Donald C. Brown, 87, of Smithfield, Rhode Island passed away on Monday, September 18 at the HopeHealth Hulitar Hospice Center in Providence.
He was married for 65 years to Genevieve Ward, and was the father of Karen Veltri of Smithfield, Rhode Island; Susan Vinton of North Palm Beach, Florida; and Donna Wright of Edmond, Oklahoma.
He was grandfather to 5 grandchildren: Michael Wright; Christina (Wright) Messinger, who is married to Robert Messinger, III; Kaitlin Vinton; Nicholas Wright; and Kayla Wright. He was the brother of Kenneth A. Brown, Sr and his wife Carol of Smithfield and C. Wayne Brown and his wife Janette of Cranston and St. Augustine, Florida. He was the son of Charles and Fannie Brown of Smithfield and was preceded in death by his brother, Robert D. Brown, who died in the line of duty in 1961 for the Georgiaville Fire Department.
He worked as a communication technician for AT & T in Providence for 35 years and after retiring, worked for the Smithfield Recreation Department for 10 years. He took great pride in the maintenance and proper alignment of all the baseball and softball field in the town.
He was a lifelong resident of Smithfield and a lifelong member of the Georgiaville Fire Company, having joined in 1952. He served as a volunteer and later a paid call firefighter and deputy chief. He was also a lifetime member of the Rhode Island State Fireman’ s League, was the President in 1977 and was named Firefighter of the Year in 2009. Until recently, he served on the Rhode Island Fireman’s Relief Board. He was inducted into the Smithfield Hall of Fame in 2009
He served on the Smithfield Town Council in the 1970’s; the Town of Smithfield Conservation Commission for over 40 years; the State of Rhode Island Coastal Resource Management Council for 12 years; the Town Charter Commission; and was the Rhode Island public member of the New England Regional Commission advisory board on hazardous waste. He was a fixture at countless Town Council meetings where he was not afraid to speak his mind on town affairs. He was intensely loyal to the Town of Smithfield and every decision he ever made on any town committee on which he served was always with the town’s best interest at heart.
He also served in the Rhode Island Air National Guard and was deployed to Berlin Germany during the Berlin crisis in the early 1960’s.
He was also a noted baseball and softball player, having won recognition in the 1960’s playing on several state championship fast pitch softball teams at the highest levels of the sport. He was still playing in the Smithfield Over 50 league well into his seventies.
He will be greatly missed by his family and friends. At the request of the immediate family, all funeral services will be private, with burial at the Brown family plot in Acotes Hill Cemetery in Glocester.
In lieu of flowers, donations to HopeHealth Hulitar Hospice Center, Attn: Philanthropy, 1085 North Main Street, Providence, Rhode Island 02904 would be greatly appreciated. Their website is: https://www.hopehealthco.org/ways-to-give/donatenow/