In Memory

Geoffrey (Jeff) Brown

Geoffrey (Jeff) Brown

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07/06/10 05:25 PM #1    

Herb McLure

Geoff was a good friend almost as long as I can remember. He got me my first real job selling Spudnuts door-to-door--60 cents a dozen or 35 cents a half dozen. Can you imagine a 9-year old doing that now? I may have learned more from his mistakes than from my own because he always seemed to perceive the correct lesson from the experience. For example, when we decided as seniors it would be funny to squirt people on the street with shaving cream as we drove by, he (and the others with him) got caught. The police made him buy the man a new suit of clothes, but what I remember is him telling me it was a stupid thing to do because a frightened person may have had a heart attack or otherwise been harmed, something that never even occurred to me, but something I have remembered ever since. And when he put peanut butter on the bread before he put it in the toaster, he didn't blame me for the mess, though he certainly could have.
For those of you who didn't see him after high school, it's worth mentioning that he kept right on growing, and ended up at least 6'6" tall (or 5'18" for those who prefer it). The following is an excerpt from an e-mail he sent me in 2002, explaining what had happened in the decades since we had last talked. A few months later I got my last message from him saying he was being treated for cancer.
"I didn't get married until I was 36.  The kids (Paige 22, Tyler 21, and Wesley 17) are still in school.  Conservatively I estimate that I am going to need to work until I am 70 in order to afford any modicum of a lifestyle.  Seems like everyone in the family lives into their late 90's, and I will run out of money if I don't work until 2113!  It is convenient that I have a good job, and enjoy working.  

"First born Paige is studying business.  She has just returned to this area from Northern Arizona University, where she was on a cross -country scholarship.  She was Nebraska champ for a couple of years, has a closet full of ribbons and medals, and wanted to go to school in Arizona.  She has recently contracted juvenile arthritis, can't run anymore, so she is back in town attending the University.  Tyler did a year at the University of Arizona  and now he is back home, also working and going to the University.  Wesley a junior in high school, is a drummer in a band, and doing well with a schedule of advanced placement courses.

"My wife, Carol, is a dental hygienist, and the president of the Nebraska Board of Dental Examiners.  She does outside consulting, and is in Kansas City as we speak. She is an Omaha girl, and 10 years younger than I am.  We will probably both quit working at the same time.  We are in no hurry to be grandparents....want Paige et. al.  to finish college first!  An interesting arrangement - living in a couple of places, and working between the two.  It is good to have family to connect with wherever you are.  Carol's entire family is either here in Omaha, or within 50 miles in Iowa.  Over the years Christmas has become a particularly memorable time because they all come to town - sometimes joined by my folks - and we have great comradery and fun!  My folks are still about.  My mom and stepfather (Ken), are in their late 80's, and live in Leisure World ( the kids call it Seizure World) in Mesa.  They play golf three times a week, and are still very active.  (My older brother) Alex is a retired printer, and is currently the clerk-of-the-court in Paradise Valley.  Divorced, he has three kids that are spread across the western states.  (My sister) Bonnie lives in Tempe with her husband, Mark Domin.  She was married to Mark Zimmerman (don't know if you remember him from Tempe High) for a few years, divorced, and has been married to Mark for 20 years.  They have two boys who both still live in Tempe.  Sister Anne is a 20 flight attendant who is married to an America West pilot.

"I, like you, enjoy playing golf.  I still enjoy jogging....have a 16 year streak participating in local runs like the "Corporate Cup."  I can jump as well as I ever did, but don't like how it feels when I come down, so don't do much of that any more!  If you remember, I graduated from Thunderbird Graduate School.  As a result, I have always gravitated to jobs that incorporated an international aspect to my responsibilities.  I love international travel and have done as much of it as possible.  Hiked the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu this last summer, walked 30+ miles of the Great Wall of China a couple of years ago.  The boys like to river raft and mountain climb, so we have done a lot in Colorado.  Carol likes to watch from afar.

"I just joined a local insurance company called Ameritas Life Insurance Corporation as VP Organizationa Development.  Fifteen years with a high-tech software company ended when the CEO left, and the new guy wanted his own people.  Was out of work for almost a year.  Builds character…"
I trust Geoff is resting in peace.


10/16/11 11:11 PM #2    

John Radcliffe

I'm surprised this page is not full of Geoff Brown stories because I know there are more than enough for a book about the class of 61's greatest extrovert.

Several times when some of us would be "cruisin", Geoff would say "Let's swing by my house for a moment". After about 15 minutes of waiting in the car for him some one would go to the door and ask his sexy mom for Geoff, only to receive the response "Oh he's in the shower".....

I remember toolin' around in his Morris Minor that had the manual swing out semaphore turn signals, also going to his house and drinking fresh squozin orange juice by the quart. Nights when I was "staying at Geoff's house" and he was "staying at John's house" and we and Jim Carraway and others that I don't remember were high tailin' it to Canal Street.

Geoff and I were part of the "shaving cream episode" crew that got hauled in by the police. Our fathers had to come in to secure our "release" which was facilitated by Mr. Carraway who was a detective with the Tempe Police. I was always terribly embarassed and it wasn't subsequentially discussed in my family, however some 40 years later at my dad's funeral, Geoff's stepdad Ken was cracking up telling me he thought it was the funniest thing ever. (Jim Austin has an account of the "shaving cream episode" in his profile)

Ken and Doris also attended my mother's funeral. His family and the Montgomerys were my families first friends when we moved to Tempe in August 1959 from Dallas, Texas. Geoff's sister Bonnie was a friend of my sister Cynthia, Class of 64. So many of us had siblings in the class of '64, I guess it was "war babies" and "post war babies".

Geoff's mom Doris had a small but ardent fan club. At my moms funeral I whispered into Doris' ear that I had always been in love with her. She gave me a big hug and then her always mischievous little smile...

In 1964 I got married at Good Shepard Episcopal Mission in Fort Defiance, AZ.  Jim Austin was my best man. Several years later I ran into Geoff for the last time and he told me he tried to make it to my wedding but had ended up at the Episcopal Church in Flagstaff some 200 miles away....

...Geoff we still miss ye...

John Radcliffe.

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