Stonington - Peter Megargee Brown died a good death of natural causes at home in his sleep on Thursday, Sept. 25, 2014, with his wife of 40 years at his side. He was 92.
Peter was born in Shaker Heights, Ohio, on March 15, 1922. He is the son of Miriam (Megargee) Brown and George Estabrook Brown.
He was married to Alexandra Stoddard on May 18, 1974, at St. James Episcopal Church in New York City, by their mutual mentor and dear friend, John Bowen Coburn.
Peter headed the litigation and ethics departments at Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft in New York City until 1982, where he had worked for more than three decades. He was assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York from 1953 to 1956, special assistant to the Attorney General of New York State and assistant counsel to the New York State Crime Commission under John Marshall Harlan from 1951 to 1953. He was an orientation specialist and journalist in the U.S. Army from 1943 to 1946.
Peter is the author of "The Art of Questioning," published by Macmillan and later reprinted as a classic legal text by the Lawbook Exchange LTD, "Flights of Memory: Days Before Yesterday," published by Benchmark Press, "Rascals: The Selling of the Legal Profession," published by Benchmark Press, "One World At a Time: Tales of Murder, Joy and Love," published by Benchmark Press, "Village: Where to Live, How to Live," published by Benchmark Press, "Guide Select Gastronomique," published by Benchmark Press, "Figure it Out: A Book of Wisdom," published by The Lawbook Exchange, LTD. The Peter Megargee Brown papers, comprising of his principle lawsuits over 50 years of practice in the U.S. Supreme Court and appelate courts are available for the use of students and scholars and can be found in the "Manuscript and Archives" section of the Yale University Library in New Haven.
Peter was president of the Episcopal Church Foundation, president and trustee of the Riot Relief Fund for 50 years, chairman of the Design and Arts Society, warden and vestryman at the Church of the Heavenly Rest in New York City, where his father served in the same capacity, a member of the Board of Regents of the Cathedral of St. John The Divine, a knight of the American Society of The Order of St. John.
Peter earned his education at the Browning School in New York City, St. Andrews School in Middletown, Del., Yale University and Yale University Law School. He is the recipient of the Yale Class of 1944 Distinguished Service Award, the Chairman's Award of the Yale Alumni Fund, the Headmaster's Award to Alumnus of St. Andrew's School for Public Service, and the public service award from the Federal Bar Association of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut.
After a life of accomplishment and study, Peter, who loved to read, took up painting seascapes when failing eyesight made it too difficult to read. He lived by the words of the Sanskrit: "participate with joy in the sorrows of the world." He also counseled Ralph Waldo Emerson's teaching that we are all "still learning." The joys for which he is eternally grateful are his family, especially his wife Alexandra. In his words, she brought him "flowers to winter days; pure water to a desert place; cheer and happiness in the morning sunlight." In addition, his classmates from Yale's Class of 1944 are among his best friends.
Peter is survived by his wife, his sister, Barbara Stetson, and four children, Peter Megargee Brown Jr., Blair Tillyer Brown Hoyt, Andree de Rapalyee Brown, and Nathaniel Holmes Brown. He is also survived by four stepchildren, Alexandra Brandon Stoddard, Brooke Goodwin Stoddard, Leslie Davis Kohl, and Wallace McRae Davis; five grandchildren; and four step grandchildren.
Peter's wife and children want to express their deepest gratitude and appreciation to the Center for Hospice Care of Southeast Connecticut. If you choose to send a donation to them in Peter's honor, the address is 222 Dunham St., Norwich, CT 06360.
Published in The Day on Sep. 27, 2014.