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Robert E. Brown

September 28, 1918 ~ September 23, 2018 (age 99)

Robert E. Brown, 99, of The Samaritan Keep Home, died on Sunday, September 23rd.  He was a retired Army Lt. Col.


Arrangements are with the D.L. Calarco Funeral Home, Inc. The body will be cremated and burial, at a time to be announced, will be in Brookside Cemetery. Online condolences may be made to


Donations may be made to the American Legion, 138 Sterling Street, Watertown.


He is predeceased by his wife of 72 years, Mary Jane Smith.  Surviving are his four daughters, Karen E. Carpenter, Frederick Maryland; Jill Butler (Steven), Watertown; Joy L. Swensen (Stephen), Baldwinsville, NY; Jan L. Livingston, of Watertown; seven grandchildren and eight great grandchildren.


Born September 28, 1918 in the Bronx, NY, a son of Herbert and Dorothea Ennever Brown, he was a 1937 graduate of Far Rockaway High School, New York.  He later attended Texas Christian University.


He met his future wife, Mary Jane Smith of Watertown, when he was stationed at Pine Camp. They were on married January 17, 1944 at Grace Episcopal Church in New York City.


Colonel Brown entered the Army on Jun 6, 1941 at Governors Island, NY; he transferred to Fort Knox, Kentucky, where subsequently attended Armor Officer Candidate School from which he was commissioned a Second Lieutenant of Cavalry on March 6, 1943.  During his 24 years of active service he was awarded two Bronze Stars Medals, with V Device, for heroism; the Purple Heart Medal, two Army Commendation Medals.  He was also awarded several service medals to include the American Defense Service, the European-African-Middle Eastern Service with five battle stars, the United Nations Service, The Korean Service with two battle stars, the Armed Forces Reserve, the Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation, and the New York State Distinguished Cross.


During his army service, he served as an Armored Reconnaissance Commander at U.S. posts and overseas in Germany, France, United Kingdom, Belgium, Holland, Luxembourg, Japan, Korea and the Panama Canal Zone.


Upon retiring from the Army on August 1, 1965, he accepted a position with the N.Y. State Department of Labor as an employment interviewer in Riverhead, NY.  In 1967 he transferred to the Labor Office in Watertown, where he worked until he retired in July 1980.


He participated in the early morning swims at the high school for a number of years and swam competitively from 1985 to 1988 in the U.S. Masters Hour Swim National Championships, placing 13th and 14th nationally with distances of almost two miles.


He was a member of the Watertown Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons, the Retired Officers Association, the American Legion, The Disabled American Veterans, the Northside Improvement League, the Fifth Armored Division Association and the Church of the Redeemer.

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