James H. Brown, at 85
James H. Brown, of Hull, formerly of Michigan and New Mexico, died on April 24 at the Life Care Center of the South Shore in Scituate. He was 85.
Born in Detroit, he attended Cooley High School, graduating in 1951. He entered Wayne State University, supporting himself by playing clarinet in a swing band. After graduating, he earned a master’s degree from Michigan State University. He enlisted in the U.S. Army Finance Corps in 1957 and rose to first lieutenant. Following his discharge, Mr. Brown completed his education at Northwestern University, proudly earning a Ph.D. in marketing.
He had a fruitful career in truck manufacturing, starting at International Harvester in 1964. In 1970, he joined Rockwell International, where he headed various marketing divisions. In 1999, he retired from Rockwell as vice president of North American sales for heavy vehicle components.
He referred to his time in Midwest, growing up and working at Rockwell, as the first of his “three lives.” Upon retiring, he embarked on an adventurous “second life” in the tiny town of Abiquiu, New Mexico, There he and his wife, Valeria, built an adobe home and fell in step with local Native American, Hispanic, and artisan culture. Always a sharp dresser, he became a connoisseur of the cowboy boots and Stetson hats essential to desert living.
After a decade in the wilds, the couple resettled in Santa Fe, but a potential “third life” beckoned. His daughter, Darci and son-in-law Dean Doty, were revamping an old fisherman’s boarding house in Hull. During visits, Mr. Brown grew enthralled with the beauty of New England, life on the ocean, and the challenges of construction. So, in their 80s, he and Valeria began a “third life” in Massachusetts, close to his adored grandchildren.
He was an avid golfer, an eager traveler, and he loved to trail family members in his mobile home as they took on projects in far-flung places; he was also a gifted raconteur. His legacy continues through the family and friends he cherished.
The beloved husband of Valeria Brown, with whom he shared many loving years of marriage, he was preceded in death by his first wife, Dorothea Brown, who died in 1994.
Mr. Brown was the devoted father of Darci L. Brown and her husband, Dean Doty, of Hull, and stepfather to Elisa Petrini, of New York; Mark Petrini and his wife, Deborah Jones, of New York; Odette Petrini, of Michigan; Matthew Petrini, of Florida; John Petrini, of New York; and Andrea Petrini, of New York. He is also survived by his loving grandchildren, Thea and James Doty, and seven step-grandchildren.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend the visiting hours on Friday, May 10, 9-11 a.m., in the Pyne Keohane Funeral Home, 21 Emerald St. (off Central Street), Hingham. His funeral service will be celebrated on Friday, May 10, at 11 a.m. in Pyne Keohane Funeral Home, Hingham. Services will conclude with interment in the Massachusetts National Cemetery, Bourne.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his name to the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, or the Salvation Army. See www.Keohane.com for online condolences.
James H. Brown, at 85