Joseph R. Brown Jr.

Joseph R. Brown Jr.

November 29, 1926 - June 29, 2019
Laguna Niguel CA

Joseph R. Brown Jr.

November 29, 1926 - June 29, 2019
Laguna Niguel CA


Joseph R. Brown Jr. (Joe Brown), 92, of Laguna Niguel, devoted husband, father, and grandfather, passed away peacefully on Saturday, June 29, 2019.

He was born November 29, 1926 in Fort Smith, Arkansas to Joseph Real Brown and Lucy Mason McDonough Brown. During the Second World War Joe served with the American Field Service in Italy and India. Joe received his Bachelor of Arts from Yale, Master of Arts from U.S.C. and Ph.D. from U.S.C.

He was preceded in death by his first wife and mother of his children Jean Nelson Brown, daughter Wendy Nelson Brown, and second wife Gwendolyn Gregg Brown. He is survived by his three sons: Christopher Houston Brown, Joseph R. Brown III, and Timothy Christian Brown; grandson Jeremy Lee Fillmore (Arlen Fillmore); stepdaughters Jo Moore and Dow O’Brien (Tracy O’Brien); and stepgrandson Nicholas Gregg Moore.

Joe was a caring, thoughtful, and gracious man. He was always quick to recognize and express his admiration for the skills and accomplishments of those around him; this was just one of his outstanding qualities that endeared him to many. His family especially loved and appreciated him for the devoted family man that he was. It was very evident to them, by his words and deeds, that their well-being came first.

He was a successful businessman. His drive, keen business sense, and excellent leadership skills helped to propel many of the companies that he lead, as President or Vice President, to new heights. With a career that spanned sixty-eight years he had the opportunity to work with a variety of businesses in Southern California. His management positions included Senior Vice President of the Title Insurance Company, Executive Vice President/Real Estate of the Bixby Ranch Company, President of the San Gabriel River Improvement Company, President of Victoria Management Corporation, President of the Carson Estate Company, and Chairman of Midland Management Corporation.

Joe believed very strongly that giving back to the community was of the utmost importance. This was demonstrated by his extensive involvement in civic and church related activities. He was a member of the Rotary Club of Laguna Niguel. He was proud of his years of service on the City Council and as Mayor of Laguna Niguel. His concern for children’s health care kept him busy as President of the Children’s Clinic at Long Beach Memorial Hospital, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Miller Children’s Hospital, and Director of the United Cerebral Palsy Association. Joe was committed to improving higher education in Southern California: he was a Director of the California State University Institute, Chairman of the Board of Directors of California State University at Dominguez Hills Foundation, and Chair of the Financial Committee of the Saddleback College Foundation. Joe was also an active member of the Laguna Niguel Presbyterian Church.

The family would like to express our appreciation to Marie Elias, Tina Rhydolm, Jennifer Valle, and Susan Nugent for the excellent care they provided to Joe toward the end of his life.

A memorial Service will be held on July 27th at 11:00 am at the Laguna Niguel Presbyterian Church, 30071 Ivy Glenn Drive in Laguna Niguel.


Memorial Service

  • Date & Time: July 27, 2019 (11:00 AM)
  • Venue: Laguna Niguel Presbyterian Church
  • Location: 30071 Ivy Glenn Drive Laguna Niguel, CA 92677 - (Get Directions)

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2 responses to Joseph R. Brown Jr.

  1. You were an inspiration to many people and greatly respected.

  2. Dow O'Brien says:

    As his stepdaughter, I had the honor and great pleasure of knowing this very special man for more than 30 years. I want to let those who knew and cared about him know that in his last few hours as he passed away he was quite lucid as he heard stories retold about his remarkable life, smiled, and even chuckled occasionally. Joe went to “meet his Maker” (as he used to phrase it) having reviewed a life well lived and knowing he was well loved.

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