Month: March 2022

Anna Costa Brett

1918 – 2022

Anna Costa Brett passed away at Hilltop Commons in Grass Valley, California on Sunday, February 27, 2022. She was 104. Anna was born, at home, on February 21, 1918 in Goodyears Bar, California to Antonio (Tony) J. and Janette (Nettie) Costa.

Anna attended school in Downieville and played saxophone in the high school band. After graduation she attended business school in Oakland, California, then worked in Sacramento for a telephone company and then in one of the State of California offices. When two of Anna’s brothers enlisted in the Navy, during World War II, she returned to Downieville to help her parents run their business, the Costa Grocery Store. On Christmas Eve 1943, Anna met recovering WW II veteran, Ray Brett, at a community dance and six months later they were married in Grants Pass, Oregon. Anna and Ray made their home in Downieville, where they raised two daughters. In 1946 they purchased the Yuba Theater from Vern Shattuck and operated it as a part-time venture for 29 years. In addition to helping run the theater, Anna also “collected” for the Downieville Water District – back then it was done in person with residents paying $3.50 per month and businesses paying $5.00. In the late sixties Anna went to work for the Sierra-Plumas Unified School District, first as the playground duty person at Downeiville Elementary, then moving on to becoming a classroom aide for many years. Anna and Ray remained full-time Downieville residents until the early 1990’s when they became snowbirds, spending winters in Arizona. They moved to Hilltop Commons, an independent living facility for seniors, the summer of 2009.

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