Dr. James "Jim" H. Brown, Ph.D

Birth Date: 
Monday, November 9, 1931
Date of Passing: 
Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Dr. James “Jim” H. Brown, Ph.D., 88, of Wooster, OH passed away on Tuesday, November 19, 2019 after a long illness.

Jim was born November 9, 1931 in Richwood, WV to Othel “Brownie” and Elsie Hinkle Brown. 

Jim grew up in Nicholas County, WV and roamed the hills with his faithful dog, Joe, during his teenage years.  He graduated from Richwood High School and in the fall of 1949, he entered WVU (West Virginia University) in Morgantown, WV.  While standing in line at the old Field House to register for freshman classes, he was about to sign up for the Mechanical Engineering program but the line was too long.  He noticed the line for the Forestry program was much shorter.  He had grown up around forestry, sawmills, hunting and fishing and both sides of his family had been involved in farming, logging and lumbering for many years, so he registered in the Forestry program and never regretted it.

In 1953, Jim graduated from WVU with a BS in Forest Management and in 1954 he received a Master’s Degree in Forest Silviculture from Yale University in New Haven, CT.  During the summer when he wasn’t attending classes, he worked as a Research Assistant for the U.S. Forest Service in Orono, ME, in Laurel, MD, in Parsons, WV (where he met his wife) and at the Morris Arboretum in Philadelphia, PA.  He served in the U.S. Army’s Counter Intelligence Corps from 1955-1957.  After returning from the Army, Jim began work at West Virginia University researching Christmas tree production and mined-land reclamation.  He was named an Assistant Professor at WVU in 1961.  From 1964-1965, Jim, his wife, and daughter lived in East Lansing, MI where he earned his Ph.D. from Michigan State University.  After graduation, they returned to Morgantown, and he returned to his Assistant Professor duties at WVU.

In 1970, Jim accepted an Associate Professor position with OSU (Ohio State University) at the OARDC (Ohio Agricultural Research & Development Center) in Wooster, Ohio.  There, he became a full Professor, Associate Chair of the Division, Associate Director, Acting Director and after retirement in 1995, Professor Emeritus in OSU’s School of Environment & Natural Resources.  In addition to teaching, advising and continuing his research with Christmas trees, Jim spent many hours studying mined-land reclamation and forest soil/site relationships.  He also assumed numerous administrative responsibilities at both OSU and OARDC in Wooster, OH.

Jim had authored or co-authored over 115 research publications, and belonged to many organizations including the Society of American Foresters (SAF), the Soil Science Society, and the Ohio Christmas Tree Association.  In 1975, he was recognized by the Ohio Christmas Tree Growers Association for outstanding service to the Christmas Tree Growers of Ohio.  In 1986, Jim was named a Fellow to the national SAF for outstanding service to forestry, received the Ohio SAF Outstanding Member Award in 1987, and was elected to the Ohio Christmas Tree Hall of Fame in 1996 for recognition of leadership and contributions to the Christmas tree industry.  Jim also served on advisory committees at Hocking College, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, the Ohio Federation of Soil and Water Districts, and the Ohio Forestry Association.  On March, 9, 2011, he was recognized for 50 years of membership in the Ohio Society of American Foresters.  Jim also received the West Virginia University 2011 Outstanding Forestry Alumnus Award in recognition of professionalism, service and loyal dedication to forestry education.  Also in 2011, he was awarded the Outstanding Service Award from the National Christmas Tree Association.  Jim was awarded honors in Research of WV Balsam Fir Christmas Tree upon his retirement in 1995, a Resolution for Outstanding Service to Ohio by Senator Grace Drake and Representative Ron Amstutz, Appreciation for Contributions to the Success of the Ohio Forestry Forum, and Promotion of Research in Science by the Society of Sigma Xi – WV Chapter.  Throughout his career, Jim planted over one million trees.

Jim’s work with Ohio Christmas Tree Growers Association and his research and publications led him to give innumerable presentations throughout the Eastern, Midwest, and Southern US.  His wife, Yvonne, and daughter, Sharon, accompanied him on the trips during the summer.  As busy as his speaking schedule was, he always made time to sightsee with his family.

Jim was an avid golfer and in his spare time could be found on the golf courses around Wayne County, OH.  He also enjoyed cross-country skiing during the winter.  His family will cherish the memories they had with him of many family get-togethers with close cousins, swimming in the Cherry River in Richwood, visiting many national and state parks, yearly trips to Ocean City, MD, visiting his mother in Sarasota, FL and Richwood.  His granddaughter, Angela, especially cherished the time she was able to spend with him and her grandmother as a young child while her parents worked, the many times he took her swimming at the YMCA and to the local parks and fairs, took her to work with him at the OARDC, and time he spent with her outdoors teaching her about different types of trees and birds.  Jim was a 50+ year member of the Wooster United Methodist Church, having served on different committees.

Jim was a loving and caring husband, father, grandfather, and friend to many.  He was preceded in death by his parents and is survived by his loving wife, Yvonne, daughter Sharon (Mark) Norman of New Philadelphia, OH, granddaughter Angela Beaudoin and her father Richard Beaudoin of Apple Creek, OH, his special cousin Margaret Ann (Clair) Muscaro of Columbus, OH, and their daughter, Kathy (Joe) Klamut of Columbus, OH, and son David (Rhonda) Muscaro of MI, and their children Moriah and Aaron and several cousins in Ohio and Florida.

Funeral services will be held on Saturday, November 23, 2019 at 11:00 AM at McIntire, Bradham & Sleek Funeral Home, 216 E. Larwill St., Wooster.  Entombment will follow in Wooster Cemetery.

There will be no calling hours.

Memorial contributions may be directed to the Wooster United Methodist Church, 243 N. Market St., Wooster, OH 44691, or to Ohio’s Hospice LifeCare, 1900 Akron Rd., Wooster, OH 44691 or to a charity of the donor’s choice.

The family wishes to thank Danbury Assisted Living for their love and support.

To share memories and condolences with the family, please visit www.mcintirebradhamsleek.com

Memorial Contributions: 

Wooster United Methodist Church, 243 N. Market St., Wooster, OH 44691, or to Ohio’s Hospice LifeCare, 1900 Akron Rd., Wooster, OH 44691 or to a charity of the donor’s choice

Service: 

Saturday, November 23, 2019 at 11:00 AM at the funeral home

Condolences

I am terribly saddened to learn of DR. Brown's passing. We were golfing partners for several years. Jim was a scholar, a gentleman and the best golf partner I ever had. My sincere condolences to his family.

Sending my condolences to your family. Very sad to see the news in the Wooster paper.

Amy Grasgreen Potter

I was greatly saddened to learn Jim's passing. He was a valued friend and colleague. I personally benefited from his scientific knowledge, leadership and friendship. The Ohio Agriculture community is much better off because of his many contributions. He will be missed.

'So sorry to hear (from the ATI Sunshine Fund site) of Jim's passing. We extend our sincere condolences to you and your family and wish you the very best as you travel down life's challenging moments on the road ahead.

Gordon and Dee Warnes, Salem, SC

Great mentor as my Masters Advisor, and friend after. Rest easy, Jim.

It is very sad to hear of Jim Brown passing. He was a great man and I can remember having super conversations with him. He was a great leader and scientist. Real sad.

It is very sad to hear of Jim Brown passing. He was a great man and I can remember having super conversations with him. He was a great leader and scientist. Real sad.

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