We Remember

BROWN, Fred

May 16, 1950 — January 6, 2021

Fred passed away suddenly on January 6, 2021. He is survived by his loving wife Marilyn. He also is survived by his children Nicole (Ed) Cardinal and Stephen (Kristine); his granddaughter Mia D’Agosto, and his ex-son-in-law Daniel D’Agosto (Katie Fletcher); his family in England: brother Nigel (Lesley) Brown, niece Hannah (Luke) O’Dwyer, and nephew Ross Brown. He was predeceased by his parents Frederick E. and Audrey Brown.

Fred was born in Carshalton, Surrey, England on May 16, 1950, to Audrey Jessie Barton Brown and Frederick Eldred Brown. He was one of the very first people to work on a real computer (the size of two rooms) as a student at Hertfordshire. He ended up teaching some of his teachers in the process. Fred Came to Canada from England in October 1976 “on a big adventure” across Canada and began work with Digital Equipment in Calgary, AB. It was not long after that Fred met his wife Marilyn at a BC Tel Christmas dance in December 1976; they married on September 9, 1978, in Vancouver, BC. Fred’s career took him and Marilyn from Calgary to Massachusetts in 1979 and then back to Canada in 1980, still with Digital. It was in Edmonton that Fred and Marilyn started a family with their daughter Nicole in 1982. Together they moved back to Surrey, BC in 1985 to continue with Digital. Fred remained with Digital for a total of 25 years, making many long-time friends and colleagues. He was called the “wizard” of computers and was well respected for his knowledge and professionalism. In 1985, a son, Stephen, was added to the family. In 1998, the family made the move to Kelowna, BC to begin new work with Vadim Computers; his time with them ended in 2000. Fred and Marilyn began MARcom Technologies from their home in Kelowna. He became a very successful consultant and analyst to many firms on the Lower Mainland, the US, Tasmania, and locally. He always said that “it’s never been work, just a hobby I get paid to do.” He was truly gifted with computer technology. Many of his colleagues never realized that he had been in the business for over 50 years and was perhaps twice their ages.

Fred loved his home and garden in Kelowna. He and Marilyn had a vision when they started the project in 1998 with just 4 dead trees, lots of rocks, and a missing fence. Together they put sweat and labour into a beautiful, tranquil place with a large waterfall, two ponds, multiple rockeries, that was filled with colourful flowers and shrubs. Fred was the keeper of the ponds and was happy to don the chest-waders as necessary. He loved entertaining with friends and neighbours. Fred, Marilyn, and the family made numerous trips over the years to visit with his family in the UK, especially as his parents were aging and having health problems. He so enjoyed time with the family at the local pubs and showing off “his home country” to Marilyn and the kids. Fred had a tremendous British sense of humour, a treasure, something he inherited from his own father and passed along to his son Stephen.

Fred enjoyed a pint of beer regularly with friends and workmates. In recent years, he had an increasing fondness of fine whiskies and hosting scotch tasting parties at their house. He even posed with a red wig and tartan tam for the occasion. His son Stephen has since become quite an expert with the spirit, starting a Scotch and Fine Spirits Society in Kelowna. Fred totally enjoyed those tasting evenings. Fred loved music, from classical pieces to Pink Floyd, folk, ballads, and oldies from the 60’s to the 80’s. Every day, even when travelling for work, despite being partly deaf, there was the sound of music. He loved when Nicole and Stephen played on the family piano. Fred also had a keen eye for composition in photography and had begun studying courses in the subject. He loved being in nature and capturing sunsets, birds, flowers, beaches, and forests. Fred’s favourite little person in the world was his granddaughter Mia. She made him more of a child himself. They were best-est buddies in the end, a cherished little girl. Fred loved his children very much and was so proud of their achievements. Nicole became a talented artist and kitchen designer. Stephen became a math professor at Okanagan College, teaching also at UBCO. There were countless happy memories and laughter over the years.

Fred had, in recent years, always side-stepped actually retiring from the business, continuing to work and lend his expertise until the end. The work kept him young and young at heart. It was his gift that he happily shared. There were many dreams of more travel and enjoying the family garden and home together with good friends. Tragically, Fred had a sudden death, a shock to everyone. Now he rests.

The family would like to extend their heartfelt gratitude to the first-response paramedics and officers, as well as the ICU and Trauma staff at Kelowna General Hospital, especially during these times of COVID.

A memorial service for Fred is scheduled for Saturday, January 16, at 10:00am, to be Livestreamed through Springfield Funeral Home in Kelowna, a recording will be made available shortly thereafter (below).  In lieu of flowers, a donation in Fred’s name can be made to Kelowna General Hospital Foundation. The family is blessed and grateful for the outpouring of good wishes during this difficult time. A celebration of Fred’s life will hopefully happen later this year, when COVID restrictions are eased.

