In Memory: Maconda Brown O’Connor
Social worker and philanthropist Maconda Brown O’Connor of Houston was the daughter of a multimillionaire owner of a construction company, but friends said you would never know it.
According to this obituary in the Houston Chronicle O’Connor, 82, was as comfortable working with troubled youth in a detention center as she was at a high society party.
“She truly believed everyone had value,” said Gretchen Walter, her assistant. “No person was ever hopeless. She believed if you give people the right tools and right opportunities for education, they would do well.”
O’Connor died Saturday from complications from a stomach infection.
After her children were grown O’Connor went back to college in the 1980s and earned a master’s degree and doctorate in social work from Smith College.
She then began to counsel youth in one of Houston’s toughest detention centers. As past president of the Brown Foundation, which was set up by her father and uncle, she helped award $1.2 billion in grants for public education, arts and other projects in Texas and especially Houston.
And O’Connor helped found the Houston A+ Challenge, which has invested $90 million in Houston public schools.
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