Swan Funeral Home


Matthew Richard Brown

October 6, 1968March 30, 2021

Matthew R. Brown. (52) Rural Hall, NC.

On March 30, 2021 my brother Matt crossed the finish line. He was born on October 6, 1968 in Hartford, CT to Robert E and Helen (Cabaniss) Brown. Early years were spent at The Country School of Madison, Xavier High School, and Gordon College in Wenham, MA (BA). He spent most of his life serving complete strangers as a 911 dispatcher, and keeping his officers and firefighters safe. For a brief time, I was honored to be one of those officers, and saw him in his full glory as he served. Dispatching wasn't what he did. It's who he was. Ask any officer he served, and they will tell you he was one of the best. A calm voice in the storm. Someone who they knew had their back. Always.

The only thing he loved more than being a dispatcher was being a husband to the love of his life, Caroline (Billings). He proposed on Mount Washington in grand spectacle that only Matt could have come up with (train, clouds, binoculars, big sign). They were married on June 15, 2002. They went to Alaska, various trips to the beach, and raised his beloved Hugo and Fiona, a pair of mastiffs that went everywhere with him. He lived life to the fullest and brought an infectious humor to every aspect of his life. He loved the railroad and when he wasn’t working on his G-Scale models, he was volunteering at the Valley Railroad in Essex CT, working on the real steam powered ones from years gone by.

A couple of years ago he had a stroke (while dispatching a police chase), but being as determined as he was, didn't quit and fought back to dispatch again. His 911 team was truly his family, and he would never willingly give them up. On March 30, 2021, two days before his retirement date, we lost him. I already miss his laugh, his fierce loyalty, and the honor and integrity that he personified. Though his body has failed, I know his faith was strong. In one of our recent conversations he stated "My sword may be rusty, but it is still in both hands." I know one day I will see him again. Not as he was here on Earth, but fully healed. Rest now big brother.

Matt is survived by his mother Helen Brown, wife Caroline (Billings) Brown, and Brother & Sister-in-law Nathan & Angie Brown. Visitation will be held on April 7th, 2021 in the Swan Funeral Home, 80 E. Main Street, Clinton, CT from 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM with a memorial service 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM. Internment will be held on Thursday at 11:00 AM directly in Cedar Hill Cemetery, Hartford, CT where he will join his father Robert E. Brown and Grandparents Rev. Cramer C & Vivian Cabaniss. The Clinton Volunteer Fire Department will be hosting a luncheon at Headquarters for family and friends on Thursday, April 8th, immediately following the burial.

In lieu of flowers, donations would be appreciated to Clinton Volunteer Fire Department & Ambulance, 35 E. Main Street, Clinton, CT 06413 and/or Westbrook Ambulance, 1316 Boston Post Road, Westbrook, CT 06498.

To view Matthew's live stream please click the following link

Meeting ID 5620320709 Password 8XitT5


  • Visitation

    Wednesday, April 7, 2021

  • Memorial Service

    Wednesday, April 7, 2021

  • Burial

    Thursday, April 8, 2021


Matthew Richard Brown

have a memory or condolence to add?

Robert Donnelly

April 9, 2021

Rest in peace Matthew , you were a friend and pleasure to work with and share stories with. A true professional and I don't know a person who you couldn't make a friend with..Keep an eye on all of us here until wee meet again..!

Kim Ramcke

April 8, 2021

My thoughts and prayers are with your family at this time Helen, and I am so sorry for your loss.
-Kim Ramcke
Clinton Bible Fellowship

Valerie Snaden

April 7, 2021

Matt and I were teammates, friends and like siblings for many many years, spending 12-hour shifts, side by side, enjoying “thirsty Thursdays”, holidays, birthdays and random days off together. We had innumerable conversations about work, politics, religion, hopes, dreams, family, pets; we tend to get to know someone, almost on an intimate level, that way. I was Aunt Val to their mastiffs, Hugo and Fiona, and know they are grieving and missing their daddy. After I retired from my 40-year career from 911, Matt would keep in touch by visiting me at home on his days off when he would take the dogs out to lunch. I got to love on them and catch up with his goings on. There is a void now without him, but we will see each other again. Just knowing that he is well, happy and likely driving the angels nuts with his litany of endless puns, puts a smile on my face. Love and miss you, Matt. I hope the train from the Pearly Gates to the feet of Jesus is being operated by you now.

