Richard M. Brown passed away peacefully Sunday, August 13, 2017.
A memorial service will be held at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Penn Yan at 10 a.m. Sept. 11.
Dick was born July 23, 1924 in Dundee, the son of Merrill and Inez Brown. He grew up in Penn Yan, was an Eagle Scout with troop # 44, played football and track for Penn Yan Academy, played trumpet for the Penn Yan Academy band, earning several awards for his outstanding musical talent. Dick and his friends formed a jazz band known as “Dick Brown and his Orchestra,” and played for many school and community functions, performing the Big Band music of the day. He was also a member of the ham radio club, where he earned his radio operator’s license. Dick graduated from Penn Yan Academy in January 1943, and enlisted into the 29th Army Air Force Band. He was assigned to one of the many Glenn Miller bands and sent to New Jersey. In the spring, he was sent to the Port of Importation and assigned as a private bugler for a Lt. Colonel then sent to England. As a licensed ham radio operator, he was assigned to the 8th Army Airforce Signal Corps in addition to being a bugler. He flew as a radio operator with several crews on B-17s throughout 1943. On D-Day, he was one of hundreds of radio operators directing bomber and fighter support for the invasion.
After the war, he attended college at University of Southern California, majoring in business administration, then returned to Penn Yan to work with his father in the insurance and real estate business. He was a volunteer fireman and served on the county legislature during the 1950s. In the 1960s, he worked for the LM Barry Co. of Rochester before becoming the president of the Continental Phone Company in 1967 which was located in Dunnville, Ontario, Canada.
He retired from the phone company in the late 70s and moved to Hamilton, Ont. While there, he worked as manager of a Beckers convenience store, a retirement job he really enjoyed. Dick’s eyesight began to fail so he retired again, moving to Brockville, Ont., where he remained the rest of his life.
Dick is survived by three daughters, Bonnie (Haig) Demerjian of Wrangell, Alaska, Anne Wolden of Penn Yan, and Merrill (Dennis) Race of Penn Yan; a niece, Sally (Charles) Stallsworth of Raleigh, N.C.; four grandchildren: Della (James) Demerjian Montgomery of Buckley, Wash., Laura (Brian) Meyerhoff of Camas, Wash., David Race, and Derek Race of Penn Yan; five great- grandchildren: Rya and Hollie Montgomery, Austin and Madison Race, and Ava Meyerhoff; several great nieces and nephews; and a number of very dear friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents, sister Frances, grandson Marcus Wolden, son-in-law Robert Wolden, stepson Donald Wilson, and great-nephew, Chad Stallsworth.