CHARLES L. BROWN, 92, died peacefully on January 28 at the Holy Family Hospice surrounded by his loving family. He was the husband of the late Mary Jean (nee Wirscham) Brown to whom he had been married for nearly 57 years. Charlie was a long-time resident of Cleveland Heights and Shaker Heights.
"Charlie" Brown, as he was popularly known, was the son of H. Leland and Pauline Newell Brown of Wilmington, Delaware. There, he attended Archmere Prep School followed by the University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School of Business, through the Navy ROTC program. The next few years he tried to find his passion which landed him in law school for one year, and some time spent acting in Summer Stock in and around New York City finally landing a small role on Broadway in "Diamond Lil" with Mae West. This started a life-long love of the theater and musicals, although it did not pay the bills. So, he rejoined the Navy, attained the rank of Lieutenant J.G. and travelled on the destroyer 'USS John W. Weeks' to Cuba and other ports of call. While stationed in Norfolk, Virginia, during the summer of 1953, he met a charming and playful Navy nurse (she outranked him) on a blind date who shot him with a squirt gun, and, obviously smitten, they married on his birthday in December of 1953.
After leaving the Navy, Charlie briefly worked at an advertising agency where his talents at sketching ads and creating witty slogans took hold. But, in the end, Charlie was a numbers person and worked a succession of jobs as an accountant, CPA, and financial planner. He worked for some large companies such as Pittsburgh Plate Glass, Xerox, and Ernst & Ernst, before launching his own CPA firm in the late 1970s.
Charlie wasn't afraid to try a wide range of interests and undertakings such as multiple home improvement projects, singing with friends any time someone with a piano was playing the old tunes, packing up the station wagon with five children to drive to the Jersey or Delaware shores for a vacation, and even buying a sailboat for adventures off the shores of Lake Erie. In fact, even though the maiden voyage of the sailboat resulted in the boat capsizing, Charlie never stopped loving the water, the waves and being on the beach.
Charlie is survived by his five children, Bernadette L. Sabra (Steven) of Somerset, Massachusetts, Christopher Brown (Valerie) of Portsmouth, Virginia, Jennifer E. Brown (Judi Shemkovitz) of Cleveland, Ohio, Rebecca M. Minnillo (John) of Shaker Heights, Ohio, and Thaddeus M. Brown of Strongsville, Ohio. He is also survived by his younger brother, Thomas E. Brown (Mary Ellen) of Indianapolis, Indiana; five granddaughters, Alexandra S. O'Connell (Sean) of Hingham, Massachusetts, Catherine E. Robinson (Emil) of Cincinnati, Ohio, Stephanie L. Sabra of Buenos Aires, Argentina, Christina E. Sabra of Brooklyn, New York, and Julianna N. Sabra of Astoria, New York; and two great-grandchildren, Liam Charles O'Connell and Adelaide Elizabeth O'Connell of Hingham, Massachusetts, and many nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate contributions in memory of Charlie to Holy Family Hospice, 6707 State Rd., Cleveland, Ohio 44134, in recognition of their exceptional care of him during his last days. Private family services. Interment Lake View Cemetery.