Theodore Peter Brown, 89, of Manchester-by-the-Sea, died on April 13 following a courageous battle with pancreatic cancer. He passed away peacefully in his home with his beloved wife Mary Jane at his side and surrounded by his children.
Born October 17, 1930, one of 10 children to parents Peter A. (Psalidas) and Anastasia (Synodinas) Brown, Ted's life is a story rich in family, friends, community and service. A veteran of the Korean War and devoted husband and father, Ted spent his entire life living and working in Manchester-by-the-Sea, touching the lives of countless individuals with his sense of humor, quiet acts of kindness and devotion to community. The unofficial “Mayor of Manchester,” Ted served on numerous town committees and was for years a staple in the town’s parades as well as a fixture on his beloved Singing Beach. Ted was a humble, hardworking and loyal man, and always a tireless champion of the underdog.
Ted grew up a child of the Great Depression, the third youngest of 6 boys and 4 girls in a home filled with love and a solid understanding of family responsibility. His father Peter Anthony Brown, the founder of “Brown’s Fruit and Grocery,” was a hardworking man who expected the same from his children. Ted started working in the grocery store at the age of nine, and after graduating from Manchester High School in 1948 he attended the National School of Meat Cutting in Toledo, OH. Ted worked in the family business (which later became “Brown’s Supermarket”) for 57 years, until 1996 when the store transitioned to Crosby’s Market. He later focused his efforts on managing the family’s real estate before finally retiring in 2016.
Ted served in the Korean War as part of the “Hell on Wheels” 2nd Armored Division, originally stationed at Fort Knox Army Base in Kentucky and then in Mannheim, Germany. An avid sports fan and athlete, Ted ran the base’s athletic operations and in 1953 became the base’s Novice Lightweight Boxing Champion. He returned from Germany in December of 1953 following the untimely death of his father. After his return home Ted met the love of his life, Mary Jane McCoo, and the two were married at the Assumption of the Virgin Mary Greek Orthodox Church in Ipswich, MA on September 15, 1957. Ted and Mary Jane raised four children together.
Ted had a special place in his heart for all children, especially his own children, nieces, nephews and grandchildren, and was famous for dropping a supportive note in the mail and tucking a few bucks in a hand. He loved dressing up as Santa Clause, and was often seen over the holidays at the Tara Montessori Pre-School, as well as other places around town, with that red suit, white beard and twinkle in his eyes. He enjoyed Halloween with his wife Mary Jane and “haunting” their home on Tappan Street, where Ted will always be remembered in his gorilla costume.
Ted loved his hometown of Manchester-by-the-Sea and marched for years alongside his brothers in the Memorial Day Parade Color Guard, serving as Sergeant at Arms in 2001. A 50+ year member of the Manchester Club, Masonic Lodge and Legion, Ted also served on the Planning Board and The Chief Masconomo Statue Committee. Ted will long be remembered for his 4th of July Parade antics, recreating himself in costume over the years, often delighting the crowds when dressed as a woman in hilarious camp drag. Ted was also an avid tennis player, frequently found on the courts at Filias Circle and Brook Street and served as a coach and referee for various Cape Ann sports organizations throughout his younger life.
Ted is survived by his loving wife of 63 years, Mary Jane McCoo Brown; children, Anastasia Brown of Rockport, MA, Charles Brown and his wife Lynn (Tanashian) Brown of Wayland, MA, James Brown and his wife Carroll (Edmonds) Brown of Essex, MA and David Brown and his partner Michael Heitner of New York, NY; grandchildren Jessica Brown, Zachary Brown, Matthew Picard and Nairi Brown; as well as two siblings, Speros Brown and his wife, Pauline (Apostolopoulos) Brown and Katherine (Brown) Bulgaris, wife of the late Michael Bulgaris; his sister-in-law, Doris (Silva) Brown, wife of the late Anthony Brown. He was predeceased by his brothers Anthony Brown, George Brown and his wife Mary (Vontzalides) Brown, Thomas “Spike” Brown and his wife Victoria (Papandreou) Brown, Paul Brown and his wife, Sophie (Anasoulis) Brown, as well as his sisters Jennie Brown, Connie Brown and Betty (Vasilakopoulos) Brown.
Funeral services will be held privately with a celebration of life to be held at a later date.