February 8, 1922 to April 16, 2010
Robert Guinn Brown, 88, born in Oakland, Illinois, son of Orville W. and Helma Dean Brown, died April 16, 2010. He was preceded in death by his wife Marian L. Brown (nee Wiggins) and daughters Mary Ellen and Nancy Wray (nee Brown). He is survived by sons Cecil of Kentucky, Orville of San Diego, daughter Lucy Mantor (nee Brown) of Pine Mountain, California, 13 grandchildren and numerous great-grandchildren.
He was married for 60 years when his wife Marian died. On their 50th anniversary he went to his knees and serenaded his wife with their song: "When You Were Sweet 16." There was not a dry eye in the audience.
He was a World War II veteran and retired San Diego Policeman. During his career as a policeman he did many unusual jobs, some which might not be allowed today.
On Sundays while on duty, wearing a choir robe over his gun and uniform, he attended church to sing in the choir. This with the approval of the PD! In the 60's, before the PD had access to divers, he was called to dive and search bodies of water for evidence and cadavers. Long before white and black Policeman were allowed to partner, he partnered with Chuck Rucker, the first black and white police partners in San Diego, possibly the first in America.
While an active policeman, he pushed for the establishment of a chaplaincy for the PD and succeeded. It is still a vital part of the PD today.
His heart was for the families and youth of San Diego communities. He was a Little League and Pony League coach, even when his own sons were too old to play.
During the take over by the students at Lincoln High School in 1970, the students gave a "let him in and leave him alone" sign and he was the one policeman that could enter without violence. The students knew his fairness and reasoned approach and respected him as their Juvenile officer.
An outstanding accomplishment during his career was the Christmas present and food program he established in the early 60's. The first year he was able to only help 10 families, until a local TV personality became involved. That first year then benefited more than 1,000 families. The program grew bigger each year.
The most enjoyable and year round program he established was the fishing program at Chollas Lake. He took youngsters from all areas of San Diego fishing. He created a worm farm, got local sporting goods stores to donate fishing equipment and local bus companies to donate their buses to get the youngsters there. They fished, ate and mixed with youngsters of all ethnic groups. Chollas Lake became popular because of this program. Because of this he was awarded the California Law Enforcement Medal of Honor.
After a full career as a San Diego Policeman, he worked as Head of Security at the Del Mar Race Track for the state of California, until he was 82. He was known as "Cowboy Bob" and earned the respect of the off track bettors and employees at the Del Mar Race Track.
After his retirement from the SDPD, he worked a full 15 years at Del Mar. He loved law enforcement! Robert Brown was a good policeman, friend, husband, father, and grandfather. He will be missed.