By Bob Cassidy

For sure Nathanial (Nat) K. Brown was a different man to many people. He started off as a son to John Fremont Brown and Louise Kirkegaard Brown. Husband to the late Judith Rae (Behringer) Brown, father to Pamela J. Brown and her long-time partner Monther Mardini, Nathaniel K. Brown, Jr. and fiancé Jayne Schmitz, and Kenneth E. Brown and wife Shannon, all of Bedford. He was also a significant other to the newest (and also one of the oldest) loves of his life Joan (Joanie) Birmingham a lady from Bedford he first dated when he was a teenager. Nat was also a grandfather to Amanda Brown, Alyssa Brown, Nathaniel Brown III, Mia Brown, Soren Brown, Jimmy McGinn and Kyle McGinn.

That is already a lot of different people to many different people, but Nat was just getting warmed up, he entered the Airforce and  became a Pilot. He was also a student in Bedford, and after leaving the service finished his education with a law degree from Boston University. With his education behind him Nat became a lawyer in the family law firm (Brown & Brown) where he practiced Law for over 60 years. While maneuvering through all this Nat found the time to be a member of the 4-H organization and a Boy Scout where he became the first Scout Bedford’s history to become an Eagle Scout.

Nat was raised to become involved in the community of Bedford. He was the chair of Bedford’s Bicentennial Committee. Nat was a member of the Bedford Minutemen, Bedford Historical Society, and worked tirelessly on the Job Lane House (that his mother helped purchase and preserve for the Town). Spiritually, Nat was active with the First Church of Christ Congregational where he served as a deacon. In business he was also involved with the Bedford Chamber of Commerce.

As the years began to mount up Nat became a member of the Ancient And Honorable Artillery. And in 1961 Nat became a Rotarian and a member of the newly formed Rotary Club of Bedford.

My first contact with Nat was In my capacity as the Public Works Director of Bedford. He came into my office and if I would consider hiring several ex-convicts who were residents of a local half-way-house. He said if I would consider it he would personaly stand behind any damage they might make/cause. I did hire them, and several others over the years. I never had to take Nat up on his promise!

The list of Nat’s accomplishments in Rotary is almost endless:

  • He was club President in 1976-1967
  • He became a major donor to the Rotary Foundation
  • He and Judy were annual participants in the Bandy Heffler friendship exchange program
  • He supplied all the landscaping for the Rotary Club of Concord’s helipad project at Emerson Hospital in 1993.
  • Over the years he was a regular participant at our club’s fundraisers on Bedford day and Breakfast with Santa
  • For years Nat has been the club’s social coordinator frequently sponsoring what he called his Black Tie Specials. Frequently hosting summer cookouts at the family farm in  Fremont NH, frequent gatherings and cookouts at his Bedford home. And who can forget the Paul Bunyon day picnics on his property behind the nursery. The list goes on, and on, and on.
  • He was often times the first to open his own wallet to fund a project;
    • Construction of Spring Brooks Park in the 1960”s
    • Renovation of Spring Brooks Park in the early twenty first century
    • Construction of a 9/11 memorial at Springs Brook Park
    • Funding for numerous Eagle Scout projects

These are the things we know about. The things that are public. But there are so many things, philanthropic things, he did that we do not know about. Why? Because Nat figured it was the right thing to do. And he did not want any accolades and/or credit for doing them.

For those who attended the burial they were treated to the eerie presence of five deer that seemed to appear out of nowhere at the edge of the wood, silently welcoming Nat back home to nature, and to his beloved Judy.

He was my friend; For sure he wasn’t perfect, but the overwhelming evidence shows he was a good man. He was my friend, … our friend. And we will miss him

Safe journey Nat!

(say hi to Judy for us.)