Laurrie Brown, former director of operations for San Joaquin Regional Transit District has died.
Photo credit: RTD
It is with great sadness that we mourn the passing of our friend and colleague Laurrie Brown, former director of operations for San Joaquin Regional Transit District.
Brown had a long and distinguished career in public transportation, which she concluded after nearly 10 years at RTD. Right up until the end of her life, she worked with and for RTD, and constantly expressed her appreciation for our organization, our customers, and the privilege of working alongside her friends and co-workers.
She joined RTD in 2005 as its director of transportation and a member of its executive team. In 2008, RTD promoted Laurrie to director of operations, an expanded role in which she oversaw the transportation and maintenance departments at RTD’s Stockton Metro facility and MV Transportation’s operation of RTD’s County facility.
Brown’s ongoing battle with cancer forced her to retire from active duty at RTD in 2012 but she continued to provide support and guidance on a part-time basis.
She started her 40-year career in public transportation in 1974 as a coach operator at Sacramento Regional Transit. During her 20+ years at SacRT, she was promoted to supervisor/dispatcher and finally to lead supervisor in 1985. In 1997, Brown went to work for First Transit, where she began as operations manager for Foothill Transit – Pomona Division. In 1999, First Transit promoted her to general manager for Kern Regional Transit. In 2002, MV Transportation recruited Brown to become their vice president–operations, where she oversaw 14 California transit divisions.
During her career in the transit industry, Brown earned a master’s degree in business administration and university certificates in labor relations, transit operations management, transit/paratransit management, and project mnagement. She was a member of WTS International. She was also a member of EWGA, an organization that connects women to learn, play, and enjoy golf for business and for fun. Brown loved playing golf and was a “driving” force behind the annual RTD Employees Invitational Golf Tournament, which benefited numerous non-profit agencies over the years.
In 2011, RTD honored Brown with its John Lopez Inspirational Award, an award that honors the memory of an RTD transportation supervisor killed in the line of duty in 1993 by recognizing someone at RTD who is an inspiration to others and who embodies the highest ideals of service and excellence.
When asked to describe Brown, RTD’s General Manager/CEO Donna DeMartino stated, “In all her years at RTD, Laurrie demonstrated absolutely consistent, unwavering, uncompromising, and inspirational commitment to RTD’s mission, employees, and customers.”
Brown will be sorely missed by those with whom she worked at RTD and in the transit industry and will be remembered for her passion, her strong work ethic, resilient attitude, and her effervescence. She was a leader, mentor, co-worker, and friend. She encouraged and inspired many people during her long and successful career, and will continue to inspire them long after her passing.
She is survived by her husband, one son and three daughters and their families, including three grandsons, one granddaughter, and a great-grandson. We express our deep condolences to her family.
Per her wishes, a celebration of life will be held in her honor at Elkhorn Golf Club.