William A. "Bill" Browne
1916-2013 SHEFFIELD On November 15, 2013 Bill quietly cast off and sailed on the morning tide to be with his beloved Penny. After a very brief period of declining health, he was able to choose the time, place and manner of his leave taking. Surrounded by family and surveying the 'pond' from the home he built, it was a peaceful end to a full life. Born in 1916 in New York City to Susan and William Browne, Bill's adventures began early as a boy drawn to the waters surrounding Manhattan. This affinity was lifelong from canoeing up the Hudson River with his childhood friend Dan to the purchase of his last sailboat at the age of 82. Bill's greatest and everlasting passion however began when he was smitten as a teenager by the girl one block away. Pauline 'Penny' Pendleton was 'it' from that day forward. Married in 1940, theirs was a rich and eternal love story that was the envy of all who knew them. Bill served in the Navy during World War II
and returned to Long Island to raise his family in Long Beach and Huntington and to continue his lifelong career as the 'go to' man at Atlantic Mutual Insurance's New York office. Nearing retirement, Bill and Penny purchased property in Sheffield and began building their home by themselves on weekend forays from Long Island. Upon becoming a permanent resident, Bill became an enthusiastic hands-on participant in all things Sheffield, most notably with Sheffield Historical Society and Old Parish Church. He also took great pride in helping to rebuild the Covered Bridge. Bill and Penny roamed the world after retirement and always took 'the road less travelled'. Their methods of conveyance, from icebreakers up the coast of Norway to containerships across the Pacific, were far from pedestrian and always memorable. Wherever in the world he was Bill always told everyone that Sheffield, Mass was the absolute best place to live. It is only fitting that he chose to spend his last days in the adopted hometown he loved so much. He is survived by son Jeffrey (Janice) Browne of Sheffield, MA; daughter Wendy (Calvert) Fisher of Seven Lakes, NC; his daughter-in-law Connie Browne of West Hartford, Conn.; granddaughter Jennifer (Steven) Urbanski of Suffield, CT; great grandchildren Sara, Michael, John, Denisa, Stacey, Mia and Liz Urbanski of Suffield, CT; nephew Donald (Dolores) Walter of Weeki Wachee, FL; niece Lynn (Roger) Martinsen of Huntington, NY; step grandsons Ray Lovell of Acworth, GA; James Albertson of Dallas, GA and Daniel Lovell of Williamstown, MA; step great-grandsons Donovan (Ashley) Cox of Wiesbaden, Germany and Noah Scroggs of Dallas, GA. He was predeceased by wife Penny, son Terrence and sister Elizabeth. FUNERAL NOTICE: A service celebrating the life of the late William "Bill" Browne will be held on Wednesday, November 20, 2013 at 11 a.m. at the First Congregational Church (Old Parish Church) on Main Street in Sheffield, conducted by Rev. Jill Graham. Burial will follow at Sheffield Center Cemetery with a reception to follow at Dewey Hall. The family will receive friends on Tuesday, November 19, 2013 from 4-7p.m. at FINNERTY & STEVENS FUNERAL HOME in Great Barrington. Donations in Bill's memory may be made to Old Parish Church or HospiceCare in the Bekrshire through FINNERTY & STEVENS FUNERAL HOME, 426 Main Street, Great Barrington, MA 01230. Remembrances may be sent to the family through www.finnertyandstevens.com
Special thanks to the wonderful community of Suffield-by-the River, HospiceCare of the Berkshires Co. and notably Sarah McCarley for her tender care of Bill and family during his last days at home.