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UW Carbone Cancer Center Remembers Dr. Ray Brown

MADISON - The University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center (UWCCC) mourns the loss of Dr. Raymond Brown, who died on June 23, 2010 at his home with his family by his side. He was 83.


Ray is survived by his children Laura Brown (Mark Shahan), Jeff (Kristen) Brown, Doug Brown; grandchildren Alex, Katrina, Marla, and Ross Brown; his brother Ken (Viola) Brown and sister Reta Kennedy in Alberta, Canada; his beloved partner of 8 years, Marion Meyer; Marion's children Rob Meyer (Ella McLeester), Martha Rosemeyer (Mario Gadea), Betsy Meyer (Ernie Polo), and Dewey Meyer; Kathy Germann; and by 7 nieces and nephews.  He was preceded in death by his wife of 46 years, Eleanor, in 1999.


Ray was "charter member" of the Department of Human Oncology and the UWCCC according to Paul Sondel, professor in the departments of Pediatrics, Human Oncology and Genetics. "He was a fine lab investigator, a great mentor, a kind and generous collaborator and the type of colleague that makes UW a great place to work", says Sondel.


Dr. Ajit Verma, professor in the Department of Human Oncology, worked with Ray in the area of bladder cancer. "His pioneering research on tryptophan metabolism and cancer is noteworthy", says Verma. "Ray was a highly focused dedicated scientist, outstanding teacher and loving colleague".


Ray was born to Anna E. and Wm. Frederic Brown in 1926 in Calgary, Alberta (Canada), and grew up on a farm near Kathyrn, Alberta. He began his education in a one-room schoolhouse, then attended Mt. Royal College and the University of Alberta.  He received his Ph.D. in 1953 at the University of Wisconsin, working at McArdle Laboratory with Dr. James Miller, studying metabolic functions which influence liver cancer.  He was a Professor in the Departments of Human Oncology and Nutrition at the University of Wisconsin, studying tryptophan metabolism in conditions as diverse as oral contraceptive use, bladder cancer, breast cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, and AIDS. He was a founding member of the International Society for Tryptophan Research, and published over 90 papers in this field.


Ray was a devoted ice hockey fan and player, skating until hip replacements forced him to quit at age 70. He coached and refereed youth hockey, and was a goal judge for the UW for many years. He enjoyed hunting, camping, and canoeing with his family, and caring for his "farm" in Richland County, where he planted trees and made maple syrup for friends and family.  He enjoyed music, especially his trumpet and playing in the neighborhood ("VanChaMaShe") band on the 4th of July.  He was also a photographer and woodworker, making beds for his grandchildren and woodcarvings for his home.


Through his work and mentoring foreign students he made lifelong friendships, and was able to travel with Eleanor and later Marion to visit these friends and colleagues all over the world.  As part of the Road Home program Ray and Marion have been mentoring Denise, Asia and Rayvon for the last seven years.  Ray was a member of  the First Unitarian Society, Voyageurs, 4th Tuesday Club, and the Madison Civics Club. His family and friends will miss his puns and jokes, his unconditional love, and his company at outings to the symphony and American Players Theatre.


Ray's family would like to thank his many wonderful friends who shared the good times and supported him through the tough times.  The family also thanks the staff of the UW Heart Failure Clinic and the Capitol Lakes Nursing Home for their care, and the incredible people at HospiceCare and BrightStar for easing his final days and making it possible for us to get him home.


A celebration of his life will be held at the First Unitarian Society of Madison, on September 19, at 3 pm, to be followed by a reception.  In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in his name to The Nature Conservancy, HospiceCare Inc., or Planned Parenthood.

Date Published: 06/28/2010

News tag(s):  cancerresearch

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UW Carbone Cancer Center Remembers Dr. Ray Brown

Last updated: 09/16/2010
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