Robert Louis “Bob” Brown, Pine Hollow Boulevard, Hermitage, formerly of Adamsville, passed away peacefully early Saturday morning (1-18-14) in his home. He was 84.
Bob was born Oct. 3, 1929, in Linthicum Heights, Md., to Ethel Lynette Lambert Brown and William Louis Brown.
A graduate of Linthicum Heights schools, he also attended the University of Maryland, where he studied aeronautical engineering.
Bob was drafted into the Army in 1951 and was sent to Panama, a tour of duty he truly enjoyed.
That also was the year he joined the Seventh-day Adventist Church, and a lifetime of service and devotion ensued. Wherever he moved, his fellow congregationalists quickly recognized Bob’s teaching skills and he gladly shared his knowledge with all he could. He currently was a member of Shenango Valley Seventh-day Adventist Church, and was instrumental in spearheading the effort to construct the church’s new home on Wheatland Road in Shenango Township.
It was on a conference trip with the Adventist Church in 1953 that he met his wife, Helen Louise Linnell. He made her Mrs. Brown on Oct. 11 of that year in the Williamsport, Md., home of her mother. They celebrated 60 years together in October.
A jack-of-all-trades, as his youngest daughter once called him, Bob held numerous jobs throughout the years, always finding a way to support his family. Among the jobs he held were: mail carrier, a job he enjoyed but had to leave when he joined the Adventists, for whom Saturday is the Sabbath; retail credit investigator; laboratory technician; construction worker; seller of health and Christian books; precision machinist for a machine shop that made dentistry tools; builder and repairman of printing equipment; and an employee of Sears Auto Center, where he worked in sales and as an alignment specialist.
Bob and Helen lived in several states throughout their years together: Michigan, Maryland and Pennsylvania, settling in Adamsville in the 1970s.
A convert to vegetarianism after he met his like-minded wife, Bob enjoyed spreading the word about healthful living in whatever way he could, an interest that bore fruit in the natural food store the couple began in the spring of 1995. Wholesome Fare was begun in the former Snyder Middle School building in Sharpsville; it was moved to its current location, the former Elks Club building on Pine Hollow Boulevard, Hermitage, in 1998; the Browns made the move to Hermitage themselves in 2000. He loved the store and all his customers – whom he considered friends – and was so excited when his granddaughter Jessica Cavalier joined her grandparents in running the business.
In 2008, the Browns were approached by Dr. Patrick Clune of Clune’s Natural Vitamin Center, Hermitage, who had been diagnosed with a terminal illness and asked the couple to take over his business for him. The Browns were honored to be entrusted with continuing the doctor’s work and now run that store along with Wholesome Fare.
Along with his natural ability as a teacher, Bob was always curious, always learning. The day before he died, he shared with a long-time customer both some health news he had recently learned as well as the story of an experience he had once that taught her something new about living a healthy lifestyle.
Bob had such energy and joy for life; he had a smile, a ready ear and a story for everyone.
He also had a sense of adventure and, as his wife is fond of saying, “He enjoyed everything that moved.”
Bob earned his pilot’s license in the 1960s; he was an avid sailor; and he liked to ride motorcycles, once taking his wife on a 150-mile trip along the Columbia River in Washington and Oregon. He also embarked on a cross-country trip with his younger brother, George, and an Army buddy after his service to his country ended.
Bob and Helen were treated to a “spectacular” sailing cruise out of Portland, Maine, for their 40th anniversary and a hot air balloon ride in Lancaster County, Pa., for their 50th. Bob had been in 49 of the 50 United States, and he and Helen and some family members were planning on seeing the 50th later this year.
In addition to his wife, Bob is survived by their four children: David Lester Brown and his wife Brenda, Greenville; Darlene Louise Peterson and her husband Will, Wyomissing, Pa.; William Louis “Bud” Brown, Pensacola, Fla.; and Margot Elizabeth Vallejo and her husband Rick, California; six grandchildren: Army Maj. Richard Witwer, Kansas; Andrea Ngo and Tanya Arcilla, both California; Jessica Cavalier, Garrettsville, Ohio; Meghan Brown, Greenville; and Baleigh Brown, Pensacola; five great-grandsons and one great-granddaughter; and a brother, George W. Brown, Salisbury, Md.
He was preceded in death by his parents; a brother, Roy; and a sister, Ruth.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions be made in Bob’s name to Hope Channel, PO Box 4000, Silver Springs, MD 20904; or to a cause or charity of the donor’s choice. Bob always liked to help others.
Robert Louis “Bob,” 84, of Pine Hollow Boulevard, Hermitage.
Calling hours: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday (1-22-14) in J. BRADLEY McGONIGLE FUNERAL HOME and CREMATORY, 1090 E. State St., Sharon.
Service: 2 p.m. Wednesday in Seventh-day Adventist Church, 1001 Wheatland Road, Shenango Township, with Pastor Randy Nims officiating.