Former Marin County Supervisor Hal Brown, 66, died of pancreatic cancer at his Sleepy Hollow home this morning, the Marin County Administrator's Office announced today.
Brown was in his seventh term of office when he announced his retirement in October. He was succeeded by his longtime aide Katie Rice.
"Working with Hal taught me, taught all of us, much about people and human nature, about loyalty and trust, as it did about government and politics," Rice said in a news release.
"He has been missed mightily here at the Civic Center and throughout the county by all who worked with him. He will be missed even more so by his family and friends," said Rice, Brown's aide for eight years.
Brown was appointed to the Second District seat in 1983 by his cousin, then first-time governor Jerry Brown. He filled the seat vacated by Barbara Boxer when she was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.
After his cancer diagnosis in December 2010, Brown said in October he hoped to return to office to finish his term but decided his medical condition made that impossible.
"As much as I miss this job, I look forward to my retirement and the opportunity to spend more time with my family and friends," Brown said.
Brown's son Michael said his father loved working with the people of Marin County.
"He always said to us, 'I've got the best job in the world.' I know he loved it till the day he retired and would have kept working if he could have," Brown said.
The former supervisor was a champion of open space and the acquisition or preservation of more than 1,700 acres of open space in Ross Valley.
He advocated for the county's original integrated pest management policy in 1983 and founded FireSafe Marin in 1992.
He was instrumental in the formation of the Marin County Child Care Commission in 1995 and the first Safe Routes to Schools program in 2001 that became a national model.
Brown also worked for flood control in Ross Valley and the adoption of the Ross Valley Watershed and Flood protection program.
He was the Board of Supervisors' representative on the Golden Gate Bridge District Board of Directors for more than 20 years and was a senior member of the Bay Area Air Quality Management District Board of Directors.
Brown was a fiscal conservative and a leading advocate for financial prudence and ensuring reserves were set aside even during the leanest times. He was a passionate sports fan, a dedicated coach and a recreation booster.
In October as he looked back on his career, Brown said his uncle Pat Brown reminded his family politics is a noble profession.
"I hope that my time in office reflects that sentiment and encourages others to do the same. It has been a privilege to serve the people of District 2 and the county. They have demonstrated to me over and over again all the best that people can be -- caring for each other and about the community they live in," Brown said.
Brown's family will hold a private service and is requesting privacy at this time. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Marin Valentine's Ball Foundation, P.O. Box 1612, San Anselmo, CA. 94979.
A public ceremony honoring Brown's life and service to Marin County is planned for late March at the Marin Veteran's Memorial Auditorium.