Candler, NC - Daniel Westfall Brown died at his home in the Pisgah Valley Retirement Community in the early morning hours of
Thursday, July 5, 2018 after an illness. He was 92 years old. Born in Valley Stream, New York on February 2, 1926, he was the son of Richard Harter Brown and Anna Bergler Brown, and the nephew of Anna’s sister Henrietta Bergler who resided with the family.
Mr. Brown is survived by his wife, the former Arvilla F. Jacobson, whom he married on September 26, 1953 in River Falls, Wisconsin. He is also survived by his children Annette of Asheville, NC, Christine of Greenport, NY, Lois Finelli (Anthony) of Asheville, NC, Daniel Jr. of Tucson, AZ, and Martin (Larissa) of Portland, OR, as well as grandchildren Julian Finelli, Marissa Finelli, and Sebastian Brown. He is survived by his brother Richard H. Brown (Gail Malloy) of Rockville Centre, NY, and sisters-in-law Jean Brown of New Castle, NH and Marion Sather of Bennington, NE, and by many nieces and nephews. His brothers George M. Brown and Robert F. Brown, as well as sisters-in-law Joan Brown and Joan Voss, preceded him in death.
Mr. Brown grew up in Valley Stream, NY and was a graduate of Valley Stream Central High School where he went out for wrestling, and of Cornell University where he studied chemical engineering. He lived and raised his family in Bethesda, Maryland. He had a long career as a polymer chemist with the National Bureau of Standards (now the National Institute of Standards and Technology) in Gaithersburg, MD. He retired in 1986 and refused to waste his time in the years that followed!
Our Dad was a scientist and an unlikely father figure. He might have preferred to live in silence so that he could study his beloved physics and read about doomed seafaring explorers, but with five children and their pets it was not to be. At times he was oblivious to social niceties, for example he was famous for hanging up without saying goodbye when he decided a phone conversation had reached its end, and he tended to state facts without cushioning their blows. Despite this, he was an involved parent, always making an effort to play fair, and was generous with homework help and with time for our activities when we were young, including stints as Indian Guide and Cub Scout troop leader.
Dad had grown up competing with his three brothers who also loved food, sports, and sailing. For a small man he could eat a profound quantity. But he made up for the eating by regularly walking and performing calisthenics. He had spent childhood summers in Jamesport, LI, where he shared a sailboat called Explorer with his brothers. He returned to Jamesport yearly and continued swimming and sailing in the Peconic Bay until a few years ago.
After his retirement our Dad and Mom travelled to Europe and took many long car trips all over the US, sometimes to visit family, but often to see historic spots or to places with giant rocks and huge vistas. We got postcards from everywhere they went. They moved to Candler, NC in 2013 where Dad continued to drive great distances, eat heartily, exercise regularly, read widely, compute archaically using MS-DOS, and donate time and money generously.
We were, none of us, ready for him to go, and he still had much he wanted to do.
Dad attended the Church of the Redeemer on Riverside Drive in Woodfin, NC. No funeral service will be held, but a memorial service is being planned for a later date. Memorial contributions may be made to Manna Food Bank of Asheville, NC or to the donor’s choice. The family thanks Care Partners Hospice and Mountain Home Care, whose staff tended our Dad so gently in his final weeks.