William Owen Brown

March 30, 1938June 11, 2021
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Cumberland - Master Sergeant William O. Brown – paratrooper, Army Special Forces – passed away June 11, 2021.

Bill was born in his grandfather’s house on March 30, 1938 the son of Rose (Carter) and Thomas Brown. He graduated from Greely Institute in 1956 and volunteered for service in the US Army. He served his country for 20 years and considered it an honor to wear the “Green Beret” of Special Forces. He served in South East Asia from 1968 to 1969 and was wounded in action but was able to continue to serve in active duty for seven more years before retiring in 1976.

Bill and his wife Joan with their four children returned to Cumberland and became active in the Catholic Church in Yarmouth serving as Eucharistic ministers. He served to the end with “pride and honor.”

Bill is survived by his wife of 65 years Joan Dorr Brown; son William Jr; daughters Theresa, Michelle, and Kathleen; 12 Grandchildren, 12 Great Grandchildren,1 Great Great Grandchild and sister Fran Hutchings and family.

There will be a Mass of Christian Burial celebrated at Sacred Heart Church, 326 Main St, Yarmouth on Tuesday June 22nd at 11:00am followed by a committal service and military honors at Holy Cross Cemetery on Smith St in Yarmouth. You may offer your condolences or share your fond memories at


  • Thomas Brown, Father (deceased)
  • Rose(Carter) Brown, Mother (deceased)
  • Joan Dorr Brown, Wife
  • William Owen Brown, Jr., Son
  • Theresa, Daughter
  • Michelle, Daughter
  • Kathleen, Daughter
  • William is also survived by 12 Grandchildren, 12 Great Grandchildren, and 1 Great Great Grandchild.


  • A Mass of Christian Burial

    Tuesday, June 22, 2021

  • Committal Service

    Tuesday, June 22, 2021


William Owen Brown

have a memory or condolence to add?

Elise Hodgetts

June 20, 2021

You could always make me smile or laugh, sometimes that can be hard to do! Because of you, when someone asks how I am, peachy-keen is almost always my answer. Thank you for always being kind-hearted, you never judged and were always willing to help. I will never forget the time you taught me to drive in the Greely high school parking lot, or the time we fixed the dryer and I thought you were stuck behind it. It’s little things like that, that still make me laugh. Thank you for all the love and laughter. Keep watch over all of us, we miss you so much!
Love you to the moon and back!

Paul Scruton

June 20, 2021

Had a special bond with Billy. Have known him for 70 years and served in the Army with him for three years. There are childhood memories that will never be forgotten. He was my best friend during that period of time and that never changed. He and Joan will always be an important part of my life. Love you M/ Sergeant William O Brown.

Maryella Rawnsley

June 20, 2021

Dear Joan and family.
Please know I’m thinking of you all at this sad time.
Memories of school days flood back.
May you all find peace as Gods love surrounds you.

Michelle Best

June 18, 2021

So proud of Dad’s service to The United States of “America”.
He fought for our Country, the Flag, and Freedom.
He risked his life and paid the price; hated by the Germans, ridiculed, spit on, on threatened. He held his head up high and continued to defend our Nation with pride, dignity, and purpose.
He was awarded the Purple Heart after being wounded during his tour of duty in Vietnam - on my Birthday. We prayed every night before bed and Our prayers were answered with his return in time for my next Birthday!! Sadly, He never received the Hero’s welcome he deserved. He always joked that he would always remember my Birthday which he did until the end when the long term effects of service consumed his body and mind.
I loved taking off is boots, rubbing his feet, listening to his jokes, and starching his uniform including his boxers. He always had his duffle bag packed and ready for immediate deployment. His missions were “Classified”, never allowed to tell us where he was going, or where he had been.
I am impressed to see all the awards and commendations he received.
Rest In Peace my John F Kennedy Special Services “Green Beret” Special Operations Group

Joel Best jr

June 17, 2021

Pa, I will always remember the BB guns, the Brook, the workshop, and the Basketball games on Greely rd.
The moose hunting trip, the parades, Aunt Fran and Uncle Don’s, Grampy’s lake, the canoe, and the celebrations at the Down-east restaurant.
The beard, the smile, the dancing, the teeth, the enormous heart, the belches, the knee slapping laughs that left us gasping for air (sounds like a tuba - we all do it).
The love, the support, encouragement, the patience, the lessons, the inspiration, the high fives and tight hugs.
The love you shared for Gram. The war hero, the father, the grandfather, the teacher. The legend, the leader, the protector.
I will never forget you or the tremendous impact you had on every one of us.
Thank you Pa.
-Joel Armstrong (Worst) Best jr

Sabrina Best

June 15, 2021

To the Abraham Lincoln look alike, Vietnam Veteran, crazy leg dancing, master snake handler, best storyteller, finger waving, most amazing Papa anyone could ask for! Give em Holy Hell up there and find your forever rocking chair 💙💙

Vanessa Brosseau

June 15, 2021

Pa thank you for teaching me how to fish and gut the fish, how to swim at camp, be independent, love with all my heart, assume that ALL grandpa’s had teeth they could remove and clack together, how to cook scrambled eggs in a cast iron skillet without milk or water, and that taco night is Saturday night, not Tuesday like nowadays. You taught me to work hard and to never give up. I will remember the long summer nights of chasing fire flies and putting them in big jars so they lit up the porch for us when we slept there. You were one of the best men I have ever known, and I will continue your legacy through my memories and sharing them with my kids.

Michelle Best

June 15, 2021

Dad *~* You will always be My Hero *~*
Thank you for the adventures we had ~ In Germany, Arizona, North Carolina, Maine, Ohio, New York, and the John F Kennedy Center in Massachusetts... And for so many happy memories not only for us kids, but for all the Grand children, and Great grand children: Grampie’s camp, fishing, hunting, sliding, Saturday night tacos, Christmas, and the Birthday parties *~*Oh what fun we have had *~* Love you forever *~*