November 29, 2011
Robert C. “Coach” Brown
SOUTH DAYTON - Robert C. Brown "Coach,'' 87, a retired teacher-administrator for Pine Valley Central School, where he worked for 33 years, died Sunday, Nov. 27, 2011, at WCA Hospital in Jamestown, N.Y. He was born Sept. 26, 1924, in South Dayton, N.Y., the son of the late Chauncey H. and Florence Agnes (Simpson) Brown.
Robert graduated from South Dayton High School as valedictorian in 1942. During his high school years he showed superior athletic ability. He attended Cortland State College in the fall of 1942 for a semester before being drafted into the U.S. Army on March 4, 1943. He was in the Army specialist training program at the University of Santa Clara, where he earned college credit in civil engineering. He was then sent to England as combat engineer and later served in France, Holland and Germany to finish his tour of duty and was discharged on March 17, 1946.
That summer he played semi-pro baseball for the Steel Partitions club out of Jamestown, winning the state semi-pro championship in 1946. That fall Robert returned to Cortland where he was inducted into the college honors society while continuing his participation in basketball, baseball and soccer. In 1947, he played on the second team All American soccer team and in 1947, he was on the first team All American Soccer team. He was drafted for the Brooklyn Dodger baseball team though he did not actively participate until after graduation in 1949.
Robert then went to Dodgers training camp in Florida, and played for the "farm" team in Nassau, N.H., where they went to nationals. After this knowing baseball was too hard on his arm Robert returned to college going to Penn State College to start his master's degree in the fall of 1949.
In 1950 Robert started his teaching carrier in Whitesville, N.Y. He coached football, basketball, baseball, wrestling, track and golf for the school. During this time he played for the Wellsville Pony League and completed his master's degree at Alfred University.
Robert began teaching at Pine Valley in 1953, formerly South Dayton High School, where he taught physical education and coached football, baseball, volleyball, soccer and wrestling. Coaching was his real enjoyment, and soon he was known as "Coach Brown" everywhere he went. He was proud to have been part of the coaching staff that sent two students to the NFL. In 1970, he returned to college at St. Bonaventure to obtain his secondary school administration degree to better enable him to serve as athletic director and assistant building principal at Pine Valley. He served on many Section VI committees during his career.
In 1984, he retired from teaching and continued his sport passions by attending games and playing golf, becoming a member of the Senior Men's League for many years, and visiting with his former student athletes.
Coach Brown was a member of the South Day-ton Free Methodist Church, where he served on many committees, South Dayton Legion Post 1593, and a past member of the Tri-County Golf Course. He was inducted as a member of Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame in 1986. He was a past board member of the Teachers Federal Credit Union and village of South Dayton Board member for 23 years. In 2005 he was inducted into the Pine Valley Sports Hall of Fame, and that same year was inducted into the Grape Belt Sports Hall of Fame.
"Coach" enjoyed sports, but his greatest passion was spending time with his family, whom he loved immensely.
He is survived by his beloved wife of 60 years, Evelyn June Brown, whom he married on Nov. 17, 1951 of Fairmount Ave., N.Y.; two daughters: Wendy J. (Mike) Cummings of Mayville, N.Y., and Jill L. (Steven) Hopkins of Jamestown, N.Y.; a son, Brent R. (Anita) Brown of Jamestown, N,Y,; four grandsons: Matthew M. Cummings of Mayville, N.Y., Tyler J. Hopkins of Bradford, Pa., Jacob R. Brown and Joshua T. Brown, both of Jamestown, N.Y.; two grand-daughters: Chelsey L. Winchester and Bobbi L. Hopkins, both of Jamestown, N.Y.; a brother, Howard A. Brown of Forestville and New York; and a sister, Elizabeth M. Blankenship of Texas.
Besides his parents, he was preceded in death by his great-grandson, Peyton J. Hopkins; two brothers: Louis R. Brown and Ralph C. Brown; and four sisters: Evelyn M. Wood, Alberta A. Saunders, Janet R. Grace and Elizabeth M. Blankenship.
Funeral services will be held Thursday, Dec. 1, 2011 at 11 a.m. at Hills Funeral Chapel, 478 Balcom Corners, South Dayton, N.Y. The Rev. Ronald Sawade of Warsaw Valley Chapel, will be officiating. Burial will be in the Villenova Cemetery in town of Villenova.
Visitation will be held at the funeral chapel on Tues-day from 7 to 9 p.m. and on Wednesday from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m.
The additional financial assistance of the community is critical to the success of the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame. We gratefully acknowledge these individuals and organizations for their generous support.