March 6th, 2009
ROBERT EARL BROWN
Robert Earl Brown was born on August 17, 1931 in Bellefonte, PA, the son of Edward Clarence and Mary Hilda (Bathurst) Brown. He graduated from Bellefonte High School with the Class of 1950. He worked briefly for Claster’s Lumber Company before entering the United States Airforce. He served 4 years as an Airborne Radio Operator and was stationed in Japan and Korea. Part of their duties included dropping paratroopers as well as supplies in the field, retrieving the wounded and those who died in the conflict taking them back to Japan. Bob was honorably discharged on October 4, 1954 and returned to work at Claster’s Lumber Company. In 1955, he was transferred to the Milton location as an assistant manage. That year, he and his family moved to Watsontown. Robert married Joy Cole on December 19, 1953 at the Methodist Church in Bellefonte. They had four children: Roberta Joy, born November 13, 1954; Chris Alan, born July 16, 1955; Robert Earl, II, born February 2, 1963; and Curt Lee, born September 28, 1966. Curt is presently Chief of Police for Point Township, Northumberland County. In 1961, the Browns purchased the Prowant Grocery Store on East Eighth Street and ran the business there for 13 years closing the store in 1974. Bob retired on February 1, 1995 after working for Claster’s 45 years. Robert was elected mayor of Watsontown on November 5, 1985 and was sworn on January 6, 1986. He served the longest tenure as chief executive of Watsontown for 23 1/2 years. Robert was a member of the Republican party and had served on borough council for 5 years proceeding his election as mayor.
Robert was a life member of the West Branch Fire Department, now known at the Warrior Run Joint Fire Company and served in every capacity accept chief or financial secretary during his 50 years of affiliation with the fire department. Robert was also a life member of the VFW Post 1600, Bellefonte, PA; the Clyde F. Mowrer American Legion Post #323, Watsontown; and the Logan Fire Company, Bellefonte. Robert was very active with the Watsontown Lions Club and served as president in 1989. Robert was also a member of the Masonic Lodge #401, Watsontown, the Warrior Run Royal Arch Chapter, and the Williamsport Consistory. Robert served as an Elder in the Presbyterian Church, Watsontown.
[Interviewed via Telephone by J.D. Robison, Jr., August 29, 2007; The Milton Standard, April 10, 2009, pg 4.]
Last Modified: 05.05.2009