Peter G. Brown, 88, died peacefully at home Jan. 18. Pete, with his wife Rita, had lived in Fountain Hills for 40 years.
Pete was born in Bement, Ill. He and his teddy bear took their first airplane ride with a barn-stormer when he was 5. After that he had one goal: to become a pilot. Washing airplanes at a small airfield, he earned flying lessons and was flying by the time he was 15.
He graduated from University of Arizona, Tucson, with a BA in business, but that was just another step towards his wings. After graduation he enlisted in the Air Force and received his wings at Madden Air Force Base, Mo.
As Captain of a B-26, he was sent to Korea. He flew his 50 bomb runs as a member of the “Night Intruders,” the unit specializing in night bombing. He earned several citations and commendations, including the Distinguished Flying Cross and a Presidential Commendation.
Deactivated at the end of the Korean conflict, he signed on as pilot for Bonanza Airlines in order to return to Arizona. He settled in Scottsdale when Camelback Road was still just a dirt road.
In 1976, when Pete and Rita built their home, Fountain Hills was so small there was no doctor and no library. Those came the next year but Pete and some friends realized there couldn’t be meaningful growth until incorporation. They worked towards incorporation until there was finally a Town of Fountain Hills in 1989.
Pete was a true Renaissance man. He was a gifted pianist, enjoying especially Cuban composers. He built beautiful furniture and embellished it with hand carving. In 1977 he built his first computer, buying a bunch of transistors and soldering them onto a board. Then he entered the program line by line and symbol by symbol.
His love of aviation led to building a large collection of radio-controlled airplanes, which he first designed with a CAD program on his computer. He had an HO train lay-out that filled an entire room. When Rita started a weaving business, Pete became a weaver.
Peter loved all animals. He was a volunteer at Liberty Wildlife and at Out of Africa. At home he loved his dogs and especially his cats. He will be missed by Piwacket, AnaStraysia, Ramir, and Alesandrah.
A Memorial Service will be held at Messinger Mortuary on Friday, Feb 3, at 11 a.m. In lieu of flowers, Pete requested donations be sent to: Best Friends Animal Society, 5001 Angel Canyon Road, PO Box 567, Kanab, UT 84741