In memory of George Brook-Kothlow

My father in law was a special and talented man, his name is George Brook-Kothlow and he passed two weeks ago after a year of battling cancer. He was 77. If you’ve read the Venice Chronicles you know a little bit about George … and I’d like to tell you a little more about him.
George was a great architect, an artist through and true. He lived and worked in Carmel Valley. The beautiful houses he designed are all around the Big Sur area and stand as the perfect remembrance of his legacy and artistry. He was on the forefront of ecological architecture as he started building houses with reclaimed materials (Often old railroad bridges) more than forty years ago. You can follow this link to Richard Olsen’s blog to learn more about his work as an architect. Here’s below a photo of the entrance to the beautiful home George and Jennifer (his lovely wife and my wonderful mother in law) built and live in.

George also loved Cars and Tennis, I appreciated and bonded with him on both of those passions. I was happy to make the following watercolor of his beloved VW Beetle (the first car he ever owned, still in beautiful conditions) for his birthday a couple of years back.

He was also an incurable optimist, there never was a problem that mattered enough to worry him. His positivism was simply impressive and I always felt I, a natural worrier, could learn a lot from him in that realm. He also loved planes and I sure share that passion too, I loved how he’d grab one of my many books on old planes and read through it for hours. The one silver lining of George battle with cancer in the last year has been that we got to spend more time with him and my mother in law Jennifer. We became closer as a family and I am sure it was an important and ultimately enriching experience for my daughter Fio to feel such closeness to grandpa and grandma and also my sister’s in law Ingrid wonderful family. I only hope that the warmth of his family coming around him gave the difficult last few weeks of his life a little bit of solace.

George I am so happy you were part of my life, we will be thinking of you … always.

11 Responses to “In memory of George Brook-Kothlow”

  1. a chris Says:

    This is a lovely tribute. George sounds like a wonderful person. It’s clear you’re an admiring and caring son-in-law, and this must have brightened his life. Condolences to the family.

  2. nancy lorenz Says:

    My condolences to you, Marit and Fio. Just think of the peace it brought to his later years to see his daughter get married an bring him a beautiful grandaughter. What a lovely tribute you wrote.

  3. cK Says:


    My condolences to you and your family.

    Based on the blog on your Father in Law’s work, he was an accomplished architect and left a legacy of his work in Big Sur and Carmel. It is kind of a gift to your daughter. As she grows older, she can visit these wonderful houses knowing that her grandfather designed them. Your post is a wonderful tribute. Very heartfelt.

    Take care,


  4. Nicolò Says:

    My condolences to you and your family.
    I read the book 1 week ago and I found it very beautiful.
    George was a very beautiful person like you described, you were lucky to have a father in law like him.

  5. Robert Meckauer Says:

    I knew George both as a friend and work associate, having had the opportunity to work in his office as a drafstman and project manager. Surrounded by his models and a horizontal file full of tracings from his past work, it was indeed a delight on a daily basis to understand the creative mind of George Brook-Kothlow. We also had some battles on the tennis court, and his competitive spirit was masked by his quiet demeanor. I recall moments when we would look at architectural problems together, and in an effort to gain insight he would wobble his fingers inward as if asking the universe for creative solutions. I also was invited to his personal residence to meet his lovely wife, and remember riding in his classic VW. Our experiences were many, and indeed he was an important chapter in our short lives. Bless you George and may the kind spirits in heaven embrace your bold and creative spirit.

  6. Leila-Italia Says:

    I wish to express my deepest condolences to you and your family.

  7. Erik Moller Says:

    Sorry to hear about your father in-law’s passing. Thank you for sharing his memories with us.

  8. Federico Says:

    Reading Venice Chronicles puts you in contact with all the person you describe; the book tells about him like such a great person, so this loss is touching to me even I have never met him.. Dear Enrico, many condolences to you and Marit, and a hug to Fio.

  9. Michelle and Roxy Says:


    We were all so blessed to have had George in our lives. Please pass along our condolences to Marit. I had the wonderful opportunity to live in one of George’s
    incredible homes–one that was just below the home that he and Jennifer built for themselves (it unfortunately is no longer there).

    You give great honor to George with your tribute. Warm regards, Michelle and Roxy

  10. Vladimir Says:

    I had the pleasure of living with George and his family for a summer in the early eighties. They were the warmest, sweetest people i had ever met. I didnt know anything about architecture-still dont really- but i knew from his beautiful home that this was a talented man with a unique gift for creating an amazing space for a family to live in. I remember George as generous, kind, and warm. He lives on in his lovely family, and in his wonderful works of art.

  11. Sho Says:

    Beautiful description of a great man . My condolences to Marit & you , very i m very sorry for the loss , so sad to loose a loved one .

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