Lawrence G. BrownLAWRENCE G. BROWN It is with great sadness that the family of Lawrence G. Brown marks his passing on July 13, 2014. His humor, intelligence, and courage were unmatched. Born in Warsaw, Poland in the 1920s, his youth, filled with horses and hunting, was cut short by World War II. The British and Russians trained him in espionage, subversion and guerrilla warfare. He led small teams on 17 missions behind enemy lines, parachuting, driving or flying into Nazi-occupied Poland. He was wounded five times. As the war neared its end, he retrained and led an infantry battalion to break through German lines south of the Oder-Neisse junction, a critical battle in the push to Berlin. He led his men into intense fighting in the Battle of Zittau. Larry received Poland's highest military decoration for heroism, the Order Wojenny Virtuti Militari - the Polish equivalent of the U.S. Medal of Honor. After the war, which claimed his Swedish mother, he came to the United States where his father lived. He graduated from the Rhodes School in New York City and MIT, where he won awards for creative mechanical designs. Combat again interrupted his education when he was asked to serve in the Korean War. Post-war, he returned to Boston to finish his mechanical engineering degree and rose quickly at Union Camp Corporation, becoming its Chief Technology Officer. His experience and languages, English, Russian, Polish, German and French, pulled him back to Europe, where he pursued graduate work at the University of Heidelberg, and formed a management consulting firm servicing the executive management of companies such as Robert Bosch, Krupp, Daimler Benz, Mannesman, Owens Illinois and Swissair. He was elected to several boards of Swiss-controlled corporations. Retiring at 40, the family moved from residences in Switzerland and Germany to California and then Nevada to live-out Larry's childhood dream of cowboys and ranches. He purchased a ranch in Nevada where his four children will never forget the horses, chickens, ducks, a goat, pig and endless acres of fun in the Sierra Nevada. A Hawaii vacation led to a residence where he remained endlessly curious and desirous of making a positive impact. He developed and patenting numerous mechanical devices. His second retirement resulted from the invention of the BioCam bicycle. The bike was used in 1979 to produce the best ever finish (2nd) by an American rider at the two-day 750-mile Paris-Brest-Paris race. It broke time-trial records, was estimated by an Olympic cycling coach in a Sports Illustrated feature to provide a 10% efficiency improvement, and was chosen as part of an exhibit on innovation at the Smithsonian Institute. His Road Machine, an innovative fly-wheel bicycle trainer (now commonplace), was used by Greg LeMond to prepare for his Tour de France victories. LeMond's company now sells a similar device. He continued inventing into his 80s, receiving multiple patents in the last few years of his life. His memory lives on with his wife Betsy of 57 years, and their children, Amy, Gregory, Stefanie, and Brian. A private family service will be held in San Diego's beautiful San Luis Rey Old Mission. "To be absent in body is to be present with the Lord."
Our deepest condolences to the family and friends of the deceased