Donald R. Brown of Portsmouth, Rhode Island, passed away peacefully in the presence of family at the age of 89 on January 20, 2024 in Newport Rhode Island. Born on July 21, 1934 in Watertown Massachusetts, he was a man of great integrity whose life was defined by his dedication to his family, his love for gardening, and his service to his country.
His devotion to his wife, Joanne (King), was evident in their 66 years of marriage, a testament to their enduring love and partnership. Together, they raised a family of five children: Kimberley, Jeffrey, Cynthia, Gretchyn, and Jonathyn, who in turn blessed them with six grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. In addition to his wife and children, Donald is survived by his sisters Judith Danzey and Sandra Papasedero, along with several generations of nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his parents, Frederick and Dorothea (Butcher), his infant brother Frederick Jr., and his sisters Marilyn Anderson and Beverly Plummer.
After graduating from Arlington High School in 1952, Donald joined the US Navy and proudly served during the Korean War. After moving with his young family several times early in his career, he eventually settled in Dunstable Massachusetts in 1974, where, in addition to his job in the burgeoning field of electronics, he enjoyed the role of gentleman farmer. In 2001, he made his final move to his waterfront home in Portsmouth Rhode Island.
Over the years, Donald and Joanne enjoyed many memorable vacations together. They toured the Louvre in Paris, the Palace of Versailles and Edinburgh Castle. They traveled to Israel, Nova Scotia, and several US states. They sailed on cruise ships, helicoptered onto an Alaskan glacier and flew on the supersonic Concorde. Donald was also fortunate enough to sail on the USS Constitution during two turn around cruises; a huge thrill for the seasoned Navy veteran.
Donald, an avid fisherman since childhood, was lucky to have the opportunity to catch a marlin in the Gulf Stream and to go salmon fishing in Alaska. For any willing listener, many a great, if slightly exaggerated, fish stories were shared. Donald had the ability to make people feel at ease and could easily bring a smile and laughter with his entertaining anecdotes.
In his leisure time, Donald found satisfaction and comfort in the pleasures of gardening, fishing, and building intricate model ships. His gardens were a source of beauty and tranquility, not only for him but for all who had the delight of experiencing them. His memory will live on through the beauty he created in his gardens and his generous sharing of his bountiful crops with friends and strangers alike.
A service to celebrate this life well-lived will be held on March 30, 2024, where no doubt tales as tall as his towering sunflowers will be shared. While Donald has left us to tend God’s ultimate garden, his earthly presence will forever bloom with love, laughter, and the indelible memories he planted in each of us.
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