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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Maui journalist Liz Janes-Brown dies

 •  Obituaries

By Christie Wilson
Advertiser Neighbor Island Editor

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Liz Janes-Brown

Juliet Green photo

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WAILUKU, Maui Liz Janes-Brown, a veteran journalist who was active in Maui's music and theater scene, died Monday at her home in Kokomo after a nine-year struggle with cancer. She was 66.

Janes-Brown moved to Maui in 1960, working as a teacher at Seabury Hall and a reporter for the now-defunct Maui Sun newspaper, where she penned a column called "Niele," the Hawaiian word for "curious" and "inquisitive."

After a stint as news director of KNUI radio, Janes-Brown joined The Maui News in 1989 as the police and courts reporter before moving into the features section in 1994. Her weekly "Let's Talk" column was a popular fixture in the Sunday paper until she retired June 1.

Hawai'i Public Radio listeners statewide knew Janes-Brown from her daily news reports from Maui and as a guest host during the station's fundraising campaigns.

In a 1986 interview with The Maui News, while she was still working in radio, Janes-Brown explained her attraction to the news business. "I'm basically nosy, and I like telling people about what I learn," she said.

The Maui News Editor David Hoff called Janes-Brown "a great treasure" in and out of the newsroom.

"Liz Janes-Brown is as fine a person as I've ever worked with. She was a wonderful writer, and more so than anyone else she was the face of The Maui News to our community," Hoff said. "Even as her illness grew worse, she insisted on coming to work every day that she was able, and never once complained about anything. I've never known anyone to show more courage and do so with such grace and dignity."

A tall, slender woman with an elegant bearing, Janes-Brown was a leading figure in community theater, where she performed under the name Elizabeth Green. She also was a member of the Maui Madrigal singing troupe and was an active parishioner at St. John's Episcopal Church in Keokea.

One of her last stage performances was in 2003, when she appeared in the Pulitzer Prize-winning play "Wit" by Margaret Edson, about an English professor dying of ovarian cancer. Although she was enjoying good health at the time, Janes-Brown played the role with a shaven head, six years after her own cancer diagnosis, which required chemotherapy and a double mastectomy.

She was born July 11, 1941, in Suffolk, England.

Janes-Brown shared her love of music with daughter Juliet, a music teacher in Palo Alto, Calif., and is additionally survived by husband Paul Janes-Brown and her brother, John Baker.

A funeral will be at 3 p.m. Saturday at St. John's Episcopal Church, with a reception to follow. The family requests no flowers and that people car pool to the church due to limited parking. A memorial fund will be announced later.

Reach Christie Wilson at cwilson@honoluluadvertiser.com.