NORMAN L. BROWN

BROWN NORMAN LOUIS BROWN 1923~2015 Norman Louis Brown was born and raised in Atlantic City, NJ, and lived in Washington DC from 1957 on. He attended M.I.T. for two years before volunteering for the Army in 1943. He was stationed at Los Alamos, NM, where his job was to purify plutonium for the Nagasaki bomb. After the war, he returned to M.I.T., and then earned a PhD from Brown University. Norman's experience in the Army shaped so many of his later choices in life. He was proud at the time of his contribution to ending the war, but when he realized and understood the devastating death and destruction caused by the bombs, he became a peace activist. With his wife Janet Welsh Brown he participated in the March on Washington in 1963. They took their three children to protests against nuclear weapons and the War on Vietnam, from the earliest demonstrations organized by Women Strike for Peace. He continued to protest wars and injustice throughout his life. Norman worked at G.E. in NY, then at the National Bureau of Standards in Washington, DC, but with his marriage in 1957 and the birth of his first child, he shifted his career path, and in all of his subsequent jobs he applied his scientific training to the solution of human problems, at first addressing hunger, and later in the development and application of small scale and renewable energy technologies in developing countries. He worked at the Bureau of Commercial Fisheries, the National Academy of Sciences, the Department of Energy, and the Agency for International Development. After retirement from the govern- ment, he worked as a consultant for AID,the World Bank, the Food and Agriculture Organization, and other international organizations. His work took him to Sub-Saharan Africa and North Africa, the Middle East, South and Southeast Asia, and Latin America. Norman served on the founding board of the Shakespeare Festival, a free, professional-quality theater that held performances at the amphitheater on the Washington Monument grounds during the 1960s and '70s, and he designed, built and ran the theater's sound system in its second season. He served also on the board of Neighbors, Inc, which supported the racial integration of Washington's Shepherd Park neighborhood, where the family lived. Norman was a self-taught cabinet maker, plumber, carpenter, electrician and musician. He taught himself to play the recorder, and played music with friends in what he called the Lower Iris Street Chamber Music Society. Norman served on the founding board of the Selma Levine School of Music. He built two beautiful walnut bureaus which are still in use 57 years later. With family and friends, he built a second home in the woods in Pennsylvania, guided by a carpenter neighbor with whom he later went into business as a sheep farmer. He built his first computer from a "HeathKit" in the early 1980s, and encouraged his colleagues and friends to join the computer age. He encouraged his children to undertake ambitious science projects, including a garbage-fueled home methane generator. He was always willing to advise and help neighbors and friends with repairs and other projects. Norman is survived by his wife of 58 years, Janet Welsh Brown, and three children and their families: Leah Brown of Washington, Mira Brown of Boston and Ian Brown of Seattle. He is survived also by an extended and loving family. Norman died peacefully at home, early on November 7, 2015. There will be a memorial celebration in Washington on the evening of December 12. Please contact the family for details. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to: Levine School of Music (2801 Upton St NW, Washington DC 20008 www.levinemusic.org); Planned Parenthood (1100 Vermont Ave. NW, Washington DC 20005, www.plannedparenthood.org); and Veterans For Peace (1404 North Broadway, St. Louis MO 63102 www.veteransforpeace.org).In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to: Levine School of Music (2801 Upton St NW, Washington DC 20008 www.levinemusic.org); Planned Parenthood (1100 Vermont Ave. NW, Washington DC 20005, www.plannedparenthood.org); and Veterans For Peace (1404 North Broadway, St. Louis MO 63102 www.veteransforpeace.org).

Published by The Washington Post on Nov. 21, 2015.
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8 Entries
The Memorial Party at the Levine School this evening was a wonderful tribute to many of Norman's contributions to our world.
Michael Davie
December 12, 2015
To the Brown family, our deepest condolences.
Mary Normandia Seth Ausubel
December 12, 2015
My heartfelt sympathy is extended to the Brown Family with the lost of their love one. May God keep wonderful memories flowing for your comfort. Sincerely, Mary Sinclair Jacobs and Family
December 6, 2015
Janet,

I was sad to learn that Norman left us all. I know his last days were not easy for him or for you. While it may be a blessing that he died before he suffered more, that doesn't always make the hole left in your life any easier. I want you to know that I enjoyed all of my times with him, from the first time I met him when he did a presentation...with you...on his time working on the Manhattan Project, to your last visit, recently, at the Back to School Party at my house. He will be missed by all of us. Having lost a husband I know of all of the mixed feelings and burdens in dealing with life alone and estate matters. Please call on me if I can be of andy help! Carol Galaty
Carol Galaty
November 29, 2015
Janet, Although we met briefly at Rae's birthday party, I want you to know that I am saddened to learn of Norman's death. I know of his character and of the contributions he made to the lives of family , friends and community and for that his presence will continue to be felt.
I know that Norman and you have stood in ooncert with me for those causes in which we all believed, for peace and justice. My world is always diminished when a "comrade" dies.
Peace,
Mary Ann

In peace
Mary Ann Zeppetello
November 23, 2015
Norman was a strong influence and role model for me as I grew up. I carry that forward as I try to live up to the standard of decency, intelligent thinking, and robust humanity that he set.
Stacy Surla
November 21, 2015
It was a great privilege for me to have met Norm, and I will cherish my memories of him.
Helene Scher
November 21, 2015

Be comforted in knowing that God is with you during this difficult time and
that there are friends that also share your sorrow with you. I find Psalm
121 to be very comforting during these times.
Dee
November 21, 2015
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