Eileen Kelly

April 7, 2021

I had the distinct privilege of experiencing Matt at his very best professionally and personally many years ago when I had a severe allergic reaction to a chemical I was using at home. I was alone and called 911 for an ambulance when my throat closed up and my breathing became labored. Matt was the ambulance driver. He found me being helped by a police officer as I turned blue and collapsed in my driveway. He facilitated connecting the ambulance EMT with his base so he could initiate treatment en route to the clinic as the EMT was concerned that I could not wait until I got there. Matt had to continue his shift, but he contacted his mom Helen to locate my husband who was working in Boston for the day and contacted our local priest. After his shift, Matt was waiting to take me home and stayed with me until my husband got there. I am sure that his expertise helped to save my life and his caring supported me through the ordeal. Rest in peace, Matt. You will always be remembered.

Janelle Carroll

April 7, 2021

When I was on patrol, I loved when you were on channel A. The calm in your voice always humbled me. No matter the situation, I counted on you, as did many others. You voice is legendary, your experience exceeded my expectations time and time again. There was something about the way you said our call signs, I can't get it out of my head, especially mine Adam 11.

I miss you Matt! We just talked a few weeks ago by phone and oh how I miss you! I have no clue why I called into communications but I'm happy I did. We discussed business and before we hung up and I told you that you were my favorite. I'm so glad I told you those words and how I really felt about you. I hope it means as much to you as it does to me!

On my way home from work on March 30th I saw a train cross over highway 85 and I thought of you. That night I found out about your passing. My heart was and is broken. On March 31st, I saw the train again on my way home and I felt like you were saying goodbye. I've never seen this train before expect on these two dates.

You will be missed greatly. I especially will miss your smile, stories, and laughter. Rest in peace my friend :-) Forever your Adam 11

Susan Brooks

April 7, 2021

The calm in the storm. The protector. The voice you needed when you weren't even aware of the need. This was Matt. He was born to be the person others needed and he was exceptional at his duties. I could feel the happiness in his voice when we spoke on the phone at work. I could always depend on him for a laugh. You will be missed by so many. I pray God's comfort for all of the family.

Kevin Jarrell

April 7, 2021

Words can’t honestly describe the passion you had for the job and from what I’ve read over the last week, there was no one you didn’t touch somehow. When I tried to figure out what to say, it’s all already been said so I’ll leave a memory for you.

It was probably 2 or 3 years ago, we had an individual expected to arrive on a train from Charlotte that had active warrants. Matt coincidentally took the call-of course. Prior to ever making it to the train station to see if the train had arrived, Matt had called around gathering the train schedules, departure times, layovers and even spoken to Railroad Police. Every so often he’d have me call in and give me an update, two steps ahead always! The amount of leg work he put in was awesome and he loved every minute of combined his two loves - dispatching and trains.

Matt, rest easy buddy. Keep a check on everyone from the Communications center to those on the streets and asleep in the Fire Stations-we would all be grateful for it.

Officer Tatro

April 7, 2021

Matt was without a doubt the best communicator I have ever worked with. He could read the tone of voice of each officer on the radio, and knew when we needed help half the time before we did. He also had some of the best stories I had ever heard about the calls that came into dispatch. He could always make a person feel better no matter the situation. I will miss him.

Petula Sellars

April 7, 2021

Matt will be truly missed. I sincerely enjoyed listening to him on the radio and appreciated his calming voice. His assistance was always sincere and his knowledge was impeccable. May GOD bless him and comfort his family during this difficult time.

Jonathan Crouse

April 7, 2021

Matt was a Great Friend and Great Trainer to me. Matt and I worked together almost 4 of the 6 Years I have been at High Point. There is one Memory that I will never Forget and he would never let me forget it. Matt and I was doing Call Taking in my training and we had to call the Chaplin for the Police Department for something. Well the Chaplin's ring tone on his cell phone was What a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong. Well needless to say I thought my head set was muted and of course it was not so in my best Impression of Louis Armstrong I attempted to sing the song and it was recorded on the line. After the call was over we laughed so hard about it and he would never let me forget it and it was just as funny every time told it like it just had happened. Matt taught me alot and I will Miss him dearly. Rest Easy my Friend. We have it from here.
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