John Deere's great-great granddaughter, Mary Jane Deere Wiman Brinton, passed away at her home in San Francisco last Saturday. Remembered for her passionate commitment to both social causes and her family, Mrs. Brinton lived a full life, marked by her vivacity and tenacity.
Born on December 3, 1921 in Chicago, Illinois, Mrs. Brinton was raised in Moline, IL; she eventually graduated from Lone Mountain College in 1965 after attending Bennington College as well. In July of 1943, she married William Brinton. The couple had four children – one boy and three girls – during their lasting marriage. Known for her commitment to philanthropic causes, Mrs. Brinton was especially fervent in her devotion to improving public and private education and healthcare in the U.S.
Mrs. Brinton co-founded the Urban School of San Francisco and established the Flanders Fellowship program at UC Berkeley's Graduate School of Education – a program that provides scholarships to foster and develop teachers who want to work with underprivileged students. Furthermore, Mrs. Briton devoted herself to improving health and mental care for disadvantaged groups, establishing the Brinton Psychiatric Homeless Project, a program that provides psychiatric services for those unable to afford them.
Mrs. Brinton's other accomplishments are myriad – from funding professorships at UC San Francisco to working closely with homeless advocates to effect real changes for the indigent population of her native San Francisco. Mrs. Brinton's spirit and drive is a testament to her exposure to farm life and the work ethic of her ancestor, John Deere.