BELVIDERE, NJ (Warren County) – Harry E. Brown, Commissioner of the Warren County Board of Elections, died Sunday. He was 76.
Brown was born in Audubon, NJ on December 16, 1946, son of the late Donald and Helen L. (Stainker) Brown. He was raised in Gloucester City and attended public schools there along with his older brother, the late Donald D. Brown, according to his obituary.
Harry graduated with a BA from Rutgers University in 1969 and attended both the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School and the U.S.A.F Graduate School during his 31 year career at Picatinny Arsenal and was a member of the Army Acquisition Corps. More recently, he was employed for 5 years as the Assistant Superintendent for the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission, his obituary said.
Harry was a patriot and civil servant through and through. He shared his passion for our great nation and his talents by serving on numerous boards and organizations. During his 42 year residence in Hackettstown, Harry served on the Zoning Board of Adjustment, H.M.U.A., was a Trustee for the Free Public Library (Hackettstown and Belvidere) and served as Trustee for Warren County Community College. He also devoted his time to the Warren County Municipal and Charitable Conservancies Trust Fund Committee and until present, was Commissioner of the Warren County Board of Elections, his obituary said.
Harry believed wholeheartedly in conservative Christian values and was a member of several Republican clubs and committees on a local, county and state level, according to his obituary.
Despite all of these accomplishments, what people remember most about Harry was his razor sharp intellect and his ability to speak on any manner of topics, especially history. His ability to recall important dates, geopolitical facts and how they pertain to modern times is a testament to his lifelong love of learning and natural curiosity. Harry never met a stranger, only a friend he hadn’t yet met. He could effortlessly learn the life story of someone in the grocery line and somehow make a connection. He loved engaging with people and people loved meeting him, his obituary said.
Harry is survived by his beloved wife of 53 years, Nancy M. (Whitley) Brown and the couple had 3 cherished children, Heather L. (Brown) Durr (Kenneth L. Durr), Harry E. Brown, Jr (called to Heaven after birth), and Nancy “Beth” (Brown) Viglianco (Michael C. Viglianco). The pride of Harry’s life were his 5 grandchildren who all lived locally and with whom he shared a close bond: Benjamin B. Durr, Andrew L. Durr, Madeline W. Durr, Sarah D. Viglianco and Samuel A. Viglianco. Harry could often be seen attending their sporting events, concerts and ceremonies delighted by their accomplishments.
In addition to his immediate family, Harry is survived by his sister-in-law, Naree K. Brown and nephew and niece, Peter D. Brown and Rebecca K. Brown, his brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Frederick H. Whitley, Jr. and Marian M. Whitley, and nephews and niece, Scott D. Whitley, Brent D. Whitley, Michele L. Whitley and their families.
Visitation will be from 11:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. with a memorial service to follow on Saturday, June 3, at Cochran Funeral Home, located at 905 High St., in Hackettstown. Interment will follow at the Belvidere Cemetery, on Oxford St., in Belvidere. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Warren County Community College Foundation (memo section: Harry E. Brown Memorial Scholarship), 475 Route 57 West, Washington, NJ 07882.