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At Home With Bridgett & Craig Brown

Meet the Poway couple putting their deep commitment to the community to work for Rady Children’s Hospital

Bridgett and Craig Brown relax on the patio of their Poway home
Image Credits Photography by Vincent Knakal

“We just kind of nestled in,” says Craig Brown of the Poway home he has long shared with wife Bridgett. “We love the feeling of being a little bit away,” she adds, a nod to its location, tucked into a cul-de-sac just off a winding country road. The home, in a close-knit neighborhood, is where they raised two children and is now a peaceful retreat for this philanthropic couple.

Bridgett retired after 20 years as a sixth grade teacher at Poway’s Twin Peaks Middle School and is now busy as chair of “Starry Night,” the 115th Anniversary Charity Ball on February 17 at the Hotel del Coronado. Net proceeds from this, the oldest philanthropic event in San Diego, will benefit the Palliative Care Program at Rady Children’s Hospital, providing support and services for children facing serious or life-limiting illnesses and their families. Dr. Ami Doshi, the program’s director, hopes to expand the program to serve even more children.

Bridgett also serves on the board of the Rady Children’s Hospital Foundation, while Craig, who retired after 33 years in mortgage banking, is involved with his own philanthropic causes, including sitting on the board of the Timken Museum of Art.

Their 1970s-era home, purchased in 1990, has undergone three renovations over the years with the help of architect Nazrin Barbee, custom builder Tony Parker, and landscaper Daniel Islas. “We love our home, the architecture, the finishes on the plaster walls, and the home’s orientation make the spaces special inside and out,” says Bridgett.  

White plaster walls with niches for the couple’s art collection contrast with a rustic Mexican-inspired door. The flooring is porcelain tile
White plaster walls with niches for the couple’s art collection contrast with a rustic Mexican-inspired door. The flooring is porcelain tile

A mixture of Mission and Mexican design with rustic and contemporary touches, it has evolved to meet the needs of an empty-nester couple now that their two children, Leah and Jordan, are grown with families of their own. A lovely entrance and courtyard welcome visitors. The open kitchen, one of Craig’s favorite spaces because of its functionality, was updated with a skylight, farmhouse sink, custom cabinetry, and a sleek island topped with quartzite. A wooden dining table, handcrafted in Mexico, runs the length of the dining room and can seat a crowd. The couple decorated the space with folk art and treasures from their world travels, including blown glass vases from Italy. 

The open kitchen, which looks out onto the front courtyard, has been updated with new cabinetry, a quartzite island, and counters
The open kitchen, which looks out onto the front courtyard, has been updated with new cabinetry, a quartzite island, and counters

The Browns spend much of their time in the family room, with its original granite fireplace and wood beam ceilings, comfortable sectional, pool table, and toys for their grandchildren. Bridgett especially enjoys the sunny living room with views of the expansive backyard. The room opens onto a patio with a swimming pool, entertainment area, television, and barbecue, where Craig is the undisputed master of the grill. The yard is landscaped with native California scrub oaks and dotted with fruit trees — orange, tangerine, and limon — the last of which find their way into fresh Paloma margaritas in the summer, while freshly-picked avocados make a delicious guacamole.

Bridgett, a native San Diegan whose father served here in the Navy, graduated from San Diego State, then began her teaching career. Children are her passion, both in and out of the classroom. “My second career is being part of Rady Children’s,” she says. “It’s part of our life.” She first became involved with the hospital 18 years ago as a member of the Poway Auxiliary, chairing fundraisers and serving on the auxiliary board as a member and president. She also chaired the Rady Children’s Hospital Foundation Board of Directors. “I feel proud and thankful, especially now that we have [three] grandchildren, to have Rady’s to lean on,” she reflects. “There are some amazing people and programs.” Bridgett recently joined the board of Cristo Rey San Diego High School, a member of a national, 38-school network which provides affordable college-prep education to students with limited economic resources. 

Craig, who grew up in Michigan, later followed in the civic and philanthropic footsteps of his late father Edward Brown, a former corporate executive in New York City who eventually retired in Rancho Bernardo and for whom the town’s senior center is named. Craig co-founded a mortgage trade association and the Rancho Bernardo Business Association, served on the Rancho Bernardo Community Foundation, and was past president of the Rancho Bernardo Sunrise Rotary. He also served on the boards of the Poway Center for the Performing Arts, Palomar Health Foundation, and Casa de las Campanas, a residential retirement community.

This active couple loves traveling, wine tasting, golfing, alpine skiing, spending time with their family, and playing with a pair of Vizsla puppies, a Hungarian dog breed. They also love sampling new restaurants including the recently opened Steak 48 in Del Mar Highlands Town Center. They look forward to celebrating with the community — and raising money for Rady Children’s Hospital — on February 17 at the 115th Anniversary Charity Ball. 858.966.8477, charityball2024@gmail.com, radyfoundation.org/event/charity-ball


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