RICHARD "GRIZZLY" BROWN 04/04/1960 - 01/02/2002 Known for his massive stature, as well as the size of his heart, Richard "Grizzly" Brown, also recognized by his Muslim name, Saad Muhammad, of Berkeley left this life January 2, 2002. He was 41 years old. Born to Carolynn and Eugene Brown on April 4, 1960 he was raised in Berkeley and attended Berkeley and Albany schools. Upon leaving high school he pursued a career as a weight lifter and strongman. For two consecutive years,1985, and 1986, he competed in the Worlds Strongest Man Contest as a representative of the United States. He held a place in the Guinness World Book of Records for the largest biceps, over 25 inches (cold, not pumped). After retiring from the sport of strongman in 1987, he secured a position with the Berkeley Unified School District as a campus monitor and later a school safety officer where he served as a mentor, counselor and father figure to hundreds of students first at Berkeley High School in 1987. In 1989 he transferred to Willard Middle School, where he served students and the school community for eleven years. In 1991, he began his study of Islam and later converted. In 1994, he met his wife, Jennifer, at Willard Middle School where they were both employed; in 1997 they joined in marriage at the "Wedding Court" at Willard Middle School. He was the proud father of three young sons, Timothy, 10, Donnell, 6, and Aadam, 3. Preceeded by his father in death, he is survived by his wife, Jennifer, three sons, Timothy, Donnell and Aadam, his mother Carolynn Bell-Brown, his grandparents Eli and Mattie Bell (all of Berkeley), two half brothers, Eugene and Brandon, as well numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, friends and colleagues. A celebration of his life will be held Saturday, January 12, 2002, 11:00AM at Willard Middle School, 2425 Stuart Street, Berkeley, CA. In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to the family home for his boys education fund: The Vital-Browns account #74219430.
Published in Inside Bay Area on January 7, 2002