Lindsay Brown, 50, died peacefully at home on Sunday, Aug. 31, after a courageous fight against cancer in her liver and lungs. Her life, though too short, was remarkably full, with many unusual and fulfilling chapters.
She spent her early years in Western Massachusetts, with her late parents and two brothers, Neil and Ian. In 1968, she moved with her family to the Big Island of Hawaii, where she lived for five years and attended school in Pahoa.
At 14, she embarked with her mother, cousin, and grandparents on a three-year odyssey sailing around the world on a 44-foot yacht, graduating high school via correspondence courses and often spending weeks or months at various foreign ports of call. That journey helped shape her broad and optimistic view of the world, as well as her place in it as a strong woman with a deep sense of integrity and a generous and loving spirit. She also developed a discerning judgment of people, accompanied by an often wicked sense of humor.
She moved to Seattle shortly after returning from that trip and became engaged to Steven Labio, an engineer who died tragically in a hiking accident before their wedding. She continued to live and work in Seattle as a legal secretary through her early 20s, putting herself through the University of Washington.
In 1985, she moved to the Bay Area to attend law school at the University of California at Berkeley. There she met her husband, David Zapolsky, and after graduating they moved together to New York to work as prosecutors in the Brooklyn District Attorney's Office.
Her son, Ian Zapolsky, was born in New York in 1993, and shortly thereafter the three returned to Seattle, where Lindsay devoted herself to a wide variety of private and public pursuits. She was, among many other things, a full time mom, President and Trustee of the Magnolia Community Club, a master gardener, criminal appellate lawyer, web editor for an Internet start-up, and member of the Childhaven Board of Trustees.
In the last decade of her life, she developed a passion for teaching young children with dyslexia and other learning disorders how to read. After volunteering in Magnolia's elementary schools and observing how certain children struggled with reading, she made herself an expert in many teaching methods for helping kids overcome learning disabilities and soon developed a thriving tutoring practice, aptly named "Magnolia Tutoring," through which she transformed the lives of countless bright and hardworking children.
Without Lindsay's intervention, many of these students might have fallen behind their peers or been prevented from realizing their academic potential. She took great joy and pride in her work with children, as she did in her work with Childhaven, and the impact she made on so many young lives serves as a lasting memorial.
Ms. Brown is survived by her husband, David Zapolsky, her son, Ian Zapolsky, her brothers Neil and Ian Brown, and many loving cousins, nieces and nephews.
Per Ms. Brown's wishes, a memorial celebration will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Childhaven, 316 Broadway, Seattle WA 98122-5325, or www.childhaven.org.