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Robert F. Brown Sr. was a CSX assistant superintendent and also worked part-time as a funeral home attendant.
Robert F. Brown Sr. was a CSX assistant superintendent and also worked part-time as a funeral home attendant.

Robert F. Brown Sr., a retired CSX assistant superintendent and part-time funeral home attendant, died Saturday at Stella Maris Hospice of complications of esophageal cancer. He was 87.

The son of Charles Brown, a shoe salesman, and Marie Brown, a homemaker, Robert Francis Brown Sr. was born in Baltimore and raised in Catonsville.

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He was a graduate of Polytechnic Institute and began his railroad career when he was 16 as a messenger for the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, where he delivered messages from Mount Clare and Camden yards to the old Union Stockyards in Southwest Baltimore.

In 1945, he was drafted into the Army Air Forces and served for two years in Okinawa, before being discharged in 1947 with the rank of sergeant.

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Mr. Brown returned to the B&O and eventually rose to become assistant superintendent of transportation at Locust Point, where he worked in the railroad's export coal department. He retired from successor CSX in 1986.

Restless in retirement, Mr. Brown became a part-time funeral home attendant at the Mitchell-Wiedefeld Funeral Home. For the last 25 years, he had worked in a similar capacity at the Lemmon Funeral Home in Timonium.

"My father was an affable man who was always interested in others. He liked having conversations with people and helping them out," said his son, Robert F. Brown Jr. of Parkton.

He also volunteered at what is now the University of Maryland St. Joseph Medical Center.

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The former longtime resident of Hopkins Road in Rodgers Forge had lived in Mays Chapel for the past decade.

Mr. Brown enjoyed vacationing in Ocean City, where he liked "people-watching on the boardwalk or from his deck," his son said.

He had been a Baltimore Colts season ticket holder during the 1950s and 1960s and was an Orioles and Ravens fan.

Mr. Brown was an active communicant at St. Pius X Roman Catholic Church, where he ushered, volunteered and was a Eucharistic minister.

A Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 11 a.m. Thursday at his church, 6428 York Road, Rodgers Forge.

In addition to his son, Mr. Brown is survived by his wife of 53 years, the former Mary Angela Kohlhepp; a daughter, Mary Patricia Brown McManus of Eldersburg; and six grandchildren.

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