Robert Eugene (Bob) Brown, 85, of Swannanoa, died peacefully, surrounded by his family on Saturday, January 5, 2013.
Born May 15, 1927, he was the son of Sheriff Laurence Brown and Willa Clayton Brown of Black Mountain. In addition to his parents, he is predeceased by his twin brother, William T. "Bill" Brown. He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Betty Jane Ingle Brown, daughter Pam Brown, son Robert "Bert" Brown, Jr. (Mitzi), brother Charles "Jack" Brown (Carolyn), sister-in-law Joan Brown as well as several cousins, nieces, nephews and many friends.
As a young man Bob was an Eagle Scout, DeMolay and 32nd degree Mason of the Scottish Rite. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy
on his 18th birthday with his brother Bill, and served in Vieques, Puerto Rico. They were honorably discharged with rank of Seaman First Class and went to UT, Knoxville on the GI bill, earning their BA in Business Administration.
Bob went to work for the City of Asheville at the Burnette Reservoir and rose to the positions of Superintendent of Watersheds, Water Maintenance, and Water Production. After 36 years he retired from the city and served as Vice-Chairman of the Asheville-Buncombe Water Authority. He served for a time as an auxiliary officer and later as Chief Deputy of the Buncombe County Sheriff's Department.
Being a child of the great depression, he practiced Use it up, Wear it out, Make it do or Do without. To that end and through curiosity and perseverance he became adept as a carpenter, plumber, electrician, golfer, and mechanic. There was not much he could not fix. He was a colorful storyteller and a keeper of the oral history of his beloved North Fork. Bob was honored as a "First Century Superlative" by the Black Mountain Centennial Commission for his part in a series of historical surveys in and around the watershed. One of his fondest memories was the Rainbow Gap trip in '98 where, it is said, he out hiked a dozen younger men. A master fly fisherman and crack-shot, he was a proud member and President Emeritus of the Black Mountain Rod and Gun Club. He enjoyed many fishing trips to Canada, Alaska, Florida and the Outer Banks with his buddies Hussey, Billy Edd, Charlie and Pudd.
Bob was loved by all who knew him as a man who was slow to wrath, quick with mirth and ever-mindful of the needs of others. His community service included work with the Swannanoa Library, Swannanoa Valley Youth Football League and Swannanoa First Baptist Church where he was a faithful member. Over the years he worked as Chief Usher, Chairman of the Building and Grounds Committee, Deacon, Trustee and General Secretary.
Perhaps his hardest earned title was "14 year stroke survivor". Despite his physical limitations he always managed a smile and endured much pain with little complaint. The family wishes to thank the wonderful people of Care Partners, especially his faithful caregivers, Joy and Midge. Special thanks also to the fine folks at Mission Hospital Heart Center.
Free of suffering and with a new, perfected body, Bob is now walking in the woods with Bill and his Dad, who are trying hard to keep up.
A memorial celebration will be held at 11am Thursday, January 10, 2013 at First Baptist Church of Swannanoa. After the service the family will receive friends at the church. Burial will follow at 2pm at the State Veteran's Cemetery in Black Mountain. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in his memory to the church, Swannanoa Valley Christian Ministry or the Welcome Table of Swannanoa. Arrangements are in the care of Harwood's Home for Funerals.com