Oliver Schoonmaker Brown, 82
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BRUNSWICK -- Oliver Schoonmaker Brown died on Friday, April 5, 2013, at the Togus VA Hospice and Palliative Care Unit in Augusta of complications from Parkinson's Disease.
Oliver was born in Boston, Mass. on April 10, 1931, the son of Amos Howard Calef Brown and Dorothy Glennie (Loud) Brown. He graduated from St. George's School in Newport, R.I. and Bowdoin College, class of 1953. Immediately after graduation, he received a commission in the U. S. Army and served in the Transportation Corps in New York and Korea. Following his service, he earned a Masters Degree in Education and a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study from Harvard University. He later continued graduate studies at Columbia University.
In September 1952, Oliver married Eleanor Appleton Buxton of Concord, Mass., at All Saints Chapel, Orr's Island.
Oliver spent his professional life in education. He taught at the Emerson School for Boys in Exeter, N.H., was a teacher and principal in the elementary schools in Weston, Mass. and served as Superintendent of Schools in the Addison-Rutland Supervisory District in Fair Haven, Vt. from 1961-1965. Following further study at Columbia, he and his family moved to Philadelphia where he became Director of the Financial Planning and Budgeting Project for the Philadelphia Public Schools.
In 1970, Oliver joined Price Waterhouse & Company in Philadelphia and New York as a management consultant primarily in urban school districts. Following his tenure with Price Waterhouse, in 1973 he became deputy superintendent of schools in charge of financial planning and management in the Cambridge, Mass. public school system. He participated as part of a team in the successful racial integration of the city schools and the merger of the vocational and academic high schools among other projects.
After 14 years with the Cambridge School System, he retired in 1987 and founded his own company, Oliver S. Brown Associates, Inc., consulting for another ten years in rural, suburban, and urban public school systems in many parts of the country, including Detroit, Indianapolis, and Rockford, Ill. He and his family moved many times over the course of his career, and he and Eleanor finally settled in Brunswick in 1988 after spending many summers at Orr's Island. Oliver served as editor of the Massachusetts School Principals Association Bulletin,
President of the Massachusetts School Business Officials Association, and wrote many articles on school finance for local, state and national publications. From 1978 to 1991, Oliver taught at the Harvard Graduate School of Education in school finance and management.
Oliver was one of the founders and president of the Friends of Peary's Eagle Island, the home of Admiral Robert E. Peary in Casco Bay. He and Eleanor were communicants at St. Paul's Church in Brunswick and All Saints Chapel, Orr's Island, where Oliver served as treasurer for many years and as chair of the Memorial Garden Committee from its inception. He served on the board and as a volunteer at the MidCoast Hunger Prevention Program.
Oliver enjoyed tennis, downhill and cross country skiing, sailing and boating on Casco Bay, golf, bird watching, genealogy, and especially being at their house on Orr's Island with his family where they spent many summers. His fondness for the poems of Robert Peter Tristram Coffin, whose course he took at Bowdoin, lead to the collection of his works and the memorization of many of his poems.
Oliver was predeceased by his parents; his sister, Ellen Chantal Field, and his brother, Amos Howard Calef Brown, Jr. He is survived by his wife of 60 years, his brother, George Alvin Loud Brown of Camden and his wife, Constance, his sisters, Phebe Haskell Chase of Newport, R.I., and Glennie Wilding-White of Algoma, Wis.; his sons, Edward Olcott Brown and wife, Cheryl, of Gwynedd Valley, Penn., Calef Rogers Brown and wife, Anissa, of Vancouver, Canada, his daughters, Phebe Hart Brown of Brooklyn, N.Y., Eliza Baldwin Brown Cobb and her husband, Edward, of South Portland; and his seven grandchildren.
The family would like to express their thanks to CHANS Hospice of Brunswick, and the staff at the VA Hospice and Palliative Care Unit at Togus for their kind and compassionate care of Oliver.
A celebration of his life will be held at All Saints Chapel, Orr's Island, in June. Condolences and memories can be expressed at www.brackettfuneralhome.com.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to:
The Memorial Garden
All Saints Chapel
Orr's Island, ME 04106 or:
The VA Hospice and
Palliative Care Unit
Togus VA Medical Center
1 VA Medical Center
Augusta, ME 04330
Published in Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram on Apr. 9, 2013