William (Bill) A. Brown of Oak Bluffs died after a short illness at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston on Oct. 29. He was 67.
Bill was born Dec. 12, 1945 on Staten Island, N.Y. He was the son of Richard C. Brown of Oak Bluffs and the late Barbara Bowman Brown, formerly of Oak Bluffs.
Following his graduation from Curtis High School on Staten Island, he served three years in the U.S. Army, a part of which was spent in Korea. He was also stationed in California and Ohio in the years following the war. Upon his discharge from the service he attended and received a bachelor's degree from Springfield College in western Massachusetts in 1970.
In order to be near his family, Bill relocated to Martha’s Vineyard in 1973, where he enjoyed an active and meaningful life in service to others. He was active in the Boy Scouts of America on Martha’s Vineyard for three decades. He managed and then owned bike shops in Vineyard Haven for over 30 years, drove school buses for a number of years, worked for Island Elderly Housing’s maintenance department and later at Ace Hardware in Vineyard Haven. Most recently, he was employed by his good friend (and former employee) Kevin Oliver as a caretaker of many seasonal homes of Chilmark residents.
A self-taught carpenter, he thoroughly enjoyed doing his own projects around his home. He was also dedicated to his gardening and preserved the bounty of his efforts in pickles and stewed tomatoes, which were just a couple of his specialties. Bill always enjoyed traveling and taking road trips throughout the United States, Yellowstone Park being one of his favorite destinations.
Bill was an avid Red Sox Fan and unfortunately died one day before the big game in Boston. His family believes that he witnessed it and maybe even helped them win the 2013 World Series.
He is survived by his father and stepmother, Richard C. Brown and Carolyn R. Brown; his brothers, Walter LaBell and John LaBell of Oak Bluffs and Noel LaBell of Connecticut, a sister, Christine (LaBell) Clifford of Swansea; and several cousins, nieces and nephews, both on and off the Island.
In accordance with his wishes, no service is planned at this time.
Donations may be made in his memory to Island Elderly Housing, 60B Village Road, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568.