Robin Cotten Brown, M.D., 85, died early Monday morning, July 22, 2019 in McDowell, Virginia, at the home of his son and daughter-in-law, Cotten and Caryn Brown.
Dr. Brown was born on March 14, 1934, to Percy Rivers Brown and Katherine Austin Kelley Brown in Birmingham, Alabama. The family moved to Tampa, Florida, when he was four years old. He attended Tampa public schools and graduated from Tulane University and Tulane Medical School in New Orleans, Louisiana. After completing residency training in otolaryngology at Ochsner Foundation Hospital in New Orleans and the University of Illinois Research and Educational Hospital, Presbyterian-St. Luke Hospital and the Illinois Eye and Ear Infirmary in Chicago, Illinois, Dr. Brown moved his family to Ft. Myers, FL. In 1964, he joined Dr. William Dakos in his ear, nose and throat practice. For some years, they were the only ENT specialists between Sarasota and Miami. Initially, Dr. Brown's practice centered on general ENT, but, as other specialists arrived in Southwest Florida, he did more plastic surgery and other specialized procedures for which he was trained. His sub-specialty was microscopic middle ear surgery. Dr. Brown retired in 2000.
In addition to maintaining an active practice for over 30 years, Dr. Brown was active in his community as a member of the Lee Memorial Hospital staff, Lee County Medical Society, Rotary Club of Ft. Myers and the Southwest Florida Community Foundation Board of Directors. He was instrumental in founding the Nature Center of Lee County and the Randell Research Center on Pine Island. He was a scientist, teacher, artist and writer who enjoyed sharing his hobbies of chemistry, electronics, mechanical toys and a wide range of crafts with family and friends. He wrote three books about prehistoric Florida: Florida's Fossils, Florida's First People, and a book of crafts for youngsters. He supported research in Florida paleontology and paleoanthropology. Dr. Brown loved creative projects and was working on several at the time of his death.
When he was in Virginia, he participated in the Staunton Rotary Club as a guest and at the Museum of Frontier Culture as a craft demonstrator on field days. He supported the Highland County Historical Museum and attended the McDowell Presbyterian Church. He loved the mountains and rivers, and he photographed the rocks, flowers and forests that enfolded him. He watched the stars, counted the lightning bugs and listened to the frogs. He pressed ferns and flowers and made them into beautiful collages. He grieved the passing of this beautiful earth as he knew it, due to the ravages of climate change.
Survivors include his wife of 63 years, Jan; daughter, Deirdre Brown Mendez, PhD and husband, Michael Kuhn of Austin, TX; three sons, Robin Cotten Brown, Jr. and wife, Caryn of Ft. Myers, FL and McDowell, VA, Louis Stuart Brown and wife, Stacey of Ft. Myers, FL, and Stephen Tulane Brown, MD and wife, Katherine of Tampa, FL; one sister, Susanne Conaty and husband, Don of Tampa, FL; and a niece, Kelley Maierhoffer and husband, Justin of Knoxville, TN; eight granddaughters, Claire Mendez Bohne of Austin, TX, Emily Brown of Tallahassee, FL, Frances Brown of Jacksonville, FL, Elizabeth and Robin Layne Brown of McDowell, VA, and Sarah, Margaret and Lillian Brown of Ft. Myers, FL.
A committal service was held in the Bhalgaire Farm family Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be sent to the Highland County Library, P.O. Box 519, Monterey, Va. 24465, Highland County Historical Society, P.O. Box 63 , McDowell Presbyterian Church, P.O. Box 66, McDowell, Va. 24458.