Howard Harding Brown


Howard Harding Brown was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., on August 2, 1923, to Frank J. Brown and Anne L. Brown, and lived on Gramercy Place in Manhattan. Eventually the family moved to New Jersey, and Harding attended Westfield High School. He joined the Navy at the age of 19, and went to officer training school, becoming a Lieutenant (JG). He served in North Africa and Italy in World War II.

After returning from the service, Harding studied at Union College in Schenectady, N.Y., class of ’44, and then NYU Law School. Harding married Roberta Cook (Brown) on April 29, 1949. Before long they had four children, whom they raised in Westfield, N.J. where they themselves had been raised, and where many of their extended family also lived. Harding practiced commercial real estate law in New Jersey for more than 50 years.

Roberta and Harding were able to enjoy a summer home purchased in Edgartown beginning in 1965, and were active members of the Edgartown Yacht Club, the Edgartown Golf Club, and the Edgartown Reading Room. Later still, they purchased a home at the Breakers West community in West Palm Beach, Fla., eventually selling their New Jersey residence after Harding’s retirement, and split the year between Florida and the Vineyard.

Harding and Roberta were able to travel extensively throughout their marriage. Each trip abroad was punctuated with a stop in London, always a favorite, providing occasions to attend Ascot, enjoy their membership at Crockford’s for dining and cards, the theater, friendships, and English hospitality. Roberta and Harding were blessed with five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Multigenerational summers on the Vineyard have been a highlight for the family, gathering year after year for relaxed time together at the family home, with Harding at the helm.

Harding Brown was predeceased by his wife Roberta in 2016. He leaves his adult children, Rande Brown of Manhattan; Aron Brown and his wife Kim of Bedford, N.H.; Robert Brown (Miriam Cohen) of Morristown, N.J.; and Sharon Gamsby (Shepard Shove) of West obituaryTisbury; his grandchildren, Mohawk and Nemo Bolin, Jay and Amanda Brown, and Turner Brown; and his great-grandchildren, Omen and Ziggy Bolin.

The family wishes to express their deepest appreciation to his dedicated caregivers, Marie Jean-Francois, Natalie Jean-Francois, and Najuscka Lapaix.

We may not see you, but you are with us. Much more than a memory, your love and care remains. We love you completely and will miss you always.