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Northbrook patent attorney remembered for park district service

NORTHBROOK — Robert Andrew Brown, a well-known patent attorney, died July 7, 2013, in his Northbrook home.

He was born April 10, 1924, and his hometown was Reed City, Mich.

Mr. Brown was a patent attorney for 40 years in the Chicago area and ran his private practice in Northbrook for more than 30 years.

His practice was in international patents and trademarks, and he specialized in securing patents for large earth-moving equipment.

He began his career with Marks and Clerk patent law firm, Chicago. Mr. Brown became corporate patent counsel for Fiat-Allis, manufacturer of tractors and earth-moving equipment.

Mr. Brown served on the Northbrook Park District of Commissioners from 1991 to 1995, during which the district dedicated the East Nine golf course at Sportsman’s Country Club and also expanded recreational facilities and arts amenities.

Mr. Brown loved football, and was an avid fan of the University of Michigan. He held alumni season tickets on the 45-yard line and traveled often to see games played in The Big House stadium.

Mr. Brown was president of the University of Michigan Club of Chicago, 1968-69.

Known for his intelligence, sense of humor and outgoing personality, Mr. Brown, with his wife, Betty traveled the world.

Betty and Robert Brown loved to dance and were members of The Shore Club. Later they were active members of The Friendship League of Northbrook.

Mr. Brown was a lieutenant in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers during World War II. He enlisted in 1943 after completing one semester at the University of Michigan. He was commissioned as an officer at Fort Belvoir, Va. in October 1944. He was discharged in 1945.

Mr. Brown has been a member of the Union League Club of Chicago since 1971.

Mr. Brown leaves behind a daughter, Andrea Louise Brown of Algonquin, Ill.; and a son, Gregory Stapleton Smith of San Marcos, Calif.; a daughter-in-law, Carol McHenry Smith of Santa Barbara, Calif. He has two grandchildren Kristina Smith and Jeremy Smith. He also is survived by his brother Emerson M. Brown.

He is preceded in death by his wife, Betty Stapleton Brown.

“My father had a keen interest in the world around him. He was an avid reader and very interested in politics and current events. He read several newspapers every day,” said his daughter, Andrea Brown.

“He was very good at describing technical concepts, which served him well when writing patent applications.”

Penelope Randel, a commissioner for Northbrook Park District, said Mr. Brown during his tenure developed what was then Meadow Hill South into the current Techny Prairie Park.

“During his time on the board, Bob demonstrated a deep regard for open space and supported recreation programming and park development for the citizens of Northbrook,” she said.

“Bob had an extensive vocabulary and I always enjoyed learning new and seldom-used words from him.”

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