R.f. Brown, Penn Alum And Cpa

Posted: February 26, 1989

Robert F. Brown, 85, who had a lifelong involvement with his alma mater, the University of Pennsylvania, died Thursday at Cathedral Village in Roxborough. He had lived in Penn Valley for 28 years before moving to the retirement community.

"Penn gave him a good education that stood by him all his life," said Mr. Brown's wife of 55 years, Mildred Pierson Brown. "So he was always loyal to it." For many years, Mr. Brown served as the university's assistant treasurer and was a regular at Quaker football games.

Mr. Brown, a 1921 graduate of Northeast High School, was the first recipient of the Morrison Scholarship to Penn, awarded by the high school. He graduated from the Wharton School in 1925 and that year began a career as an accountant.

"He was a CPA by all accounting, through and through," said Mildred Brown, a 1929 graduate of Penn. "He was at that desk all the time. But he enjoyed it, he really did. He liked working. He didn't want to stand with his hands folded."

Mr. Brown worked for Lybrand, Ross Brothers & Co. and spent most of his career at the Bird Coal Co., where he was treasurer. In 1962 he became owner and publisher of Eastern Banker, a trade magazine distributed to East Coast banks north of Maryland. He sold the magazine in 1978.

From 1929 until his death, he was secretary-treasurer of the H. Harrison Smith Charitable Foundation. Throughout his professional life, he maintained his own counsulting practice.

Besides his dedication to Penn and to his profession, Mildred Brown said friends would remember Mr. Brown for his good humor. His family, she said, will remember him for his desire to help. "He liked to have his family around and to help them if they needed it," she said.

Mr. Brown was a past president of the Northeast High School Alumni Association, the alumni group for the Class of 1925 at Penn, the Philadelphia chapter of the National Office Management Association, the Penn Valley Residence Association and the Bala Cynwyd Civic Association. He was a member of the Sons of the American Revolution. He was also a Mason, a Shriner and a member of the All Saints Church in Wynnewood.

In addition to his wife, Mr. Brown is survived by a son, Robert F. Jr.; a daughter, Carol A., and four grandchildren.

A memorial service is planned for 2:30 p.m. Tuesday at St. Mary's at the Cathedral, Ridge Avenue and Cathedral Road, Roxborough. Interment will be private.

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