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Lawmakers and leaders, celebrities and sports stars, the well-known are often well eulogized upon their passing — praised, as in life, beyond the true measure of their effect upon the public.

It is those closer to home, those whose hands we have shaken and whose interests we have shared, whose loss is more keenly felt.

Stan Brown was such a man.

The local businessman, family man and longtime firefighter breathed his last on Aug. 12, and the expressions of sadness, sorrow and support have since poured forth.

That is hardly surprising. Stan emulated what we like to think of as the best of York County: Hard work, devotion to family, service to community.

Nor was it surprising that the pews at Shrewsbury Assembly of God church were overflowing for his Aug. 17 funeral, filled, as the Dispatch reported, with “those who knew (Stan) personally and from afar.”

As the longtime owner of Brown’s Orchards and Farm Market in Loganville, Stan served the community at the most basic, everyday level: He helped put healthy food on local plates.

As the chief and assistant chief of the Loganville Volunteer Fire Co. for some 20 years, Stan served the community at the most dramatic and extraordinary level: He helped answer the call when homes, businesses and, at times, lives were on the line.

His commitment was all-encompassing.

He took his profession seriously, as is evident by his membership in such organizations as the York County Fruit Growers Association, the Pennsylvania State Horticultural Association, York County Farm and Natural Lands Trust, and Penn State Extension Service.

And that commitment was appreciated and applauded, not only by a loyal customer base but through honors such as 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.

So it was, again, no surprise, that when word of Stan’s passing at age 84 was shared on Facebook, accolades poured in:

  • “ … a shining example of gratitude, humility, goodness, and love for others …”
  • … he worried more about others than he did himself …”
  • “…an incredible, generous and selfless man.”

After a courageous battle with cancer, Stan died peacefully — in the heart of his community and surrounded by family. Which is exactly how he lived his life.

It was the epitome of a life well led. And it serves as a lesson in what is truly important: Hard work, devotion to family, service to community.

There can be no greater tribute to Stan Brown than to follow his example.

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