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Robert Allyn Brand

Obituary
  • "Thank you for your service to our country!"
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    - Emily Doyle

Robert Allyn Brand November 5, 1920 July 10, 2013 Robert Allyn Brand, 92, "Native Son" of Norwich, Conn., U.S. Diplomat, Reagan honoree and Pro- fessor of International Affairs at The Pennsylvania State University, died with family present in State College, July 10, 2013. He was proud of his Scottish, Irish and Welsh roots. He loved attending Saint David's Day luncheons, celebrating his Welsh heritage. The first Brands to arrive in America came in the 1620's from Dumfries, Scotland. He was descended from Prudence Crandall, a friend of Mark Twain, who founded in Cantebury, Conn., in the 1830's, the first school for African-American girls. Bob had a kind heart, a ready smile, and a flair for slyly acerbic wit (his familiar nickname was "wombat"), but he was always irresistibly engaging. And he made a difference in the world! He contributed substantially to the achievements of what is now widely acknowledged as America's "greatest generation." Born Nov. 5, 1920 (Guy Fawkes Day), in Norwich, Conn., he was the son of Allyn Morgan and Noni Winifred (King) Brand. Bob graduated from the Norwich Free Academy in 1937, and the University of Connecticut in 1941 with a Bachelors of Liberal Arts and Sciences in English Literature and a minor in French. At various stages of his career, he studied international affairs in graduate programs at Georgetown University, the National War College (now part of the National Defense University where he later served on the faculty as an International Affairs Advisor), and at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. Bob served as a Captain in the U.S. Army First Infantry Division, Sixteenth Regiment recognized as a Distinguished Member in 1985), during the North Africa and Sicily campaigns in which his passion for international affairs was kindled. In 1943, during army practice maneuvers in the US, he was wounded with a lifelong right eye injury. After WWII, Bob served for 40 years in the U.S. Foreign Service, culminating in appointment as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia Pacific Affairs in President Reagan's first term. During his long and varied career, he served in Rome, Munich, The Hague, Manila, Washington, Paris, and Lagos in a variety of consular and economic posts, and was Minister for Economic Affairs in the Paris and London embassies, and in his best-loved assignment, as Consul General in Melbourne, Australia for five years. He received the Medaille de Olivier de Serres in 1964 and the Medaille de la Chambre de Commerce de Paris in 1971. From 1978 to 1980, he was a State Department Representative and International Affairs Advisor to the Industrial College of the Armed Forces. In 1984, President Reagan recognized Bob with a Meritorious Service Award for 45 years of service to his country. His services led to official meetings with Margaret Thatcher, Dame Elisabeth Murdoch, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Mountbatten and to developing fluency in French, Italian, Dutch and German. In 1984, Bob came to Penn State as Diplomat-in-Residence to help start the first Australia-New Zealand Studies Center in the US (currently housed at Georgetown University in Washington, DC). After retirement from the State Department in 1985, Bob continued traveling internationally to the Atlantic Council and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) meetings to support peaceful diplomatic efforts of new political and military alliances. He became an honorary fellow of Penn State's Australian Studies Program for his contribution to Australian - American relations and was the Associate Director of the Center. Later he became a Professor of Political Science and International Affairs at the University and taught for more than a dozen years. In 1988, he was a Visiting Fellow in Political Science at Queen's College, University of Melbourne. He authored a number of publications mostly on Asia-Pacific matters, several with Penn State Professor Henry Albinski. Bob served as President of the English-Speaking Union's (ESU) Washington D.C. branch and as a member of its National Executive Committee and of its National Patrons. In State College he founded the Central Pennsylvania ESU branch and served on its Board. The ESU was founded after World War I to celebrate and promote the ideas and arts of English-speaking communities in many cultures around the world. Bob loved classical music. He was President and Emeritus Member of the Board of the Pennsylvania Centre Orchestra, and received its first Amadeus Society Award in 2008. He was inducted as a member of the Cosmos Club in Washington, D.C. in 1973. He was honored as the 1979 Norwich Native Son, given the key to the City, and named an honorary lifetime member of the Norwich Chamber of Commerce. He was a member of the Slater Museum and contributed a variety of historical material related to the life and times of his great-grandfather, Christopher Crandall Brand, the 19th century Norwich, Conn. whaling gun manufacturer and City Council member, who was a cousin of Prudence Crandall. He served on the National Board of the Association to Unite Democracies, and was a member of the Institut Atlantique des Affaires Internationales in Paris, the Atlantic Council of the U.S., the Australian-American Educational Foundation in Canberra, and the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London. He was also a founding member of the Pacific Institute, headquartered in Melbourne, Australia. As a member of the Baltic American Freedom League, he was a tireless advocate for restoring independence to the Baltic Countries and reintegrating them into Western Europe and the Atlantic community. Bob was predeceased by his wife of 45 years, Josephine Moulden, and is survived by his second wife, Karen Blair (united in marriage by former State College Mayor Bill Welch in his living room on Washington's Birthday); his sister, Carol B. Connor, of Norwich, Conn.; his children, Nicholas Moulden Brand (Carole Steinheimer, of Chevy Chase, Md., Susan Brand Belding (David Belding), of Geneva, N.Y., and Allyn Morgan Brand (Marianne Rosica), of Penn Yan, N.Y.; eight grandchildren, Juliana Belding (Leanne Rifenburg), Andrea Belding, Jonathan Brand (Elizabeth Berler), David Brand, Elyssa Belding Krivicich (Michael Krivicich), Ellen Brand, Francesca Brand, and Alana Brand; and one great-granddaughter, Ellis Belding Rifenburg. A memorial service will be held in State College August 10, 2013, at 2 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Centre County, 780 Waupelani Drive Extension, State College, PA 16801. In lieu of flowers, contributions in Bob's memory may be sent to the Pennsylvania Centre Orchestra, 119 South Fraser Street, Suite D, State College, PA 16801, or to the .

Published in Centre Daily Times on Aug. 2, 2013
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