Robert Brown

Robert Emmett "Bob" Brown

Monday, March 16th, 1942 - Friday, May 15th, 2020
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Robert Emmett Brown, age 78, of Saranac Lake, died Friday, May 15, 2020 following a brief illness at the University of Vermont Medical Center with his wife Pat by his side.

Born in Olean, NY, on March 16, 1942, he was the son of Emmett and Ruth (Underwood) Brown.
Bob attended High school at the Newburgh Free Academy Class1960 where he was President of the Debate team. He continued his education at Orange County Community College graduating in 1962 with an Associate Degree in Business Administration, Rider College graduating with a BA Degree in Business Administration in 1964 and Syracuse University with a Master’s Degree in Student Personnel Administration in 1965

Following graduation from Syracuse University Bob was employed at the NYS Alfred Ag & Tec College Student Services as the Dormitory Director from 1966 to -1969. He joined the North Country Community College Faculty in 1969 and worked there until his retirement in 1996 as a Student Services Advisor and Professor of Social Sciences teaching Social Science and Anthropology.

Bob is a veteran of the United States Army serving as Sargent 1st Class US Army from December 1966 to September 1968 and was stationed at the US Pentagon Washington D.C. Department of Secret Intelligence. Bob was the first person in the United States to be notified that the USS Pueblo was captured by North Korean Forces.

Bob was very active in his community serving as Past Master and Chaplin of White Face Mountain Masonic Lodge #789, Past President and Life member of Saranac Lake Fish and Game Club, Past President and member of Franklin County Federation of Fish and Game Clubs. He also served as the Franklin County Delegate to New York State Conservation, Council Member of the Region 5 Department of Conservation Advisory Board Community Delegate, served on the Local Prison Advisory Board and was a NYS Hunter Training Instructor 45 plus years.

Bob married Patricia P. Patterson on June 19, 1965 in Cuddebackville, NY and together they shared nearly 55 years of wonderful companionship.

Although Bob and Pat never had any children of their own they were blessed with knowing, intimately, so very many of Bob’s North Country students, many of whom they continued to share special memories with over the course of passing years. They ALL know who they are.

Bob and Pat have been extremely active in the Saranac Lake community, having served on the All-America City committees and as the 1999 Winter Carnival King and Queen. He also very much enjoyed and was very proud of his work with the Riverwalk. Bob was featured on pages 10 and 11 of the book Adirondack Faces, by Mathias Oppersdorff, C.1991.

Bob loved hunting and fishing and his Adirondack Mountains. For him it wasn’t necessarily about bagging that trophy buck or a massive bass, but the pure joy of watching wildlife, such as a turkey displaying for the favor of a hen. He eagerly anticipated daily visits from deer to his property, especially one affectionately named Clipppy.
Bob is survived by his wife of 55 years Pat of Saranac Lake, one brother Emmett and wife Debbie of Pittsburgh, PA and several nieces, nephews and cousins.

Funeral arrangements are in care of the Fortune-Keough Funeral Home in Saranac Lake. Due to the Covid-19 restrictions private family services and burial will take place at Harrietstown Cemetery in Saranac Lake at the convenience of the family. As per Bob’s wishes, a celebration of Bob’s life will take place at a later date to be announced once the Covid-19 restrictions have been lifted.

Friends wishing to remember Robert Emmett Brown may make memorial contributions to the Local Masonic Lodge 789 Charity Fund or the Saranac Lake Fish and Game Club Youth Activities in care of the funeral home. Family and friends can also share their memories and sign the online guestbook at
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Service Details

  • Interment

    Harrietstown Cemetery
    Route 86
    SARANAC LAKE, NY 12983
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


  • Masonic Lodge
  • US Army


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Charlotte Lichtenberg

Posted at 08:55pm
I'm so glad I was able to talk to you in person, first. Now after only a few weeks I know Bob is at peace. I seemed to be selling something whenever we would meet, whether in Saranac Lake at the Gun Show/Flea Market, or at the Tupper Lake Flea Market and Craft Show, or at other craft shows. I loved his smile and his warm, friendly hugs. He even shared his enthusiasm while selling tickets, too. I am sure he was a credit to the Order of the Masons. He was a good person that I will miss seeing on the other side of the table.

Linda Lippacher

Posted at 07:39am
It has taken me awhile to write this message. This man helped me grow-up and be the person, I am today. I was Bob’s work study from 1979 to 1982 in the Career Development office. In my first meeting with him, he scared the dickens out of me but I soon learned he was more bark than bite. He introduced me to a jackalope, he had one in his office and I still remember thinking it was a real animal. I remember helping him with posters for an upcoming Fish and Game Club event. I was suppose to put “Black Powder” event but trying to do them quickly, I wrote “Black Power” event. Bob laughed and told me he fixed the posters before putting them up around Saranac Lake.

Over the years since 1982, I didn’t see Bob often, but I always kept up with what he was doing. I have since become a college professor, modeling my profession after the man who shaped my life. Thank you, Bob.

