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Obituary: Linda Lynette Ashford Brown

For The Madera Tribune

Linda Lynette Ashford Brown.


Linda Lynette Ashford Brown was born on Nov. 3, 1956, in Madera, CA, to parents Ardyce Lee Ashford Sr. and Vivian Evans Ashford Jones. She was the eldest of eight siblings, which fostered her great love of family and togetherness.

Linda’s foundation in faith began as she attended Second Missionary Baptist Church in Madera, CA, throughout her childhood. She gave herself to Christ at an early age alongside her best friend and sister. During her transition from Northern to Southern California, she carried her faith with her. Linda was introduced to Community Missionary Baptist Church by her beloved Aunt Syvella Kelley where she committed to being an active member and introducing her children and grandchildren to walk by faith.

Linda graduated from Sierra Vista Elementary, Thomas Jefferson Jr. High and Madera High School. After graduating, she attended Fresno City College, Los Angeles Fashion Institute, then Compton Community College where Linda received her associate degree. She obtained a bachelor’s degree in business administration (Accounting) from Cal State University Dominguez Hills in 1988. Linda was a CSUDH Toro through and through as she began working for the university as a clerical assistant upon her graduation. She was an active member in the CSUDH Alumni Association holding multiple titles such as President, Vice-President, and Treasurer over various years. After stepping down from key roles in the association, she continued attending alumni events as she enjoyed reuniting with former classmates and supporting the university. In 2021, she retired from her duties as Office Manager for the Loker Student Union and remained a proud Toro.

In 1977, Linda met the love of her life in Compton, California that turned into a distant love, as he was serving in the United States Air Force. As distance made the heart grow fonder, their relationship flourished through phone calls, letters and visits. Following the conclusion of his military commitment, Joseph “Joe” James Brown Jr. married Linda on Jan. 27, 1979, in Madera, California.

Throughout her life, she found joy in giving back to the community by donating time and resources. From volunteering at schools to fundraisers, she was a continuous advocate of programs geared toward the youth. She annually dedicated her time to volunteer and participate in multiple charitable foundations and events. Her passion led her to joining the Lambda Kappa Mu sorority where she was an active member, and she found a sisterhood among business and professional women providing community service and support.

Linda showed her love through attendance at most, if not all, family events which she transcended through her photographic memorialization. Her passion led her to be called upon as the family photographer and the historian for her sorority.

On the morning of Oct. 18, 2023, the Lord called Linda home at the age of 66. She was preceded in death by her parents: Ardyce Ashford Sr. and Vivian Evans Ashford Jones; grandparents: Willie Lee Evans and Beatrice Evans Henderson as well as Wilbert O. Ashford Sr. and Mattie Lou Ashford; great grandparents; Mother-in-law: Lillie Brown; brother: Anthony Ashford; sister-in-law: Beverly Brown; grandchildren: Layla and lan Spates; her twin nephews, and many aunts, uncles and cousins.

Linda leaves to cherish her memory husband: Joe Brown, Compton, CA; daughter and son-in-law: Shana Brown Spates and Peter Spates, Carson, CA; Sons: Cory Law, Fresno, CA and Joseph Brown IV, Marietta, GA; grandchildren: Jaylan Law, Bailey and Sydney Spates; stepfather: John W. Jones; Best Friend and Sister: Donna Ashford Webber, Warner Robins, GA; Five Brothers: Ardyce Ashford Jr. (Linda), Kelvin Ashford (Floyard), John O. Jones (Jackie), all of Fresno, CA; and Curtis Ashford (Paula) and Darryl Ashford (Brenda), of Madera, CA; sister-in-law: Della Gulley, Compton, CA; brother-in-law: Harold Barlow, CA; Uncle: Andrew Henderson; Fresno, CA; aunt-in-law: Rita Miles, Ontario, CA; many nieces and nephews; a host of cousins; relatives; honorary family members: Yolanda Hill Callahan and Chicketa Hill; Church family; Sorority Sisters; Toro Family; Friends and the YMCA community

Memorial Service: Saturday, Dec. 9, 2023, 1 p.m., at Second Missionary Baptist Church.



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