March 25, 2023


March 25, 2023
2 p.m.


March 15, 2023

Robert James Brown, 79, of Morganton, NC passed away on Sunday, March 12, 2023. He was born on June 4, 1943 in Chicago, IL to the late Mildred and Royal Nelson Brown. Bob, or “Brown Mountain Man,” as he was affectionately known, was a man of many talents. He graduated from the University of Michigan with a Master’s degree in Fishery/Biology. Bob was in the Peace Corps in Central America before settling in Morganton. He began his thirty-seven year career as a fisheries biologist with the NC Wildlife Resource Commission. He was also an active member of Trout Unlimited. Bob’s love of wildlife often found him traveling to hunt elk, to fish and enjoy nature. He also loved to attend Antique Car Shows and tinkering on his 1936 Ford Pickup truck.

Bob is survived by his sons, Scott Brown (Susan) and Evan Brown (Emily); three beautiful grandsons, Logan and Legrand Brown and Bynum Norris; special friend, Dr. Don Hemstreet.

A memorial service will held 2pm Saturday, March 25, 2023 at St. Mary’s / St. Stephen ‘s Episcopal Church with the Reverends Logan Lovelace and Scott Oxford officiating. The family will receive friends in the Parish Hall following the service.

2 Corinthians 5:8 “We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.”

Sossoman Funeral Home and Crematory Center is assisting the family with the arrangements.

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Scott and Evan, I have very fond memories of your dad. He was one of a kind, never to be duplicated. He was always adventurous, even in his late teens early twenty's. Even though Bob was six years my senior, he would always take the time to express interest in what I was up to, especially sports. I can remember hanging around your Uncle Tom and your dad while they worked on Bobs 1957 Ford hardtop convertible ( a real rarity), flatting beer caps to fill in rust spots along the rocker panels. Uncle Tom was just learning body mechanics, but your dad let him practice on his car. I can remember your mom and dad heading off to the Peace Corps in Nicaragua, where he set up fisheries for the government. Always remember the good time, because they are all that matter.

—Steve Pearson
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Our thoughts and prayers are with family and friends. May God Bless!

—Larry & Linda Andrews

Scott and Evan I am so sorry for your loss. I haven’t seen your Dad in a while and when I learned of his passing it hit me hard. Bob was a great man. I have such fond memories of deer hunting on his property over the years. I once scared a deer when I flipped a gun sight that was out of place. Bob was visiting mom and dad and took the time to show me what to do the next time that happened. I still practice that maneuver to this day. Bob loved a lifestyle that many of us wish we could accomplish. My dad also had such fond memories of electro fishing walleye with Bob on Lake James and of helping him construct his cabin. Keeping you all in my prayers.

—Scott McDougal

My thoughts and prayers are with all of you. Bob was a wonderful and special person. I’ll cherish my memories of working with him in TU and NCWRC matters. There was no better person.

—Charlie Brady

My late husband , Jack and I enjoyed our visits with Bob when he visited his relatives in the Glencoe / Appin area on Ontario Canada. I am sorry to hear of his passing and my prayers our with his family at this difficult time. Liz Fletcher Toronto

—Elizabeth Fletcher

I am sorry to hear about Bob's passing. I enjoyed working with him on several occasioons. He was always willing to help in any way he could. And he also was fun to be around whether it was a Wildlife meeting or work. He offered me tips on how to catch mountain trout because I was from the coast.

—Albert Little

Dear Scott and Evan, I salute you both for taking Bob back home, so he could surrender his spirit with dignity on Brown Mountain at the farm that he loved. This past year Bob and I spent several evenings sitting on the front porch listening to the coyotes at sunset. He really loved you boys and talked about you often. Bob was not only my lifelong friend and fishing buddy; he was my brother. As the biologist Bob and Joe Mickey patrolled Highway US 181 between Morganton and Linville during the reconstruction in the 1970’s. They called in the regulators whenever they found that siltation barriers were not properly installed to protect the streams. They were the protectors of the Steele’s Creek and Upper Creek watersheds, and without their diligence those streams might have been destroyed. They earned the nick names “Batman and Robin”. Bob taught us all about catch and release trout fishing in the 1970’s before it became a widespread practice. I’m sure he’s up there with A.J. Johnson, Dr. Reid Bahnson, Joe McDade, and Jim Dean smiling down on all of us. Bob, you will be missed. Sincerely, Andy Aretakis (the Shoog)

—Andy Aretakis

This absolutely breaks my heart. For 28 years, this man was my stepdad. I, along with his other grandchildren, Zachary, Brandon, Chastin, Dakota, Dani Jean, and Triston are also mourning his loss. We all have so many great memories of Bob. He taught each of us to appreciate the simplicity of mountain life. He taught my son, Zach, his very first word. Not mama. Not dada. Antelope was his first word. All of the grandkids affectionately knew him as PawPaw Bob. He had a great relationship with all of the children mentioned until 2015. Unfortunately his marriage to my mother ended and we lost contact with Bob. My thoughts and prayers go out to my former stepbrothers, Scott and Evan, and their respective families.

—Amber Harlow

Always a great conversationalist. Could spend hours sitting on his front porch talking and hearing his stories. Good neighbor.

—Karl V. Walden

My heart aches for you, Scott and what you have to endure in the coming days, months and years. Please remember ALL the great memories of your Dad and know that I will be praying for you and your family. Thanks for being there when my Dad was called home, 24 years ago!

—Aimee Williams Marler