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Thomas Brownlee

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Thomas Brownlee Notice
Brownlee, Thomas Thomas Marshall Brownlee, 87, Founder, and Chairman of Brownlee Lighting, longtime resident of Orlando and Winter Park, Florida, died August 7, 2014. "Pops" (affectionately named by his grandchildren) is remembered and much loved by his family and friends. His sense of humor, love of family, positive and can-do "never met a stranger" attitude made him a personality always remembered! Tom was one of four children born to John T. and Reed M. Brownlee of Omaha, NE. At 18, he joined and served in the U.S. Navy, SK3C (1944-1946). He graduated from the University of Nebraska in 1950 where he was a member of Phi Delta Theta Fraternity. He then served in the U.S. Army, First Lieutenant (1951-1952) and began a 25 year career in Chamber of Commerce management (Daytona Beach, Tampa, Tallahassee, Columbia, Winston-Salem, and Orlando). In 1977, he was invited to the White House as a past president of the American Chamber of Commerce Executives to learn firsthand of the national energy crisis. In the following seven weeks, he wrote 2,500 chambers of commerce and organized Orlando's first area Metropolitan Energy Conservation Task Force. After reporting back to the White House, President Ford shook his hand and said with a smile "Mr. Brownlee, you should be in the energy conservation business yourself." Tom agreed, and in 1977 he left his position as Executive VP of the Orlando Area Chamber of Commerce to form a total energy management company, which later became Brownlee Lighting. He was elected Orlando City Commissioner from 1978-1982, served as Orlando Mayor Pro-tem and also served at all levels with the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America, eventually becoming its president (1995-1996). Tom worked with numerous organizations and served as President of: BBB of Central FL, Christian Service Center Daily Bread Program and Central FL Tiger Bay Club. He also served as board members of Loch Haven Art Museum, Central Florida Fair, Citrus Bowl, Florida Hospital, YMCA, University and Rotary Clubs. Tom had a passion for all things Scottish. He was a member of the Clan Hamilton and had done extensive research into his ancestry. This led to involvement with several organizations: The Scottish-American Society Saint Andrews Society of Central Florida and a Knighted Member, The Sovereign Military Order of Jerusalem, Priory of St. Andrews, Nashville, TN. He and his beloved wife, Lenora, spent time traveling the world. He was an avid tennis player into his 80'S as a member of the Country Club of Orlando. He was a long time member of All Saints Episcopal Church. As a water enthusiast his boating adventures are legendary. He also loved the Florida beaches and the Colorado Rockies. He is survived by his second wife, married 20 years, Lenora Hollingsworth Brownlee, of Winter Park. He is also survived by daughter Linda (Gary) Doyle of Wilmington NC; sons Thomas (Suzie) of Clermont FL and Curtis (Anne) of Orlando FL from his first marriage. He leaves 7 grandchildren Kristin (John) Roser of Wilmington NC, Jared Doyle, Nathan (Chloe) Doyle all of Melbourne FL, Paul Brownlee of Berlin Germany, Betsy Brownlee of Raleigh NC, Chapman Brownlee and Connor Brownlee both of Orlando FL and 2 great grandchildren Jaxson Doyle and Madison Roser. He was predeceased by a daughter, Reed Ann Brownlee. He also leaves a step-daughter Sabrina (Dale) Williams, of Kiawah Island SC, Sabrina's children, Lindsey (Ethan) Drath, of Washington DC, Whitney (Charles) Cole, of Charleston SC and Cameron Williams, of New York City and grandchildren Elizabeth, Sawyer and Sabrina Drath and Matilda Cole. Tom was also predeceased by a step-son, Andrew L. Young. The funeral and reception will be held August 20, 2014, at 10 a.m. at All Saints Episcopal Church, 338 E Lyman Avenue, Winter Park FL. The family requests In lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Salvation Army-Orl. Carey Hand Cox-Parker, Winter Park will be handling funeral arrangements.


Published in the Orlando Sentinel from Aug. 15 to Aug. 17, 2014
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