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Obituary: James D. Brown Jr.

James D. Brown, Jr., 80, of Syosset, died peacefully at his home on April 19, 2010, after a series of medical setbacks. Jim was born in the Hawaiian Islands Dec. 13, 1929, the son of James Davidson Brown of Scotland and Jessie Evans of Kansas. A graduate of Punahou School in Honolulu, he then attended Haverford College in Pennsylvania and married Karin Anne Brinkmann of Manhasset, shortly after graduating. Jim spent his working career with Brinkmann Instruments, which was based for many years in Westbury. He served as a sales rep in Pennsylvania and Houston, TX, before moving to Syosset with his family in 1963 to become a vice president of the company. Jim remained in this position until his retirement in 1994.

Having been raised in Hawaii, Jim developed a love for the water and sailing became an integral part of his life. After having acquired what became the family’s beloved sailboat Sonnet, a 41-foot Concordia sloop, Jim became very active in yacht racing and the Sagamore Yacht Club. With his four sons as the core of his crew, Jim sailed Sonnet in many local and ocean races. These included events such as numerous Block Island Races and Race Weeks, Vineyard Races, 12 Marblehead-to-Halifax Races, and 4 Newport-to-Bermuda Races. A frequent top-finisher in these races, Sonnet earned her highest accolades as the overall winner of the 1979 Halifax Race.

A man of literary passions as well, Jim was known to quote lengthy passages of his favorite poets, Keats and Shelley, off the top of his head, an ability that lasted to his final days. Jim also had a penchant for bawdy limericks, so no literary snob was he! An avid and highly skilled bridge player, Jim made a name for himself in this regard within local circles and passed his love of the game on to his sons. His habit of playing sound tracks of popular Broadway musicals on Sunday mornings inculcated a love of these shows in his sons as well - among his favorites were Chicago, Guys and Dolls, The Pajama Game and Brigadoon.

Jim will also be remembered as a warm-hearted and generous friend - to colleagues, subordinates, sailing comrades, mutual friends of Bill, those who knew him as a result of working on and around his house, and his beloved college pals.

Jim is survived by his four sons: James D. Brown III of Hampton, NH, Charles A. Brown, of Essex, CT, Douglas Woodbrown of Lewisburg, WV and Stuart Kim-Brown of Berkeley, CA. He is also survived by his sons’ collective eight grandchildren and his long-time companion and ex-wife Karin. Aloha, dad.