The archival community of Newfoundland and Labrador was saddened to learn last evening of the passing our friend and colleague Howard Brown. His colleagues at The Rooms Provincial Archives extend their condolences to Howard’s family.
Greg Walsh, the Director of The Rooms Provincial Archives in a memo to staff said: “Howard as the long-time Manuscript Archivist worked with many of our current staff and researchers and was responsible for the initial acquisition and preliminary work with many of the most important collections we now hold. He will be remembered for his service to Association of Newfoundland and Labrador Archives (ANLA) as long-time treasurer and for his passion for discovering and uncovering gems of Newfoundland and Labrador history within our holdings.”
Howard retired in February 1999 but maintained his ties to the ‘archival community’ with regular visits to the Rooms Provincial Archives as a researcher. His passion for all that he loved about Newfoundland and Labrador he expressed in his contributions to such publications as the Ancestor ( a publication of the Family History Society of Newfoundland and Labrador) and The Shoreline News, his community newspaper.
Melanie Tucker, Reference and Access Archivists at the Rooms Provincial Archives said Howard’s “dropping by to research the next article, to pay into his lotto fund or just to catch up with ‘the crowd’, always wanting to hear that everyone was doing well. I don’t think any of us realized until now how much his presence meant and how his visits kept us anchored to our archival roots.”
Brown, Howard Cecil (Obituary)
October 25, 1945 – January 8, 2014
With a strong sense of loss and gratitude we announce the passing of Howard Brown. Loss because he was so loved by so many, gratitude because of the life he lived.
Leaving to mourn and to celebrate are his wife Valerie, his daughters, Michelle (Dean Barnes) and Heather (Matt Appleby), his grandsons Matthew and John, brother Rex (Elaine), sisters Barbara and Brenda (Bob Helleur); nieces Jill and Janine, nephews Ben and Jim, mother-in-law, Theresa Hibbs, Valerie’s brothers, sisters, nieces and nephews, Aunts Bea, Gladys and Molly (nee Brown) and June (nee Butler), many cousins and a wide circle of family and friends.
Howard’s life had two distinct phases: Tack’s Beach until he was resettled at age twenty-one and Topsail where he settled and resided since 1966. Howard fully embraced both communities and nurtured both to the full extent of his resources, mind and body. His love for inner Placentia Bay was a life long one and he came to love Topsail where his roots ran deep. His writings reflect some of his passion for his place in his Newfoundland.
Howard’s love for his two daughters and two grandsons was unqualified, a love he shared with Valerie. Howard’s loyalty to his parents, Cecil and Maude and siblings all could count upon. He was always there, constant as the tides. Howard’s approach to life was moulded by the knowledge that doctors had told his mother he couldn’t live to six months. He was glad to prove their assessment flawed. He glorified in everything life offered and when Valerie and Shelley, Heather, Matthew and John came along his cup ran fuller than even he in his optimism could ever have imagined. He was a happy man.
An inspiration to all who knew him, left now to mourn and celebrate. Resting at Carnell’s Funeral home, 1045 Topsail Road. Family and friends may visit on Friday January 10th from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. and on Saturday January 11th from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Funeral Service will take place from St. John The Evangelist Church in Topsail on Saturday January 11th at 2:00 p.m. Interment will follow at St. John the Evangelist cemetery in Topsail.
No flowers by Howard’s request. Donations may be made to the Old Church, St. John the Evangelist, Topsail or the Dr. H. Bliss Murphy Cancer Centre.