William “Bill” Brown Jr., contractor, businessman and community volunteer, passed away Feb. 17, 2022, peacefully at the age 89.
Bill and his family spent 25 years in Hawaii. He grew up in Yosemite National Park; his dad ran the general store and Bill went to high school in Mariposa, an old gold-mining town. He liked to say he went around the world twice in a school bus. He spent summers at his Uncle Louis’ ranch in Petrolia on California’s “Lost Coast” with his brother Roger. Bill worked on the Yosemite trail crew during high school and college and got his taste for construction and building bridges. He went on to get degrees from both Dartmouth and Stanford. A stint in the Navy “Seabees” construction battalion in the Philippines led to a lifelong career in construction management. He went on to build signature projects and resorts in California, Hawaii, and Hong Kong, retiring in Park City, Utah followed by Port Townsend, Washington.
Bill spent his life learning, creating, and giving back to every community he lived in. An active member of the Park City and Port Townsend Sunrise Rotaries; he helped bring the successful “Running of the Balls” fundraiser from Park City to Port Townsend.
Not one to sit still, he skied into his 70s and mountain biked into his 80s. Bill sat on the board of the Park City Water Reclamation District, the Glenwood Cemetery Association and the Fort Worden Public Development Agency. During the 2002 Winter Olympic Games “Cauldron Bill” managed the Main Street warming cauldrons and helped create the Olympic Welcome Plaza.
Bill also restored antique vehicles, culminating in the restoration of a horse-drawn hearse from Vienna that is now on display at the Northwest Carriage Museum. He earned numerous awards including Citizen of the Year and Grand Marshal.
He is survived by his three sons, Alan Brown and wife Shelley, of Port Townsend, Wash.; Chris Brown, Cheri Carlson and grandson Trey of Arlington, Wash.; and Andy Brown, wife Erica and two grandchildren, Morgan and Liam, of Snoqualmie, Wash. Married for 64 years, his wife Joyce Brown preceded him in April of 2019 and his brother Roger in 2015.
A memorial service will be held in his honor on Saturday, May 21, 2022 at his beloved Fort Worden in Port Townsend. Please go to Bill’s guest book on legacy.com and add your memories. Donations can be made in his name to the Mattole Valley Historical Society (MVHS) and sent to PO Box 144, Petrolia, CA 95558.