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Monday, November 13, 2023
6:00 - 9:00pm (Eastern time)
Tuesday, November 14, 2023
9:00 - 9:45am (Eastern time)
Tuesday, November 14, 2023
10:00 - 11:00am (Eastern time)
Tuesday, November 14, 2023
11:45am - 12:45pm (Eastern time)
L. Richard “Dick” Brown, age 85, of Audubon, PA, formerly King of Prussia, PA, passed away peacefully after a brief, but hard fought illness on November 4, 2023 surrounded by his much adored family.
He was born October 18, 1938 at Bryn Mawr Hospital in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania to the late Dr. Leo Brown, professor and Chairman of the Department of Education at Villanova University, and Irene (née Jokrest) Brown.
A devoted husband of fifty-four years, Dick, was predeceased by his wife and soul mate, Sandra “Sandy” (née White) Brown, whom he married on February 24, 1962. He was a devoted and loving father to his five children, Scott (Heidi) Brown of Chadds Ford, Nancy (Robert) Wick of Wilmington, DE, Sheila Krusen of Glen Mills, David (Kate) Brown of Ardmore, and Timothy (Julie) Brown of Wayne. A doting grandfather of twelve, “Poppy/Pop” showered his grandchildren with unconditional love, affection, and admiration. He was also preceded in death by his sister, Sr. Joanne Brown, and his cherished grandson, Bennett Roderick Krusen.
Dick was a graduate of St. Katherine of Siena High School in 1956 where met his beloved Sandy, as she was walking home from St. Katherine’s past his house. Growing up in Wayne, Dick was a “car and tech” guy from the start. He worked on restoring cars, which included his souped-up Corvair, in the family garage at St. David’s Avenue. Always an entrepreneur, he opened his own TV and radio repair business in his late teens to finance the work on his cars.
In 1959, Dick became an active duty firefighter at the Radnor Fire Company, a role in which he proudly served for almost 28 years. At the conclusion of his active service, he became an “Honorary” Active Firefighter and continued to religiously attend their weekly meetings every Monday evening. He greatly enjoyed serving Radnor in many formal and informal leadership roles during his 64 year tenure. A highlight to both Dick and his grandchildren were the numerous Breakfasts with Santa and the Easter Bunny (Pop was the photographer), Fire Prevention Open Houses, and holiday parades. You could not tell who was more excited when Pop would ride alongside of his flag-waving grandchildren on the 1954 MAC during the annual Radnor Memorial Day Parade down Lancaster Avenue!
Upon graduation, Dick attended Villanova University and joined the Naval Reserves. After college Dick joined IBM as a field engineer working on the installation and maintenance of IBM’s early mainframe computers. He traveled around the country as part of an elite technical team that served IBM’s largest clients. After more than 35 years of service, Dick retired from IBM at the age of 57. Not one to sit around, he started a computer learning school, CompuTeach in Strafford, Pennsylvania with a dear friend. This gave him the special opportunity to work with his son, Tim, who was a teacher and operations tech at the company.
In 1962, he and Sandy purchased their first home together on Shoemaker Lane in King of Prussia. The standard three bedroom, one-car garage Cape Cod would quickly become the site of numerous family gatherings. Dick expanded the home himself, through multiple projects, to become a five-bedroom, three-car garage ‘palace’ with a huge family room, kitchen, backyard and workshop that became the cherished home for his family of seven. The basement workshop housed his extensive collection of tools and home gadgets. Dick’s passion was working with his tools. He said they made him feel powerful. Numerous family members, friends, and neighbors knew if they needed ANY kind of tool that “Dickie” had it. After 59 years at the end of the cul-de-sac on Shoemaker Lane, Dick moved to Shannondell at Valley Forge where he joined a number of lifelong friends to enjoy an active senior lifestyle. This included trips to his ‘home away from home’ in Ocean City NJ and becoming a board member of the Shannondell Model Railroad.
In 1977, Sandy and Dick realized their dream of owning a second home in Ocean City, NJ. Nothing gave them greater joy than hosting their family every summer for two weeks of love, laughter, and family hijinx. Annual family pictures on the front steps or on the 7th Street jetty became a lesson in “herding cats” as the years progressed and their family grew. Each year there was a new project that required the services of the BOMPS (Brown, Owens, Moran, Pancoast, Shanabrook) Home Renovation Team. Self-employed manual labor was the going rate for room and board at their family vacation house. Every project ended with a cold beverage of choice either on the beach, in the backyard, or on the front porch. Evenings on the front porch routinely became a therapeutic experience as they would reminisce about family adventures and escapades while watching the hustle and bustle of Atlantic Avenue deep into the night. Dick soaked it all in from his trusty rocking chair. That front porch was truly his “Heaven on Earth”.
Dick Brown was, in the words of his dear friend, a “traditionalist”. Every New Year’s Eve was spent with Sandy & Dick’s high school crew at the shore playing pranks and singing songs together. Every January 1st, there was pork and sauerkraut to welcome in the New Year. Every Friday at the shore, it was either Rojo’s Tacos, Chinese Food or Mario’s flounder. Every Fourth of July, the fireworks were viewed from his beloved 7th Street beach. Every summer, a family pilgrimage to Altoona Pennsylvania for the Annual Seymore Family Reunion. After every repair job, there were gin and tonics on the front porch. Every Thanksgiving there was family raking leaves, and sweet potato delight, in addition to the usual Thanksgiving fare. Every Christmas Eve, he slept over at his daughter's house to wake up with his grandchildren. Every Christmas morning, he had breakfast with his sons. Dick basked in the joy and security that his “traditions'' provided him from year to year.
In conclusion, Dick was a true Jack-of-all-trades. He “wore the hat” of family patriarch, auto mechanic, Boy Scout, OCNJ parking space holder, raccoon wrangler, landscaper, home builder, home renovator, roofer, plumber, electrician, master mason, painter, researcher of clinical trials (for Sandy and himself), prostate cancer survivor, life coach, fire fighter, filet-o-fish lover, breakfast chef, “future meal” planner, SOS-breakfast meal enjoyer, model train engineer, family videographer & photographer, bike repairman, TV repairman, landlord, creative wood craftsman, computer engineer & entrepreneur, family ski instructor, family driving instructor, perpetual misspronouncer of Covid (Covis), certified amateur boat captain, arborist, M-O-L (Men of Leisure) golfer, nightly porch rocker, dedicated midnight snacker, snow removal specialist, original “Uber” driver, junk collector and hauler, saver of everything (he was an undiagnosed hoarder), gin/tonic, bloody mary, & Bailey’s aficionado, and forever our Papa Brown Bear.
Family and friends are invited to his Visitation from 6:00 PM until 9:00 PM on Monday, November 13, 2023 at the Donohue Funeral Home, 366 West Lancaster Avenue, Wayne, PA. Visitation will also be from 9:00 AM until 9:50 AM on Tuesday, November 14, 2023 at St. Katherine of Siena Catholic Church, 104 South Aberdeen Avenue, Wayne, PA. The funeral service will immediately follow at 10:00 AM. Interment will be at the Calvary Cemetery in West Conshohocken.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made on his behalf to either the Radnor Volunteer Fire Company, Attention Box 485, 121 S. Wayne Avenue, Wayne, PA 19087 or to the Bryn Mawr Hospital Foundation, 240 North Radnor Chester Road, Suite 340, Radnor, PA 19087.