Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Attorney, Colonel, Carlynton School Board President Dec. 27, 1946 - April 2, 2019

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Attorney, Colonel, Carlynton School Board President Dec. 27, 1946 - April 2, 2019

Article excerpt

A longtime military and private practice lawyer who also served as a Carlynton School District board member, Thomas W. Brown couldn't walk away from anyone who needed his help -especially older people, teenagers and veterans.

"He would help anybody who was in need," said his wife Marie Brown. "He did many pro bono cases for younger people who were in trouble or elderly clients who needed assistance."

Mr. Brown, 72, of Carnegie, died April 2 of complications from throat cancer, which he fought for 13 years.

Though he spent much of his youth growing up in Beaver, Mr. Brown's family moved when he was 12 years old to the Johnstown area, where he graduated from Westmont Hilltop High School in 1964.

He earned a bachelor's degree in political science from Grove City College in 1968 and enrolled in the Reserve Officers' Training Corps before entering Duquesne University School of Law, where he graduated in 1972.

His brother loved to talk, David Brown said, and was particularly engaged with politics at a young age.

"He was politically aware of his surroundings," said David Brown, of Birmingham, Ala. "Then, when he had the opportunity to go to law school, everything just fell into place."

After joining the Army during the early 1970s, he joined the Reserve in 1982, achieving the rank of colonel and serving for more than 30 years, chiefly as a lawyer in the Judge Advocate General's office.

Early in his legal career, Mr. Brown worked as an assistant district attorney in Allegheny County before opening a solo practice in 1982 in Carnegie.

"My husband did everything, other than divorces and bankruptcies, but he primarily was a criminal defense lawyer," Mrs. Brown said.

He went the extra mile for younger clients who were in trouble with the law, helping to steer them to better choices, his wife said.

"He mentored them and made sure they got on the right track," she said. …

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