Robert L. Brown

Posted on Nov 5, 2012
Robert L. Brown

Robert L. Brown, 72, of Decatur passed away on Saturday, November 3, 2012 at Lutheran Hospital in Fort Wayne. He was born on August 13, 1940 in Adams County to Clifford R. and Dorothy M. (Reidt) Brown. He was married in August of 1977 to Judy Nuzum. She died on August 12, 2011. He was then married on September 15, 2012 to Edith Northup.
He attended Zion-Friedheim Lutheran Church and was a former member of Peace Lutheran Church. He worked as a civil inspector for the state of Indiana. He volunteered for the Emergency Management Agency in Adams Co. He was a lifetime member of the Tri-State Gas Engine & Tractor Association and Sons of the American Legion Post 468 in Berne. He was also a member of the Blue Dots Motorcycle Club, Adams Co. Crime Stoppers, and a committee member of the Motorsports Festival.
He and his late wife Judy co-owned and operated J & B Grocery in Berne. They were also foster parents for several children.
In 1960, he was in a catastrophic industrial accident that left him a quadruple amputee. He was not expected to live. Not only did he survive, but he went on to live an extraordinary life over and above an incident most people would not have survived. Because of his character and zest for life, the Indiana Rehab Services commissioned him to give motivational speeches at many schools and facilities in the state. He would speak to students and recently disabled individuals about the power of never giving up. A famous phrase of his was that he was an American and the last 4 letters read, “I CAN”.
As a result of his condition, he was appointed a member of the governor’s Disability Act Task Force, which set up rules and guidelines for handicap accessibility in Indiana, and he has appeared before congress.
He is survived by his wife of Decatur; mother-in-law, Myrtle L. Nuzum of Fort Wayne; two step-sons, Mark (Tina) Sites of Butler; and Morris Shull of Bozeman, Montana; step-daughter, Virginia L. Moser of Kendallville; and three step-grandchildren, Matthew Sites; Clint (Abbey) Sites; and Phoenix Shull.
He was preceded in death by his parents.
Visitation will be two hours prior to the 7:00 p.m. memorial service on Wednesday, November 7 at Haggard-Sefton & Hirschy Funeral Home in Decatur. Officiating will be Pastor Marvin Hinkle and Pastor Daniel Dahling.
Memorials may be made to Tri-State Gas Engine & Tractor Association in Portland or to Swiss Heritage Village & Museum in Berne
Arrangements provided by Haggard-Sefton & Hirschy Funeral Home in Decatur. To sign the guest book, click on