Richard H. Brown, 87, of Vestal and formerly of Owego, passed away peacefully Monday, February 1, 2016, surrounded by his family. He was born in Sayre on July 8, 1928, to Harry M. and Eva M. Brown. For most of his youth, Richard lived in Endicott, where he graduated from Union-Endicott High School in 1946. While at U-E, he met the love of his life, Dolores M. Battaglini, in ninth grade. Richard also developed his passion for athletics at U-E, winning Triple Cities and Section 4 honors as a sprinter on the varsity track team. Richard enlisted in the U.S. Army in September 1946. He served in Northern Italy as part of the Allied Occupation Forces. He received the World War II Victory Medal and the Army of Occupation Medal. Richard and Dolores married on June 30, 1951, and shared more than 64 years together. Richard earned a bachelor’s degree from Springfield College and a master’s degree from Ithaca College. From 1952 to 1983, he was a physical education teacher, coach, and athletic director in the Owego-Apalachin Central School District. At Owego Free Academy, he coached varsity wrestling, football, baseball, and cross-country. In 1984, he was the first OFA coach elected to the Section 4 Hall of Fame. In 2004, he was chosen as an inaugural member of the Owego-Apalachin Wall of Fame. In 2015, he was selected to the Upstate New York Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame. As a coach and athletic director, Richard was one of the most successful and honored contributors in the long history of OFA athletics. In the words of one sportswriter from 1973, Richard “elevated not only the name of Owego Free Academy into the eyes of the Southern Tier, but he has taught many of our present-day community leaders how to be men and how to be fair and play an honest game.” Richard was a man of uncommon integrity, wisdom, and humor. He will be greatly missed by all whose lives he touched. Richard was predeceased by his father in 1929, his mother in 1981, and his brother, Harry S. Brown, in 2004. He is survived by his wife, Dolores M. Brown; three children and their spouses: Roger and Suzanne Brown, Cynthia and Joseph Walker, and Kyle and Patricia Brown; four grandchildren: Kristen (Chad) Reinemann, Michael Walker, Patrick Walker, and Elizabeth Brown; and two great-grandchildren: Cooper Reinemann and Kaitlyn Reinemann. He also leaves behind many friends and relatives.
A memorial service will be held for Richard Thursday, February 4, 2016, at 11 am at Allen Memorial Home, 511-513 East Main Street, Endicott. Before the memorial service, the family will receive friends and relatives beginning at 10 am. A private burial will be at St. Patrick’s Cemetery in Owego. Donations may be made in Richard’s name to the Tioga County Boys & Girls Club, 201 Erie Street, Owego, NY 13827.