Obituary: William “Bill” Brown Jr.

William “Bill” Brown Jr.
Photo provided

June 1, 1932 – February 17, 2022

William “Bill” Brown Jr., entrepreneur, businessman and community volunteer, passed away peacefully on February 17, 2022, at the age of 89.

Bill and his family spent 25 years in Hawaii. He grew up in Yosemite National Park, his father ran the general store, and Bill went to high school in Mariposa, a former gold mining town. He liked to say that he had twice traveled around the world in the school bus. He spent his summers at his Uncle Louis’ ranch in Petrolia on California’s “Lost Coast” with his brother Roger. Bill worked on the Yosemite Trail Crew while in high school and college and acquired a taste for construction and bridge building. He went on to earn degrees from Dartmouth and Stanford. A stint in the Navy’s “Seabees” Construction Battalion in the Philippines led to a long career in construction management. He went on to build iconic projects and resorts in California, Hawaii and Hong Kong. Retired to Park City, Utah followed by Port Townsend, WA.

Bill spent his life learning, creating and giving back to every community he lived in. An active Rotary member of Park City and Port Townsend Sunrise; he helped bring Park City’s successful “Running of the Balls” fundraiser to Port Townsend.

Not one to sit still, he skied until he was 70 and mountain biked until he was 80. Bill has served on the board of the Park City Water Reclamation District, the Glenwood Cemetery Association and the Fort Worden Public Development Agency (PDA). During the 2002 Winter Olympics, “Cauldron Bill” managed the Main Street warming cauldrons and helped create the Olympic Welcome Plaza.

Bill has also restored vintage vehicles, culminating in the restoration of a Vienna horse-drawn hearse that is now on display at the Northwest Carriage Museum. He has won numerous awards, including Citizen of the Year and Grand Marshal.

He is survived by his three sons, Alan Brown and his wife Shelley, of Port Townsend, WA. Chris Brown, Cheri Carlson and her grandson Trey of Arlington, WA, and Andy Brown, his wife Erica and two grandchildren, Morgan and Liam, of Snoqualmie, WA. Married for 64 years, his wife Joyce Brown predeceased him in April 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, WA. Please see Bill’s guestbook at: and add your memories. Donations may be made in his name to the Mattole Valley Historical Society (MVHS) and sent to PO Box 144, Petrolia, CA 95558.

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