Capt. Michael T. Brown of Arnold, Md. died on May 4 after a brief illness. He was 63.

Born in Fall River on May 12, 1953, Mike was the son of Thomas J. and Rosemary (Murphy) Brown. He attended the Sts. Peter and Paul School and Henry Lord Junior High before moving to Oak Bluffs. He was a 1971 graduate of Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School, a member of the Massachusetts Maritime Academy class of 1975, and completed graduate work at Lesley College in Boston and the National War College in Washington, D.C.

As a young man, Mike went to sea as a cadet aboard the training ship Bay State and the Farrell Lines container ship S.S. Austral Envoy, and as a deckhand on the Woods Hole, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket Steamship Authority ferries. Following graduation, he sailed as mate on the banana boat M.V. Almirante, ocean tug Mister Marshall D. and seismic survey ship H.J.W. Fay, navigator on the minesweeper USS Detector, and on various offshore supply boats owned by Seahorse Marine in Port Fourchon, La. With his wife Ellie, he co-owned and was master of the paddlewheeler Golden Arrow. Mike held an unlimited third mate’s license and a master’s license for freight and tow.

In 1977 he joined the U.S. Coast Guard as a marine inspector, and during a 27-year active duty and reserve career ensured the safety of merchant ships and crews in St. Louis, Mo., Houma, La., Boston, Baltimore, Md., and Norfolk, Va. Captain Brown served as the commanding officer of Reserve Unit Washington, D.C., the first director of the Inland Rivers Vessel Movement Center and responded to the devastation of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita on the Gulf Coast before retiring as a Coast Guard Reserve Captain in 2005.

In 1994 Mike joined the National Transportation Safety Board, working on major marine and pipeline accident investigations and safety issues until his retirement in April following 40 years of federal service.

While inspecting the Steamer Admiral in St. Louis, Mike met the love of his life, Ellie Carroll, daughter of the boat’s captain and member of a long-time Mississippi River family. He is survived by Ellie; his mother Rosemary Brown of Vineyard Haven; his sister Tommye Ann Irwin and her husband Patrick of West Tisbury; his brother Stephen Brown and his wife DeeAnn of Jupiter, Fla.; his daughter Sarah Johnson and her husband Mark of Frederick, Md.; his son Timothy Brown and his wife Aimee of Spotsylvania, Va.; grandsons Gibson and Jasper Johnson; and many nieces and nephews.

A memorial Mass will be held at noon on Friday, May 12 at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Severna Park, Md., followed by interment at Maryland State Veterans Cemetery in Crownsville, Md. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to Coast Guard Mutual Assistance ( or to the Educational Enrichment Fund of the Community Foundation of Frederick County ( Online condolences may be made at