Linda (Tirrell) Lippacher


Posted at 02:12pm
Doug Hoffman

Heartfelt sympathies to you Pat and your family. Our prayers and thoughts go out to you. I first knew Bob as a student at NCCC way back in 1970-71 and have admired him ever since. He always had a smile and kind words for all; along with his great sense of humor, charm and wit. I was especially honored to have Bob and Pat's support for my campaign back in 2009-10 and to know that we shared some of the same values and beliefs in how great America is and the need to preserve those values in our society and the North Country!

Ken Youngblood

Posted at 08:46am
Since Bob's passing I talk more frequently with him than ever before. Bob is too big a presence to die anytime in living memory of so many whose lives he touched. All those scouts he mentored, all those kids he instructed in hunter safety courses, all those guest appearances in elementary classrooms in the North Country and beyond as far as Mexico, all those college students who remember the bigger lessons he taught (especially in his beloved Marriage and Family class, where there could be no better teachers than Bob joined byPat), all us adults who remember the lessons in his perpetual stories, all those inductees into the Masons he sponsored. No wonder he was Saranac Lake's Citizen of the Year.......s

I think Bob wanted a more perfect world, and worked hard every way he could to make it work that way. That's why from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts to the Masons, he looked for a code to aspire for.

His humor knew no bounds and that was because self-deprecation is always disarming, making it an easy way to find laughter in our human foibles. I am attaching a photo of Bob standing in Guadalajara's empty Plaza de Toro. Bob reminds me of Don Quixote, who was always sparring with windmills. Only Bob kew how to take on the human heart armed with little more than his handkercihef. Here, as is so Bob, making fun of himself, but in so doing making a point about the human condition.

Hours before he died, Bob stopped talking on the phone with me to order a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and then again when someone came in with discharge papers. Well," Bob said, "Pat will be here in the next half hour." Bob asked me just before we hung up when I would be up to the Adirondacks. I said toward the end of June. His last words: "Better not wait too long."

Marisa Crawford

Posted at 12:20pm
Bob was related to me only through marriage to Pat, but his passing will leave a huge hole in our Patterson family. We loved him, and he will be greatly missed. A master storyteller, Bob was our go-to "Emcee" during campfire activities and skits. Bob's skills as an Adirondacks hunting and fishing guide were always in high demand -- both adults and kids begged him to go fishing with us, and he was volunteered to organize and judge our family's regular Fishing Tournaments. I know he shook his head when my kids, age 7 and 4, caught and submitted dozens of minnows to be counted and weighed during the tournament. But in the face of such enthusiasm, and after some reflection, Bob adapted and expanded the tournament rules to include prizes for younger age brackets. My daughter still treasures and proudly tells anyone willing to listen about how she was awarded her fishing trophy from "Uncle Bob." :) We all loved sitting around the campfire with Bob, year after year, listening to Bob's various stories -- funny ones about his hunting experiences, his travels, and even sparring with my brother about his predictions for that season's Bachelor picks.
Bob was a Renaissance man with a big heart. He loved traveling and quickly made friends of strangers. I traveled with Bob and Pat through France, Italy, and Montrael. In Italy, Bob attended a local Masonic meeting. Despite not knowing a single word of Italian, he managed to secure for us an invitation by a local artist of his studio, where we were gifted beautiful sketchings by the artist. Later, Bob and Pat joined 2 busloads of university students on an off-the-beaten-path tour of Italy. Comfortable among Italian artisans or university students alike, Bob regaled us with stories, his voice echoing through ancient Roman castles. In Montreal, we celebrated Bob and Pat's anniversary with a "sewer tour." He loved it and promptly recommended the sewer tour to anyone visiting Montreal! :) But a highlight of all my travels was a visit to Saranac Lake during winter carnival. That year, Saranac Lake was experiencing record low temperatures. Before the trip, Pat called 3 times to give us directions. Bob emailed us directions twice, and followed up by sending us a copy snail mail. After a journey involving planes, boats and automobiles, I think Bob and Pat were still surprised when we showed up in time for the variety show. What a wonderful experience that long weekend was! Thank you Bob and Pat for such wonderful memories. We marveled at the ice castle/fort; we toured the masonic lodge; we learned lumberjack skills and were entertained by the lawn chair ladies; we took a dog sled ride and even Bob-sledding down the Olympic course -- all the while, being pampered by Pat's hospitality and Bob's stories. Pat and Bob were even willing to travel to Dahlonega, GA to celebrate with us at our wedding, although their accommodations did not include a TV. :) We love you, Bob and Pat. We love that you make the most of experiences and time with friends and family. Thank you for all you did for me, my family, my kids.
Bob was a legend in his own time. A master storyteller. A respected teacher and mentor. A benefactor to nature and our community. A very loved cousin and "uncle." Pat, we love you. We are thinking of you and our home is aways open to you. Please let us know if there is anything we can do to help you or honor Bob. much love to you, Marisa


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