In Memoriam: Colleagues remember William Brown, Cooperative Extension poultry agent

William “Bill” Reily Brown III, a Cooperative Extension poultry agent, known as Bill or Bud to his family and friends, died Thursday, April 14, 2016, at his farm. He was 54.

Born May 29, 1961, in Wilmington, Delaware, he was the son of the late William R. Brown Jr. and Mildred Gene Wilgus Brown.

He received his bachelor’s degree in animal science from University of Delaware in 1983.

Michelle Rodgers, associate dean of UD’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources and director of UD Cooperative Extension, said, “I consider Bill a gentle giant. Bill’s passion about his work and the poultry industry was so large and yet he was such a humble man. Bill was a great educator and presenter. He was seen by our stakeholders as a trusted source of information that was based in his practical knowledge and experience from both a producer and a former industry professional. Bill was able to relate to both perspectives so well and, additionally, was such a gentleman that he helped to bring the people together for the common good. Our Extension lives have been touched and enhanced by sharing life’s journey with Bill Brown.”

College of Agriculture and Natural Resources Dean Mark Rieger added, “Bill Brown was one of the most dedicated Extension professionals that I’ve ever met, and I have had the privilege to work with dozens at three different land-grant colleges of agriculture. His research-based program was strengthened considerably by the fact that he operated a family farm of his own and led by example. Bill’s cheerful demeanor and altruism made him a quintessential member of the Agriculture and Natural Resources family. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Mary Lou and the Browns at this difficult time.”

Mr. Brown was a member of Unity Washington United Methodist Church in Hurlock, past president of Tri-City Little League, past Cub Scout Leader and was a past volunteer with the Boy Scouts.

He was on the Board of Directors of LEAD Maryland, a very active member of Hurlock Lions Club where he served as president for many terms and was the current district zone chairman. Along with the Hurlock Lions Club, Mr. Brown chaired many fundraising events in Dorchester County for schools, civic groups and athletic organizations cooking his famous chicken. He was also a past member of Camden-Wyoming Lions Club. He served in the Delmarva Poultry Industry as a board member and on the Grower, Poultry Health and Environmental Committees. He also was involved with the Emergency Disease Task Force. He was formerly employed as supervisor for Perdue Farms for 20 years.

Mr. Brown is survived by his wife, Mary Lou Parry Brown, whom he married in 1992; a daughter, Ashley Elizabeth Brown; a son, Jacob Edward Brown, all of Hurlock, Maryland; a brother, David Brown and wife Sue of Wyoming, Delaware; a sister, Pam Haddick and husband Rick of Wyoming, Delaware; seven nieces, seven nephews; his mother-in-law, Emily Parry of Centreville, Maryland; two brothers-in-law, Dennis Parry and wife Diane of Goldsboro, Maryland, and Dickie Seltzer of Centreville, Maryland; two sisters-in-law, Jen Seltzer of Church Creek, Karen Colley and husband Kenny of Goldsboro, Maryland, Pam Usilton and husband Steve of Secretary, Maryland.

Funeral services were held on Saturday, April 23.

Memorial donations may be made to Unity Washington United Methodist Church Van Fund, or to Endowment Scholarship Fund. Make checks payable to Unity Washington United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 298, Hurlock, MD 21643.

In addition, contributions can be made to the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Delaware in memory of William R. Brown III. Contributions will be used to support a scholarship in his memory. Please send contributions to: University of Delaware, Gifts Processing, 83 East Main St., 3rd Fl., Newark, DE 19716. Make checks payable to ‘University of Delaware’ and include on the memo line “in memory of William R. Brown III.” Gifts can also be made on the University of Delaware’s secure website, www.udel.edu/makeagift (select “Other” and fill in College of Agriculture and Natural Resources “in memory of William R. Brown III”).