LEWISTON — Stephen H. Brown, 75, of Carthage died in Lewiston on Thursday, Aug. 16, from complications of cancer. Steve was born in Northampton, Mass., on Aug. 8, 1943, the son of Stephen Brown and Elsa Parshley Brown.

He grew up in Northampton and Amherst and graduated from the University of Massachusetts in 1968. He received a master’s degree in psychology from Rutgers University where he conducted research on brain function. In 1971, Steve and a group of relatives purchased land in Carthage. After living there during summers for seven years, he moved permanently to Carthage and began working in the woods. He was elected first selectman in 1980. Very quickly, advocacy for his town replaced woods work as his full-time job. In his first year, he convinced the state to allow Carthage to design and build its own bridge, saving money for the town and providing employment for residents. That project led to many more practical and thrifty solutions to town problems.

In his 38 years as first selectman, Steve reached out to neighboring towns, collaborating with county, regional and statewide organizations. In 1988, he was a leader in the creation of the Northern Oxford Regional Ambulance Service (Med-Care). As president from the founding until his death, he guided the group through transitions and major expansions. He was also active, often as an officer, in Western Maine Community Action (CAP Agency), Androscoggin Valley Council of Governments, Franklin County Municipal Officers Association, Franklin County Budget Committee, Maine Municipal Association, Western Mountains Alliance, and Carthage Historical Society.

Growing up in a musical family, Steve took lessons and performed with various groups. As an adult he played piano for pleasure and was an avid concertgoer. He maintained lifelong friendships with a closely-knit group from high school and college. They often shared boating adventures in New England and Canada, and even a transatlantic 41-day journey on the Ernestina, a 100-year old schooner.

Although Steve never married, he enjoyed a rich family life, not only with his family of origin but with many people he befriended, and the beloved residents of Carthage. He had a gift for recognizing and nurturing each person’s unique qualities.

He is survived by siblings, Anne (and Robert) Keith of New Gloucester, Laurie Kennedy (and Mark Silber) of Carthage, Edward (and Candelaria) Brown of Santiago, Chile, and Nancy (and Robert) Beacham of Farmington; nieces and nephews, Rebecca (and Scott) Matusovich of New Gloucester, Roberto Keith of Portland, Katie Kennedy (and Eric Dahlin) of Tariffville, Conn., Julia (and Van) Carney of Woodville, Va., Elsa (and Jacob) Brown of Berlin, Germany, Diana Brown (and Alvaro Carreño) of Santiago, Chile, Edward Brown (and Nicole Chavez) of Santiago, Chile, Adrienne Beacham (and Jake Allen) of Augusta, and Gwen Beacham of Farmington; grandnieces and nephews, Emma, Abigail, Caroline and Charlotte Matusovich, Adam Rodriguez, Martin and Elias Dahlin, Worth, Hall and Wells Carney, Thomas Brown and Milan Carreño.

Stephen H. Brown

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