Donald Gordon Brown, 72, of Black Lake

Updated: Jul. 8, 2019 at 3:26 PM EDT
Donald Gordon Brown passed away peacefully on July 6, 2019, at his home on Black Lake, NY.
Donald Gordon Brown passed away peacefully on July 6, 2019, at his home on Black Lake, NY.(picture provided by funeral home)

BLACK LAKE, N.Y. (WWNY) - Born on August 26, 1946, in North Tonawanda, NY, Donald Gordon Brown passed away peacefully on July 6, 2019, at his home on Black Lake, NY, with family and friends at his side.

Affectionately known as “Donnie,” he had a passion for life, friends, family, nature, fishing, and gardening.

After graduation from Syracuse University College of Forestry in 1964, Don enjoyed a 33-year career as a forester for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, the fulfillment of his life’s dream to work in the outdoors. He took pleasure in his work throughout St. Lawrence County with his dedicated colleagues and treasured the close friendships he developed with his co-workers. Fishing trips with his family and friends were among his most cherished memories.

A former member of the Potsdam and Ogdensburg Tree Commissions, Don also served on the Boards of the New York Forest Owners’ Association and the Indian Creek Nature Center. He was voted Forester of the Year by the Executive Committee of the Forest Resources Program Leaders in 2003. Don loved transmitting his knowledge of the North Country’s flora and fauna to friends, family, and also to members of the community through his involvement in Project Learning Tree and the Youth Conservation Corps. After retirement, he served as Stewardship Coordinator for the Thousand Island Land Trust of Clayton, NY. He attended St. John’s Episcopal Church of Ogdensburg.

Don is grateful to his loving wife Janice for their 42 years of marriage and to their daughters, Christa Brown of Potsdam, NY, and Anna Brown of Canton, NY. He is also survived by his two grandchildren Alina and Walter, his brother Dr. Patrick Brown and wife Carol Brown of Vero Beach, FL, his aunt Ursula Morrison of North Tonawanda, NY, his sister-in-law Marilyn Brown of North Tonawanda, NY, his goddaughter and niece Cynthia Grim of Downingtown, PA, his nephews Brian Brown of Mt Laurel, NJ, Kevin Brown of Downingtown, PA, and Timothy Brown of Kennett Square, PA.

He is predeceased by his brother Thomas Brown and his first wife Mary Saarie Brown.

A memorial service will be held on Sunday, August 4, 2019, at 5 p.m. at the Dobisky Visitors' Center, 100 Riverside Ave. Ogdensburg, NY 13669 to celebrate Don’s life and legacy. Contributions in his name may be given to any of the aforementioned groups, or, in lieu of a financial gift, Don recommends planting a tree.

He wishes to be remembered as someone who considered life and the people he met as divine blessings. His appreciation for the beauty of life was an inspiration to all who knew him; his legacy lies in the thousands of trees he planted in St. Lawrence County and the hundreds of acres of woodland he helped to manage and improve for the generations to come.

Online condolences may be made at

Copyright 2019 WWNY. All rights reserved.