Obituary of Aryka Henrietta Brown
Aryka Brown was born on August 12, 1974, at Barnes Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri. She was born to Strozier and Joyce Marie Brown in East St. Louis, Illinois. Aryka’s early life was not easy, but she was raised and nurtured with great intentionality by her mother Joyce Marie Brown, her aunt Beverly Brown, and grandfather Aaron Brown.
Joyce, Aryka’s mom, wanted Aryka to have the best education she had access to and wanted Aryka to experience diverseintellectual thought, ideas, and grander perspectives than she herself had been exposed. For this reason, Aryka attended St. Joseph and Althoff Catholic Schools in Belleville, Illinois. Aryka obtained her undergraduate degree from Greenville University, where she graduated as the valedictorian. After her mother passed, Aryka sought to fulfill her mother’s dream and moved out of the Midwest to the east coast. Settling in Virginia near family, Aryka attained her master’s degree at Christopher Newport University in Newport News, where she remained and built a life and network that would have made her mother and Aunt Beverly proud. Aryka continued her educational pursuitsto support her career growth and completed a PhD. at Capella University in Industrial Organizational Psychology.
Her spiritual path began at her family’s church, Colas Temple Church of God in Christ in East St. Louis, Illinois, where she was an active member of the youth program, choir, and Sunday School assistant. Continuing to expand her spiritual horizons, Aryka found like minds at Calvary Chapel in Newport News and went on to serve on the media ministry. At Calvary Chapel, she made amazing friendships that remain intact.
Aryka’s career began in education as a teacher. She laterbecame a testing coordinator and established one of the largest GED programs in Virginia. Aryka loved testing, psychology, and was results driven, which contributed to her remarkable successin her field.
Aryka loved travel, exercise, being with friends and family and was known as a serious foodie. She never let anything stop her from trying new things. She would travel on her own if she desired to go somewhere. She treated herself to five-star diningand movies in the middle of the week, even if that meant she was going on her own. She lived her life to the fullest and with truly little limits. We can all take a page from her book!
Proceeding Aryka in death is her father Strozier Brown, her mother Joyce Marie Brown, half-sister Cynthia Spinks, maternal and fraternal grandparents, and a host of aunts and uncles. She leaves behind Aunt Faye (Rayford) Grady; Aunt Galene (Harold-deceased) Reese and her uncles; Charles Brown, Michael (Vanessa) Brown, and George Brown. She leaves a host of mourning cousins – the Grady and Brown cousin crews,who have embraced Aryka as their sister and loved her as their own, will greatly miss her.
She leaves behind a large group of dedicated friends. Aryka’s family would like to specifically thank Marissa Hodge, NicholeJohnson, Chardon Rich, Naomi Scott, and Sabrina Gross for their direct assistance to the family. We would like to thank allher friends that we are still meeting for being so wonderful to our precious Aryka – you are everything she said you were, and we appreciate you more than words can express. You were friends to the end.
Aryka will be lovingly remembered for her honesty, intelligence, beauty, smile, and sense of humor. Her selflessness and encouragement were unique in this world. Aryka departed this life so early and so suddenly that it has broken our hearts. We will find our way out of this heartbreak, knowing she is resting in peace and has left us with the best of her.To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Aryka Brown, please visit Tribute Store