David Brown, 1951-2007

Updated: Details on funeral arrangements for David are here….

David Brown attended the villa as a freshman and sophomore, leaving in the spring of 1967. He attended a villa reunion with several of his (VSJ, ’69) classmates in Orlando, Florida, in the spring of 2001.

David worked in hospital administration and for the past decade was the president and CEO of Beaufort Memorial Hospital in South Carolina. He told me he took the job for a less political position (earlier, he’d worked in the Washington, D.C., region) and to move to a more sunny area. He was an avid boater. He leaves two children, Caitlin Ryan Brown, 18, a freshman at Flagler College in St. Augustine, Fla., and Ryan David Brown, a high school junior in Beaufort, who will turn 17 next month.

 An obituary was published in the Beauford Gazette here. 

As a few of us might remember, Dave was a sports enthusiast and he broke his arm (badly) in a fall in the ravine bordering the river behind the school at the very end of his 1966-67 year. And Bill Lang (’69) recalls that Dave was a fervent capture-the-flag player in the woods.

Dave’s sister, Catherine Brown, sent us some details about his life, prepared for an obituary. An excerpt:

(Dave) was an avid skier, golfer, car enthusiast, and sports fan who rooted famously for the San Francisco 49ers, the Duke Blue Devils, and the Boston Red Sox, but he most loved the water. He lived on the water in Annapolis (Bay Ridge) and had waterfront homes in Beaufort and Harbor Island/St. Helena, South Carolina. 

For many years he kept the sailboat “Moonshadow” at Solomon’s Island and then in Annapolis. He collected model sailboats, carved wooden ducks, and artwork related to the sea and sailing.  He was also a dog-lover who owned a series of sable and white rough collies named Skylie, Spinnaker, and Skyler and, at the time of his death, a Yorkshire Terrier named Duke whose occupation he listed as “basketball player.” 

Here is the text of a release from Beauford Hospital on Dave:
David Emerson Brown, President & CEO of Beaufort Memorial Hospital since 1996, passed away this afternoon.  He became seriously ill in February, and was being hospitalized closer to his sister in Washington, DC.   In his absence, Jeffrey L. White, BMH Senior Vice President & CFO, has been serving as Interim CEO.


“We are all saddened to hear of David’s death today,” said BMH Board Chairman William Paddock.  “We were all hoping he could overcome his illness and return to us.  He did so many great things for our hospital over the years.  Under his leadership, Beaufort Memorial has undergone unprecedented growth.  One of the best things he did for us was develop the long-term affiliation we have with Duke University Health System in heart and cancer care,” he said.  “We will remember him for a long time.”

An honors graduate of Boston University with a master’s degree in business administration, Brown entered the healthcare field in 1976 as assistant executive director of Prince George’s Foundation for Medical Care in Landover, MD.  Within a year, he had moved into the position of executive director.  He joined Greater Southeast Community Hospital in Washington, DC in 1982 as vice president for professional services and, over the next 12 years, moved up the ranks to become President & CEO of Greater Southeast Community Hospital Foundation, Inc.  The Foundation operated two hospitals, long term care facilities, home health agencies, pharmacies, and other health-related businesses.

“We were fortunate to attract a person of David’s caliber,” said H. Tim Pearce, MD, BMH Chief of Staff, who also was Chairman of the hospital Board at the time Brown was selected.  “We knew our area was expanding, and that healthcare was becoming increasingly competitive.  We needed a leader who would help us ensure Beaufort Memorial’s independence as a true community hospital.  David Brown did that.

  As a result, our hospital is able to carry out its mission of delivering superior healthcare services to our patients, and to improve the health of our community.  We have seen many great improvements to the services our hospital provides thanks to David’s leadership.”

Plans are being made for a memorial service to be held at the hospital in the near future.  For information, contact the PR & Marketing department at (843) 522-5171.

And here’s an excerpt from an obituary from David’s sister:

David Emerson Brown, 55, of Beaufort, South Carolina, who also lived for many years in Annapolis, Greenbelt, and Bethesda, Maryland, died at Johns Hopkins University Hospital on March 19, 2007.  He had been admitted there on February 12 for a severe internal hemorrhage and died from resulting complications.

…. He started his career at the Prince George’s County Foundation for Medical Care (a professional standards review organization) where he worked from 1976 to 1988, after receiving an MBA in healthcare management with honors in 1976 from Boston University, from which he also received his B.A. in 1974.

Mr. Brown was born in 1951 in Germany and also lived overseas in India, the Netherlands, and Canada, where his father was assigned as a US Foreign Service Officer. He attended high school at the Villa St. Jean in Switzerland, the American International School of the Hague, and Kents Hill School in Maine.

Mr. Brown is survived by two children from his second marriage, Caitlin Ryan Brown, 18, a freshman at Flagler College in St. Augustine, Florida, and Ryan David Brown, a high school junior in Beaufort who will turn 17 next month.  He is also survived by his father, Emerson M. Brown, of Reed City, Michigan; his sister, Catherine W. Brown of Washington, DC; his brother, Christopher G. Brown of Columbus, Ohio; and many friends, including especially Lisa Gilligan Stewart of Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania, to whom he was committed.  His mother, Winifred Ryan Brown, died in 1990.  His marriages to Terry Taylor and Rita Buesgens Brown ended in divorce. 

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About villastjean

Villa St. Jean was a Marianist school in Fribourg, Switzerland, from 1903-1970. This blog site is intended as a forum for Villa alumni to share memories, pictures and connections.
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