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Obituaries Archive

Obituaries » Robert J. Brown

Robert J. Brown

February 26, 1949 - January 22, 2020

Burial Date January 30, 2020

Bob has requested a traditional Latvian burial, that will be held at the graveside, at Brookside Cemetery in Tecumseh, MI, on Thursday, January 30, 2020, beginning at 12:00 PM. The family will receive friends at Joldersma and Klein Funeral Home on Wednesday, January 29, 2020, from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM. Memorial contributions may be directed to the Kalamazoo Latvian Evangelical Lutheran Church, 122 Cherry Hill, Kalamazoo, MI 49006, or the Latvian Center Garezers, 57732 Lone Tree Rd, Three Rivers, MI 49094.

Robert (Bob) James Brown passed away Wednesday afternoon, January 22, 2020, just one month short of his 71st birthday. He passed away in the home he built and lived in for over 30 years. He is survived by his wife, his two children, Anna (Brown) Szymula and Aldan Brown, and his brother, Richard Brown. Bob was born February 26, 1949 in Tecumseh, MI to the late Charles and Leva (Gillespie) Brown. He attended grade school in Tecumseh and was accepted into the Criminal Justice program at Michigan State University. In 1973, Bob moved to Kalamazoo, MI and started his career at the Western Michigan University Police Department. In 1993, during his time at the WMUPD, he attended and graduated from the FBI National Academy, a 10-week training program for active U.S. law enforcement personnel in Quantico, VA. He rose to the rank of Chief of Police of Western Michigan University in 1996, which he faithfully served for 18 years. He retired in January 2014, after over 40 years of service. Bob is remembered for his love of woodworking, building beautiful indoor fixtures and furniture from his home woodshop. He also enjoyed cooking for his family and friends. He loved teaching Anna how to cook, using recipes passed down through his family. As an MSU alumni, he proudly cheered on his Spartans and instilled his love of football onto Aldan. Bob was fully supportive in raising his children in the Latvian culture and enjoyed participating in Latvian traditions.