As deputy chief, Mr. Brown hosted an annual fire-prevention luncheon with community leaders and business owners throughout the Main Line.
"Al was conscientious and gave a lot to two fire departments," Philadelphia Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers said. While the two men served in the Philadelphia Fire Department at the same time for several years, Ayers said, he got to know Mr. Brown as deputy chief in Lower Merion when he shared information and fire-prevention initiatives with the Philadelphia Fire Department.
Mr. Brown grew up in Southwest Philadelphia and graduated from West Philadelphia Catholic High School for Boys. His father, was a Philadelphia firefighter who died after a heart attack on the job in 1954. Mr. Brown joined the Fire Department two years later at age 19. Mr. Brown spent most of his early career in West Philadelphia. He was promoted to lieutenant in 1964, to captain in 1968, and to battalion chief in 1973.
Stephen Brown said he and his father would often attend retiree luncheons at firehouses where his father served. "The stories the retirees shared were never about that big fire, but rather the jokes and the many pranks they pulled on each other," his son said. "My dad explained to me that back in his day, this was their posttraumatic stress debriefing, long before there was ever a term for it."
In 1957, Mr. Brown married Elizabeth Davis Brown. They raised six children in Southwest Philadelphia before moving to Collegeville in 1994.His life was about his faith, family, and firefighting. He would say he had 12 children because he included his sons-in-law and daughters-in-law, his son said.
In addition to his wife and son, Mr. Brown is survived by sons Albert and Michael; daughters Kathleen, Marybeth, and Susan; a brother; a sister; and 15 grandchildren.
Friends may call from 5 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 18, and from 9 a.m., followed by a Funeral Mass at 10, Wednesday, Sept. 19, at St. Eleanor Church, 647 Locust St., Collegeville. Burial will be in SS. Peter and Paul Cemetery, Marple Township.
Donations may be made to Camilla Hall, Immaculata, Pa. 19345.
Contact Sally A. Downey at 215-854-2913 or firstname.lastname@example.org.