Norman Brown

Obituary of Norman Harrison Brown

Norman Harrison Brown, formerly a partner at Ballard, Spahr, Andrews & Ingersoll, died on March 31, 2020 in New Canaan, CT. He was 95 years old. Norman was born in Baltimore to Helen Harrison Brown and William Norman Brown, a professor of Sanskrit and Indology at the University of Pennsylvania. Norman grew up in Rose Valley, PA and was a member of the first graduating class at The School in Rose Valley, a progressive elementary school started and supported by local families including his parents. In 1942 he graduated from Friends Central School, a high school outside Philadelphia where he was an actor, a football player, and a star student. The most enduring and important part of his high school years was meeting his classmate Dorothy Anne Haig (“Doffy”) whom he married two years after graduation and with whom he enjoyed 68 years of marriage until her death in 2011. Norman went on to Harvard College where he joined the Navy Officer Training Program while completing a degree in Government and History. He was commissioned as an Ensign in the Navy in 1944 and served on a destroyer in the waning days of World War II. He enrolled in Harvard Law School after the War and was hired by Ballard, Spahr, one of Philadelphia’s leading firms, after graduation. He developed a specialty in Trusts and Estates and became one of the leaders in his field in Pennsylvania. Sailing became an abiding passion in the 1960’s and he raced actively for over 50 years retiring only when he reached 90 years old. He was also an avid cruiser, travelling as far as the Caribbean and Nova Scotia and making multiple voyages to Maine and back from the Chesapeake Bay. 1985 was a watershed year for Norman and Doffy. Norman took early retirement, sold their house and set sail for Key West and the Bahamas. This had been a longtime dream. For the next year and a half Norman and Doffy lived, explored and adventured on their 40’ sailboat. Norman and Doffy moved to St. Michaels, MD in 1987 and for three decades enjoyed life on the water and on shore. Wednesday and Saturday races with his colorful and beloved crew were the high points of most weeks. He is survived by a sister, Ursula Perivier, four children (Cornelia Brown, Haig Brown, Oliver Brown, and Willa Schell), and nine grandchildren. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to The School in Rose Valley , which was very dear to Norman’s heart. He loved his own experience there, sent all his children there and often remarked what a happy place it was to grow and learn.
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