Kenneth Dell Brown was born in 1925 on a farm northwest of Baltimore. Ken began life grounded to the earth and its rhythms and deeply connected to family and church life. He grew up in a church that his Grandfather had built, hauling the bricks and timber by horse and wagon. He had three siblings: brothers Bill and Bob, and a sister, Edna. Born into an American age of unprecedented change, he began life in a simpler, but richer world where people depended on the kindness of friends and strangers, and a horse and buggy for transportation. His father bought his first Model T the year Ken was born. His life experience included the invention of the airplane and vast cultural change fueled by electric power and later, the internet. In mid-life Ken entertained an American astronaut-- who had walked on the moon --at his dining room table, traveled all over the world and recently wondered at seeing his first solar farm: “I never thought I'd live long enough to see something like this”.
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Ken loved people and loved to laugh. He was inquisitive, kind and polite. He was optimistic, resourceful and determined-always making lemonade when life dealt him lemons. Hard working, he lived life on his own terms and was proud and fiercely independent.
He met and married Betty Green in 1945; they were married 57 years. Together, they had five children. Ken began a lifelong career in the insurance business with the New York Life Insurance Company. A mentor at the company, seeing his potential, wrote him a life-changing letter of advice which he took to heart. Working tirelessly to improve his skills, he became one of the 20 top agents in the company, serving on the President's Advisory Council and enjoying frequent sports fishing outings with his sons and the President of the Company. He yearly earned a place on the Million Dollar Round Table and earned numerous awards and recognition including many trips. He and Betty traveled internationally expanding their horizons past what either of them had thought possible. In the course of his career, Ken became a Certified Life Underwriter, a Certified Financial Planner, and an Estate Planner. He retired three times, finally ending his work life in his late eighties.
Ken was also an active member of the Shriners, serving at various times as President of the Scimeter Club, President of the Shrine Club, President of Aslaks, and as an Ambassador of Boumi Temple in Baltimore. He was a lifelong contributor to Shriner's Childrens Hospitals.
He is predeceased by his parents, his siblings and his wife. He is survived by his children, Jacquelyn, Robert, Nancy, LuAnn, and Larry, and also by seven grandchildren and four great grandchildren. Ken was 94 years old when he passed on September 3, 2019.
He worked hard his entire life to improve and maintain his health and in the end fell victim to a broken healthcare system which, with the aid of “cooperating physicians”, all too often practices “lock em up, drug em up geriatrics” routinely ignoring the humanity and dignity of individuals in favor of corporate expediency. He deserved so much more than the broken promises and horrid conditions that filled his last days. Having been betrayed by the institutions he entrusted with his care-- who repeatedly ignored their stated missions-- and put staff efficiency over his welfare and the quality of his life, he lamented. “It is criminal the way the elderly are treated in this country.”
We wholeheartedly agree.
Rest in Peace, Daddy