The four people killed or missing in Poudre Canyon after a flash flood rushed down the Cameron Peak fire’s burn scar last week were members of a single family on an annual vacation to Colorado.
The flooding and mudslides on July 20 destroyed at least five homes in the canyon northwest of Fort Collins.
David Brown, a 61-year-old Southwest Airlines employee and community theater actor from San Antonio, and his sister, Patricia Brown, 59, a French horn player from Madison, Wisconsin, were identified Monday by the Larimer County coroner.
Their father, Richard Brown, was reported missing and is likely the person whose remains were found Monday, his grandson, Colorado Brown, said Tuesday. A spokeswoman for the Larimer County Coroner’s Office said the person’s identity had not been confirmed as of Tuesday evening.
Diana Brown, who is married to David Brown and is Colorado Brown’s mother, remains missing, the son said. She worked from home as a data entry specialist, he said.
The family was on their annual vacation at a cabin in Black Hollow owned by Richard Brown. Richard Brown is a retired Air Force pilot and has owned the cabin for years, Colorado Brown said.
“They were very private people. They were good people. They weren’t loud or brazen. Everyone that they interacted with was left with nothing but kind words to say about them,” he said. “They were irreplaceable.”
The Brown family vacationed in Colorado for years and loved the state so much that David and Diana named their son after it.
“We would go there every year,” Colorado Brown, 27, said.
David and Diana Brown met while performing in a play and participated in community theater in San Antonio most of their lives. Colorado Brown said he gained his love of theater from his parents and missed this year’s family vacation while working for Savannah Stage Co. in Georgia.
“I got a passion for performing from them,” he said.
David Brown, who was known as “DB” by friends, was a member of the Oxymorons Improv Troupe in San Antonio, Colorado Brown said. Diana Brown was a founder of the San Antonio Theater Coalition, according to a post on that group’s Facebook page.
“Diane was a founding SATCO member and the heartbeat of our organization,” the company’s Facebook page said. “There wasn’t a thing that she couldn’t or wouldn’t do. Her husband David ‘DB’ Brown was a talented actor and, most notably, a wonderful improvianwith the Oxymorons Improv Troupe.”
Patricia Brown played French horn and held the assistant principal horn position with Orchestra Iowa in Cedar Rapids, where she had played since 1990.
In her biography on the orchestra’s website, she wrote that she was a latecomer to the horn. She first played trumpet in seventh grade because that’s what her best friend played. But braces on her teeth forced her to switch instruments.
“Late in high school, I was able to start studying horn more seriously. Compared to most professional hornists, I was quite late to start taking it seriously — taking lessons and practicing hard,” the biography said.
The flash flood is part of the ongoing aftermath of 2020’s historic wildfires. The 208,663-acre Cameron Peak burn scar is one of several areas where there is no vegetation to anchor the soil when this summer’s monsoon rains blow across a mountain.
The rainstorms also have caused flooding through Glenwood Canyon where the Grizzly Creek fire destroyed more than 32,000 acres. Those floods have caused multiple closures along Interstate 70.
Authorities spent days searching for victims using divers and drones after water and mud swept through the Cache la Poudre River. The search for Diana Brown continues.
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