Severn Brown



Severn P. Brown has passed away in the 97th year of what he referred to as a "heck of a good run"; he was a Christian gentleman of the old school.


Severn and his two brothers grew up in Evanston, IL, across from Northwestern University.  Unlike his brothers, however, he chose to attend the University of Rochester where he was a member of Psi Upsilon and played on the basketball team.  Graduating in 1943, as a geologist, he initially received a military deferment that he later resigned to serve as an officer in the military police.


After the war, he did his graduate work at Columbia University where he was elected to Sigma Xi. He then worked for the USGS in Alaska.  He worked in Mexico and eventually came to Gouverneur to work as a mining geologist for the then St. Joseph lead company.  He began a lifelong association with St. Lawrence University in 1957, serving as an Associate Professor of Geology for four years.  Leaving SLU, he and several partners founded a geologic consulting firm where he worked until his retirement.  In retirement, he indulged his passion for travel, enjoyed gardening, and worked to advance the science of geology.  Severn was a member of the Presbyterian Church of Canton, teaching Sunday school and serving as a Church Elder.  Among his many other activities, he was an active member of Rotary and a founding member of the Canton Community Fund.


While in Gouverneur, he met and married Alita F. (Hunter) Brown.  They were married for 41 years until her death.  He married Sarah (Sally) Street and they enjoyed some 20 years of marriage.  Once asked for a longevity tip, he quipped, "if nothing else, I know how to marry well."


Severn is survived by his wife, a son, and two beloved grandchildren.


Funeral arrangements are through the Lawrence Funeral Home of Canton; calling hours will be Friday, 10 May from 6:00 to 8:00PM.  There will be a memorial service followed by a meal and fellowship at the Presbyterian Church on Sunday afternoon, 12 May.


In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the United Helpers or the charity of your choice.