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Robert Reginald "Bob" Brown


1923 - 2010
Robert Reginald "Bob" Brown Obituary
Prof. Robert R. (Bob) Brown, 87, died on Sunday, May 23, 2010 at Island Hospital, surrounded by his loving children.

Born April 4, 1923, in Alameda, CA, Bob was the son of Reginald Mortimer Brown and Johanna Marie Smith Brown. Bob attended the University of California, Berkeley, earning his B.A. degree in 1944 and his Ph.D. degree in 1952, both in physics. Between his two degrees, from 1944 to 1946, Bob served as a Japanese translator in the U.S. Naval Reserve.

A researcher of the upper atmosphere and geomagnetosphere, Bob joined the Physics Department at U. C. Berkeley in 1957. During the 1963/64 academic year, he was on sabbatical at the Kiruna Geofysiska Institut in Kiruna, Sweden. Later on at Berkeley he served as interim dean of the Graduate School. In the early 1980s Bob and his second wife Mary Lou Norrie Brown, also a professor at U.C. Berkeley, retired and moved to Guemes Island in Anacortes, WA.

Bob enjoyed a life-long interest in amateur radio and propagation. Bob (known by the call letters NM7M) worked mainly on the top band of 160 meters. His ham-radio friends were saddened to learn that he had become a "silent key." Another interest, which he pursued along with his son Bruce, was building and playing early keyboard instruments. Bob and his wife Mary Lou also enjoyed listening to classical music, and in his later years he became a lifetime member of the Society for Eighteenth-Century Music.

Bob is survived by three children from his first marriage and their families: Janet Brown Becker, her husband (Alfred) Ralph Becker and their two children Charlotte and (Alfred) Jacob Becker of Long Beach, CA; Bruce Alan Brown and his husband Scott Bowdan of West Hollywood, CA; and Jennifer Brown Modestou, her husband Modestos Andrea Modestou and their two children Monica C. and Alexander V. Modestou of North Liberty, IA.

Bob was preceded in death by his loving wife Mary Lou and their two precious dogs, Fred and Sadie.

Memorial services were held at Fidalgo Care Center and at Randy's Pier 61 Restaurant on May 26, 2010. Private burial services will be held at a later date.

Arrangements are in the care of Evans Funeral Chapel & Crematory, Inc., Anacortes, WA and the San Juan Islands. Online condolences may be sent to the family through the Web site of Evans Funeral Chapel, at www.evanschapel.com.
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