Our friend and colleague John F. X. Browne, P. E., CPBE, passed away Sunday, March 11 after a brief illness. Here is the obituary:
John F.X. Browne (December 1935 March 2012) died peacefully at his home in Bloomfield Hills after a brief battle with cancer. John was born and raised on Long Island, NY and moved to the Detroit area to attend the University of Detroit where is obtained a Bachelors of Science degree in both Physics and Mathematics. John went on to become a professional engineer and the founder and president of John F.X. Browne & Associates in Bloomfield Hills where he serviced the broadcast industry for 45 years.
John was the eldest son of Marie Mulcahy Browne and John Browne and the devoted brother to three sisters Patsy Reisert, Mary Ellen Curnyn, Terry Logan of Long Island, NY. He was the beloved husband to Kay Mullen Browne
for 32 years. John married Kay (widowed in 1978) and became a father to her six children between the ages of 11 and 21. He was called both a saint and a nut; and let’s face facts, proposing to woman with six children took an awful lot of courage but that is how he lived his life. And that is how he lived his last few weeks of life, courageously, faithfully, lovingly and brave to the very end.
John will be forever remembered by his caring children and their spouses, Mary Beth Reed (Brian), John Mullen (Cheryl), Meg Noble (Bill), Katie Nienstedt (Bill), Tom Mullen (Jerry) and Jane Fletcher (Greg) as well as his
treasured grandchildren, Erin, Colleen, Moira, Allison, Johnny, Mary Kate, Casey, Clare, Billy, Cece, Jack and Tommy along with countless other friends and family whom were blessed to know him.
John’s first love was flight. His joy at being a pilot lasted a lifetime. What started as something fun to do at 23 turned into a life of flying high with his friends and family on board his Piper Aztec. From small hops for business to world renowned, record setting trips around the world, John was one of the quintessential quiet birdmen. Not only was John inducted into the Aviation Hall of Fame, he was also the recipient of twenty-two National Aeronautic Association records for speed and distance flying in his small plane.
John was also a dedicated member of the American Association of the Knights of Malta, the Cardinal Club of Detroit, President and founding member of Everest Academy in Clarkston, MI, a board member at Rose Hill Center, and President of Michigan Catholic Radio. Among his many professional affiliations, John was made a Fellow of the Society of Motion Picture & Television Engineers; he was selected as the Outstanding Engineer in Private Practice by
the Michigan Society of Professional Engineers; and was the second recipient ever of the prestigious Carl E. Lee Broadcast Engineering Excellence Award by the Michigan Association of Broadcasters.
John touched the lives of many people with his quiet smile and generosity, and maintained his trademark sense of humor all the way to the end.
Beloved husband of Katherine “Kay” (formerly Mullen). Dear father of Mary Beth Reed (Brian), John Mullen (Cheryl), Meg Noble (Bill), Katie Nienstedt (Bill), Tom Mullen (Jerry Stevens) and Jane Fletcher (Greg). Grandfather of
Casey, Allison, Johnny, Mary Kate, Clare, Billy, Cecile, Jack, Tommy, Erin, Colleen and Moira. Brother of Patsy Reisert (Bob), Mary Ellen Curnyn and Terry Logan (Don).
Family will receive friends at A.J. Desmond & Sons (Vasu, Rodgers & Connell Chapel), 32515 Woodward (btwn 13-14 Mile), Wednesday, 2:00-9:00pm. Prayers 7:00pm. Funeral Mass Thursday 11:00am at St. Hugo of the Hills Church, 2215 Opdyke Rd., Bloomfield Hills. Visitation at church begins 10:00am.
Memorial tributes to Missionary Sisters of Charity, 1917 Cabot St., Detroit, MI 48209 or Legionaries of Christ, 2460 Opdyke Rd., Bloomfield Hills, MI 48304 or Ladies of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, 2215 Opdyke Rd., Bloomfield Hills, MI 48304.