Dr. Richmond Brown, a cherished mentor, teacher, and colleague in history and Latin American studies, was laid to rest at the Prairie Creek Conservation Cemetery on September 22. Friends and family speaking at the graveside service remembered a kind and giving soul whose absence will be felt around all corners of the Plaza of the Americas for a long time to come. Below is a full obituary published by Alabama.com.
Oct. 17, 1961 – Sept. 20, 2016 Richmond F. Brown died peacefully at Haven Hospice on September 20th, just three weeks short of his fifty-fifth birthday, after a long and very brave struggle with cancer. Born on October 14, 1961 in Fort Benning, Georgia, where his father was stationed in the army, he grew up and lived much of his life in Mobile, Alabama, a city he loved and knew well. He graduated from Davidson High School in Mobile in 1980 and suma cum laude from Spring Hill College in 1983. Disturbed by the violence and devastation in Central America in those years, he decided to study the history of Guatemala and Central America at Tulane University, earning his master’s degree in 1986 and his doctorate in 1993. He taught Latin American history at the University of South Alabama from 1990 to 2006 before becoming Associate Director for Academic Programs and Student Affairs at the University of Florida in 2006, serving in that position until shortly before his death. He was an exemplary scholar and teacher and a mentor to many students. Richmond is survived by his wife, Ida Altman; his parents Richmond P. and Laura Frances Brown of Arley, Alabama; brother Kevin Brown and his wife Traci and children Campbell and Cameron of Montgomery, Alabama; brother John Brown and his wife Marie and son Aidan of Boston, Massachusetts; and by many friends, colleagues, and students, all of whom love him dearly. He was predeceased by Kevin and Traci’s son Kevin Hobson Brown. He will be remembered for his kindness, decency, lack of pretension, integrity, sharp intellect, and quiet sense of humor. He had a deep knowledge of history and sports and loved music, Alabama football (although he found room in his heart for the Gators), and his cat Sooky. All of us who love Richmond say good-bye with heavy hearts, even as we treasure our memories of this extraordinary man who gave so much to so many and never thought of himself as extraordinary. We should have had him in our lives for much longer. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to a fund to be established in his honor by the UF Center for Latin American Studies, the purpose of which will be to support the master’s degree students to whom he was so devoted. Checks should be made payable to the UF Foundation, Inc. (indicate on the memo line Fund 011147/Richmond Brown) and sent to the Center for Latin American Studies, University of Florida, 319 Grinter Hall, Gainesville, FL 32611. Donations in Richmond’s name to the Southern Poverty Law Center or to Doctors without Borders also are welcome.