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Stan Brown: A tribute to a family, community leader

Jana Benscoter
York Dispatch

The warmth and generosity Stan Brown shared with others was returned to him during the celebration of his life Thursday, Aug. 17, in Shrewsbury.

Brown, the former owner of Brown's Orchards and Farm Market in Loganville, died  Saturday, Aug. 12, after a battle with cancer. He was 84. 

Pews at Shrewsbury Assembly of God, 234 N. Main St., were filled with family, friends and supporters. Those who knew Brown personally or from a distance said he will not be forgotten. 

Nona Brown, widow of Stan Brown, holds the hand of family friend Jennifer Hartenstein McGraw as they enter the funeral service for Stan at Shrewsbury Assembly of God Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017. Bill Kalina photo

Brown also was fire chief and assistant chief of the Loganville Volunteer Fire Co. for 20 years. Firefighters and orchard staff said he had a way of bringing out the best in others and making people feel as though they were part of his family. 

"The relationship was great with Stan," said 66-year-old Donald Eberly, who volunteered at the fire company for 29 years.

Stan Brown, owner of Brown's Orchards and Farm Market, checks apricot trees for frost damage Wednesday, April 16, 2014. Brown died Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017, the orchard announced.

"When I went to join the fire company, he'd come up and shake your hand and welcome you," Eberly recalled. "And he treated you as a son — real good. He was great." 

Brown's son, David Brown, took over the family business after working alongside his father. He described his father as an honorable man, noble in his actions and very caring to everyone he met.

David Brown said he strives to be like his father.  

Stan Brown, he said, was a man with a vision to share his love for fruit trees with as many people as he could, as well as maintaining the integrity of their orchard to match the rural setting where it was situated.

It was in 1948, in his teenage years, when Stan Brown discovered his love for trees. 

He and his wife, Nona, continued the family business in Loganville after he returned from college and serving in the Army. 

Among the organizations Stan Brown was a part of: the York County Fruit Growers Association, Pennsylvania State Horticultural Association, York County Farm and Natural Lands Trust and Penn State Extension Service. 

He had countless accolades, which included being named York County's Outstanding Farm Family, York County Chamber of Commerce's Small Business of the Year, a Pennsylvania Master Farmer and the State Horticultural Association's Grower of the Year.

Hanover resident Jerry Gobrecht attended the funeral to show his respect. He said he travels to Loganville on a weekly basis to partake in the activities Brown's Orchards and  Farm Market offer. 

"It was like having a second family," the 65-year-old said. "People were very nice to you. They just made you feel comfortable and very down at home. ... I didn't meet one person who wouldn't talk to you like a family."