of the Joseph M. Fernandez ’85 Award from Brown recognizing his enduring commitment to diversity, inclusion and collaboration. He was a former director of the Brown Center for Students of Color (formerly the Third World Center), a commencement marshal, and twice an alumni speaker. He continuously served Brown throughout the years. He is survived by his wife, Providence; his mother; and several nieces and nephews.
Robert C. Thunell ’73, of Columbia, S.C.; July 30. He was a professor of geology and marine science at the Univ. of South Carolina. In addition to teaching, mentoring graduate students, and publishing extensive research on the impact of climate change on oceans and marine ecosystems, he served in many administrative capacities at USC. He was the recipient of several awards and elected a fellow of the Geological Society of America, the American Geophysical Union, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In 2016 he was honored with a Distinguished Achievement Award from URI. A former member of the Brown lacrosse team, he is survived by his wife, Maureen McConaghy ’74; three sons, including Thomas ’10; and two sisters.
Ronald J. Pires ’73, of West Palm Beach, Fla., formerly of Hartford, Conn.; Aug. 14, of colon cancer. He started his career at Aetna Life and Casualty in Hartford, where he rose from programmer to systems analyst, and later was a computer systems consultant. After leaving the corporate world, he worked as a waiter, did construction work, published a website, and became a political blogger. He enjoyed the ocean and fishing. He is survived by his mother; his brother, David ’71, and a sister-in-law.
Frances S. Braine ’73, of South Orange, N.J.; Nov. 4. She worked as a project manager at the NYC Economic Development Corp. for five years, as a manager of environmental site assessments at EEA Inc. for 12 years, and as an associate and senior environmental planner at BFJ Inc. for eight years. She was also editor of MetroPlanner, the newsletter of the local chapter of the American Planning Association, for which she received the 1997 Floyd Lapp Planning Award for Editing. She published several articles and reports and was a guest lecturer at Columbia, NYU, CCNY, and Harvard. She enjoyed New York City, family vacations in the Adirondacks, and Star Trek. She is survived by her mother; brothers Bruce ’76 and Geoff ’78 and their wives; two nieces, including Kathleen Braine ’11; and a nephew.