Donald Randolph Brown III graced this world with his presence on October 1, 2006, and in his 16 years, he left an indelible mark on the hearts of all who knew him. Known as Trey, a nickname lovingly bestowed by his Auntie Donna, he began a life that would weave a rich tapestry of love, intellect, and talent.
Trey was the beloved eldest son of Donald and Christine. His family was his sanctuary, his strength, and his greatest joy. At home, Trey saw his mother as his best friend. As the eldest, Trey was more than just a brother; he was a mentor, a confidant, and a source of boundless love for his siblings, Shiloh, Madison, and Ruby, who admired and adored him beyond measure.
Trey had extended family that were always near, showering him with love and support. His grandmothers Ruby and Tessie helped raise Trey since his birth. His Auntie Donna and Uncle Jeff were essentially his second mom and dad respectively. Trey’s uncle Stacey consistently supported and encouraged him in every athletic endeavor that peaked Trey’s interest. His cousins Kirsten and Kyle grew up alongside Trey and were even closer than an older sibling would be.
Trey navigated his studies with ease, his intellect earning him a spot on the honor roll throughout middle school and into high school. As a freshman at West Ranch High School, Trey earned a 4.5 GPA while balancing the demands of basketball and volleyball.
Trey’s love for learning propelled him to Harvard-Westlake, one of the nation’s top preparatory schools, where he was one of only two sophomores accepted as a transfer student. There, Trey continued to excel academically, never settling for less than his best. His dream was to continue this path to the ivied walls of Harvard, the innovative grounds of Stanford, or follow family tradition to UCLA.
A natural athlete, Trey excelled in every sport he played. Growing up, he played baseball, basketball, football (tackle & flag), soccer, track, and volleyball. He started young, just a four-year-old sprinting across soccer fields. When there was an all-star team, Trey was on it.
Over the years his talent only grew, with Trey eventually finding a passion for volleyball. He won “All Tournament” honors in his very first outing. The summer following his freshman year Trey played on the Elite Team of the SC Legends volleyball club. During his sophomore year at Harvard Westlake, Trey was selected to be starting middle and second-string O/S hitter for their varsity team.
Trey’s essence, however, was the best thing about him. It was most profoundly felt in the way he connected with others. He was the kid with the easy smile. His heart was given freely to others. He was a soul who cared deeply. He was the friend everyone needed. A great person who was liked by everyone.
He was described by those who knew him as thoughtful, kind, a good listener, humble, and compassionate. Trey’s compassion revealed itself early when he was a child with acts of spontaneous kindness, like the time when he saw someone in need, would not rest until he could offer warmth, both of spirit and of a tangible jacket against the cold.
His empathetic nature found its true calling when he volunteered at Didi Hirsch’s Teen Line, offering a listening ear and a helping hand to peers in crisis. His involvement in the community extended to his church, Win-One, and places like the Union Rescue Mission’s Hope Gardens, where he volunteered his time and heart.
In his writing, Trey was both vulnerable and courageous. A natural storyteller, Trey was published at age 15, sharing his personal challenges and triumphs in his piece in “Chicken Soup for the Preteen Soul 21st Anniversary Edition,” where he spoke of overcoming the fear of public speaking, revealing a relatable struggle that has endeared him to readers worldwide.
He also had a knack for business, delving into the world of stock investments with a keen eye and an eager mind. Trey’s creativity and charm translated seamlessly into his foray into modeling and acting, gracing projects for industry giants like Disney, Nickelodeon, and Hasbro. He indulged in hobbies that spanned from the thrill of Rocket League to documentaries. Trey had a remarkable eye for fashion and one day hoped to start his own fashion line. Once he overcame his childhood allergy to beef, he reveled in culinary delights, with special love for steaks.
Shortly before his passing, Trey began plans to start a foundation, a legacy of support and care for teens grappling with life. He landed on the name “Trey Loves You”. For Trey, this was more than a proposed name; it was his commitment to every soul feeling alone or unloved.
Trey’s short life was a testament to the power of love, the pursuit of excellence, and the beauty of a spirit that sought to elevate others. As we remember Trey, we celebrate a life lived fully, a heart given freely, and a legacy that will endure through the countless lives he touched. Trey’s story does not end here; it lives on in every kind act, every memory cherished, and in the foundation that bears his name — a foundation that will continue to spread the love that Trey embodied every day of his remarkable life.