Robert Harrison Brown

February 22, 1938January 19, 2019
Obituary of Robert Harrison Brown


The Paul Mortuary

Robert Harrison Brown passed away peacefully at his home in Pacific Grove, California on January 19,2019. Robert H (Bob) Brown was born to R.H. and Frances Adaline Brown on February 22, 1938 in Edinburg, Texas. He grew up in Douglas, Arizona, where he began a lifetime of outdoor activities including hunting, fishing and hiking. In high school, Robert excelled in baseball and music, choosing a music scholarship to college over an offer to play baseball in the minor leagues. At the University of Arizona he studied biology, earning a PhD in 1965. There he met Jane Pattison, whom he would marry in 1960, beginning a relationship which would see him through to the very end. In 1967, after two years in the Biology Department at the University of Idaho in Moscow, the family moved to Ellensburg, Washington, drawn by a position at Central Washington University and the proximity to the beautiful Cascade Mountains. Robert would spend the rest of his career at Central, serving as a professor, Biology Department chair and Dean of the College of Letters, Arts and Sciences before retiring in 1997. He influenced innumerable lives thru his dedication to teaching and university administration. When not engaged in family activities at home, or taking care of whatever ‘critters’ were in his collection at the time (from snakes and lizards to donkeys, sheep, a goat and an Alaskan Malamute), Robert’s free time was spent in the mountains – summer and winter – hiking, snowshoeing and skiing with colleagues, friends and family members. Humorous (and sometimes hair-raising) tales of these adventures became part of family lore. In all areas of his life Robert lived with the highest degree of honesty and integrity. He was good natured, easy going, and had a great sense of humor. Present without fail at important life events, whether ballgames, musical concerts, graduations, weddings, funerals, and the births of all his grandkids, ‘Papa’ was always there to encourage and support his family. After retirement Robert and Jane relocated to Pacific Grove, California, spending the winters in Green Valley, Arizona, where they continued outdoor activities and enjoyed photography. They traveled, exploring both the US and numerous countries on five other continents together. In retirement, Robert took up playing the clarinet of his younger years – an activity he continued even as medical complications and Alzheimer’s took their toll. Robert is survived by Jane, his wife of 58 years, children Peggy (Lawrence) of Nuremberg, Germany and Michael (Cheri) of Phoenix, Arizona, and grandchildren Hannah, Cooper, Spencer and Catie, as well as his brother Marvin (Maureen), of Sun Valley, Idaho. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be sent to Hospice Giving Foundation (80 Garden Court, Ste.201, Monterey, CA 93940 or; Alzheimer’s Association, Northern CA & Northern Nevada Chapter, 2290 N. First St., Set.101, San Jose, CA 95131. or Arizona Sonora Desert Museum, Tucson Arizona, 95758 or the charity of your choice.

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  • Hospice Giving Foundation 80 Garden Court, Ste. 201, Monterey, California 93940
  • Alzheimer's Association, Northern CA & Northern NV Chapter 2290 N. First St., Ste. 101, San Jose, California 95131
  • Arizona Sonora Desert Museum
  • Donor's Favorite Charity


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