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Samuel Houston Brown

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Samuel Houston BROWN September 14, 1918 ~ January 19, 2009 Samuel Houston Brown, of Lakewood, Washington, died unexpectedly, but peacefully, of natural causes at his residence on January 19, 2009. Sam was the third of Edith and Henry P. Brown II's children, who were raised in Chestnut Hill, Pennsylvania. He attended the Episcopal Academy of Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania (1939), where he majored with honors in English. After working briefly as a timber cruiser in Maine and for Bell Telephone in Philadelphia, Sam joined the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1943. That same year he married Nathalie Bell, of Winnetka, Illinois, the love of his life for 64 wonderful years. Sam served as a captain in the 365th Fighter Group, IX T.A.C., in Europe until 1945. Upon his return from the war, Sam and Nathalie moved to Longview, Washington, where he worked for the Weyerhaeuser Company in a variety of positions, and where the first two of their six children were born. Sam's promotion to Weyerhaeuser's Public Information Department brought them to Tacoma, Washington, in 1950. For the next several years he served as the company's director of public information, assistant secretary of shareholder relations, and vice-president of the Weyerhaeuser Company Foundation. In 1967, Sam formed his own investment company, Brown Investments, which he owned until he retired in 2000. During those busy years, as their family grew and flourished in their Lakewood home, Sam and Nathalie directed their considerable energies to active participation in a wide range of religious, artistic, philanthropic, social, and business institutions in Tacoma and Seattle. The couple were regarded as true pillars of their community, most notably as devout members of St. Mary's Episcopal parish and the Diocese of Olympia, and as co-founders and lifetime trustees of the Charles Wright Academy. Sam alone served on numerous other boards and community agencies, including Faith Home (Episcopal Services for Youth), Tacoma Symphony Orchestra, Tacoma Allied Arts, Tacoma Club, Goodwill Industries Inc., Annie Wright Seminary, Educational Clinics Inc., Puget Sound National Bank, Laird Norton Trust Company, Laird Norton Foundation, Medina Foundation, Crystal Mountain Inc., and Alpental Inc. He was active in many local environmental organizations and was a proud member of the Tribe of S.O.Y.P. and the G.Y.R.O Club of Tacoma, In 2002, Sam and Nathalie were awarded honorary Doctorates in Humane Services from the University of Puget Sound. Sam and Nathalie shared a joyous passion for song that is part of their rich legacy. On their many worldwide travels, Sam was never without his harmonica, and rare was the occasion that passed without them summoning forth an appropriate hymn or folk song. Sam's memory will be cherished for his gift for making friends with everyone he met, for his limitless generosity, and for his profound faith in God in the goodness of humanity. Sam was preceded in death by his wife, Nathalie. He is survived by his children: Laird (Corky) Brown; Edith Houston Chambers; Margaret (Greg) Berger; Samuel F. Brown (Beverly Crockett); Nathalie (Tom) Miller; Henry (Debbie) Brown; as well as 15 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. A memorial Eucharist will be held on Tuesday, February 10th, 3:30 p.m., at St. Mary's Episcopal Church, 10630 Gravelly Lake Drive SW, Lakewood. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorial gifts be made to the charity of your choice. Funeral arrangements by Tuell-McKee Funeral Home, Tacoma, (253) 272-1414. Please sign on-line guest book www.tuellmckee.com.
Published in The Seattle Times from Jan. 27 to Feb. 1, 2009
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