Originally Published: April 11, 2014 6:01 a.m.
Ray died on April 3, 2014, in the care of the wonderful staff of the Good Samaritan Society Marley House hospice facility here in Prescott, Ariz. He had moved to Prescott many years ago, which he said was one of the best decisions he ever made in his life. He was born on June 16, 1937. He was the son of Raymond W. and Ethel R. Brown, and was born and raised in Jersey City, N.J.
He is survived by his son Clint A. Brown, Clint's wife Brenda and Ray's granddaughter Taryn. He is also survived by his son Jason A. Brown, Jason's wife Julie and their children, Jaime, Jeremy and Jake. Ray was preceded in death by his beloved sister Eunice E. Pinelli.
Ray was a 1959 graduate of St. Peter's University, a Jesuit college in Jersey City. He earned a scholastic scholarship to the University of Notre Dame Law School in South Bend, Ind., where he was on the editorial board of the Notre Dame Law Review.
After graduation in 1962, he was admitted to the Indiana State Bar and then entered the U.S. Army as a combat branch 1st lieutenant, serving as commander of a Nike Missile Base before entering the Judge Advocate General's Corps, where he soon attained the rank of captain. He served a total of four years active service in the U.S. Army, followed by three years in the Army Reserves, and was very proud of that service.
Ray was admitted to the Arizona State Bar in 1966 and began his law practice in Prescott in 1967 with his good friend and mentor, James P. Boyle Jr., with whom he was in partnership for 15 years. He was certified by the Arizona State Bar as a specialist in real estate law for many years.
Ray was active with the Arizona State Bar Association for many years, especially in the lawyer disciplinary system, which dealt with ethical complaints against attorneys. He served as Chair of the Disciplinary Hearing Committee to investigate and resolve disciplinary complaints against lawyers in Yavapai, Mohave and Coconino counties for 12 years. Later, he was appointed by the members of the Arizona Supreme Court to be a member of the Arizona Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission, serving for a six-year period and serving as chair of that commission. Later, Ray was elected twice by the attorneys in Yavapai County to serve as a member of the Arizona State Bar Board of Governors, the governing board for all attorneys in Arizona. He served on the Board of Governors for a total of six years.
He also served, upon periodic request of the Arizona Court of Appeals, as Judge Pro Tempore of that Court of Appeals.
Over the years, Ray provided service to various local organizations. He served as Chair of the Acker Trust Fund for the City of Prescott for approximately 11 years, having been appointed to that position by four Prescott mayors. He was the president of the local chapter of the American Heart Association. He served on the Board of Directors of the Handicapped Children's Development Association, and served on the Board of Directors of the Yavapai College Foundation. He also taught for a period at the "old" Prescott College north of Prescott. In recent years, he was a volunteer for the local Trauma Intervention Program of Arizona, working at emergency scenes to provide practical and emotional support to citizens in crisis in the west side of Yavapai County. Most recently, he was an active board member and supporter of the National Alliance of the Mentally Ill (NAMI), as he worked to better understand the neurological effects of the traumatic brain injuries he had endured after suffering a cardiac arrest and other significant physical setbacks in recent years.
Ray was a co-founder of the Bank of Prescott in the early 1980s, was a stockholder and served on the bank's Board of Directors. Ray was proud and pleased to have had the opportunity to serve many clients and to be a member of the legal profession, with its many challenges and opportunities. He enjoyed reflecting on his early years in Prescott when the Superior Court, the Justice Court, the County Attorney's Office, the Sheriff's Office, the Yavapai County Jail, the Recorder's Office, the Treasurer's Office, the Board of Supervisor's Office, the Assessor's Office, and the Probation Office were all located in one place in the downtown Yavapai County Courthouse. Hard to believe now, but those were fond memories for Ray.
Ray wanted it stated that he was most proud and pleased to have had the opportunity to have worked in his private law practice with his son, Clint, for 11-plus years, before health issues forced Ray to reduce his practice. That, according to Ray, was the best part of his legal career.
Away from work, Ray thoroughly enjoyed many challenging hikes in the Grand Canyon with friends through the 1970s and later with his sons. He was also an avid runner, having completed several marathons and countless shorter races around the Southwest. When a back injury ended his running and hiking days, he dove headfirst into weight training and other fitness activities, and managed to maintain his strong physical condition into his late 1960s.
Ray's family would like to publicly thank three very special people in Ray's life: former employees John Peters and Sharon McComack, and Mary Peters, John's wife. They were truly Ray's guardian angels, providing their never-ending support to him. During the last difficult years of his life, Ray battled with a body that was failing physically and the mental challenges resulting from traumatic brain injury. John, Sharon and Mary demonstrated the physical embodiment of Christ's love. They will always hold a special place in our hearts for the love and support they gave dad during the last five years.
In lieu of flowers, it is requested that a donation be made in Ray's memory to the Yavapai Food Bank or the local Salvation Army.
Private services will be held. Interment of Ray's ashes, at the Prescott VA Cemetery, will follow at a later date.
Please visit www.hamptonfuneralhome.com to share memories of Ray.
Arrangements by Hampton Funeral Home.
Information provided by survivors.