If you wish to send a condolence, post photos, or share a memory please scroll down the page to the area called “Condolences”.

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Kelowna General Hospital Foundation Link: www.kghfoundation.com

 


 


Condolences

  • mrs antonia buckley says:

    Dear Marilyn and Family, My heartfelt condolences to each of you. Sending you my love and prayers for peace and strength during this difficult time. My memory of Fred is his unending generosity, generous smile, generosity of spirit and lots of laughter when there was always; “need another cup of coffee” on Sunday mornings at our coffee times together. Will surely miss him.! Tonny.

  • Ken Lang says:

    I am so sorry to hear about Fred and want to pass on my deepest condolences to his whole family. Fred and I go back to the 80’s working in the field, since my recent move to Kelowna Fred and I would grab coffee once and a while to reminisce. I am totally taken back by this, as I am sure you all are.

  • Peter Andersen says:

    I am so very shocked and sorry to hear this news. I worked with Fred for a mutual client for over 15 years and always enjoyed his company and of course his expertise. I will miss him very much, as I am sure everyone will. My sincere condolences to his family and to what I am sure are many friends.

  • Bruce Hewer says:

    I worked with Fred for years at Teck. He was a good friend and mentor for me! I was shocked and very saddened to here of his passing!

    I will never forget you Fred. My sincere condolences to your family

  • David O. says:

    Worked closely with Fred for a few years, He was a professional Role Model to me. He will be missed.
    My Condolences to his Family.

  • Greg and Sandy says:

    Marilyn, Sandy and I were deeply shocked and saddened by the news of Fred’s passing. He was always a cheerful, kind and gentle fellow possessing a great wit and always with a smile on his face. He will be dearly missed in our neighbourhood! Our hearts go out to you and your family.

  • Geraldine Bush says:

    Dear Marilyn, so sorry and sad to hear about Fred’s passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
    Geraldine and Jack

  • Faye Weber says:

    Dear Marilyn. Was very sorry to read of Fred’s passing recently. My prayers go out to you and your
    family. Sincerely, Faye Weber

  • Brenda Smith says:

    Dear Marilyn, I was so sorry to hear about Fred and send my condolences to you and the family.

  • Joan Taylor says:

    To all the family and friends missing Fred, as I do, I send lots of love. May all the wonderful memories help to heal the void he leaves. Can you imagine Ted, Fred and his Dad together again swapping jokes? Heaven will never be the same!

  • Bettina Garry says:

    Dear Marilyn and Family. How lovely to be able to read such a loving tribute to your Fred. I didn’t know him but know that he was well loved and respected. My heart aches for you and family. Till we meet again. Bettina

  • Dan Melanson says:

    Condolences to the family with the loss of Fred. He was both brilliant and kind. A wonderful man to work with and lots of fun to laugh with… Rest in Peace Fred..

  • Paul Vicary says:

    Marilyn and family

    So sorry to hear of Fred’s passing. We worked together at DEC in the late 80’s early 90’s . Vancouver. One of the good ones. Our prayers to you and family during this difficult time.

  • Nancy Pearce says:

    My deepest condolences. Fred was such a treasure, so kind, patient and he shared his brilliance with such ease. I was fortunate to have had him as a mentor in my career and he was such a model of great values, he will be missed. Prayers and love to family and friends during these difficult times.

  • Ronald Ratzlaff says:

    Marilyn and family,
    I had the privilege of working with Fred. He was a gentleman, kind, compassionate, and willing to share his knowledge and skills. He had a wonderful ability to explain the complex in understandable language. May he rest in peace and may you be comforted. God bless you all.

  • Dave Wadleigh says:

    I well remember Fred from Digital, mostly in Vancouver at LCG clients, like BC Tel. He had a way of uplifting all the spirits in a room when he entered it, it made him welcome everywhere he went. Many people will mourn this shocking loss.

  • Joan O'Keefe sc says:

    Marilyn, thinking of you and your family this evening here in Halifax. Fred’s death was so sudden. There is a huge loss for you and all. We know what a fine man had died…from Phyllis.
    love and prayers,
    Joan

  • Owen Wong & Sally Halliday says:

    Marilyn, Nicole & Stephen,
    Sally and I are shocked and saddened to hear of Fred’s sudden death; our hearts go out to the family in this time of sorrow.

    Fred was a great friend and mentor at Digital. We worked together on many projects and his can do, have fun attitude made those activities that much more enjoyable – I really loved his “not work, just a hobby” mindset and it shone through at work and play for him.

    Fred wiil be missed.

    Owen Wong and Sally Halliday

    • Jane Walker and Barry Robbins says:

      I remember Fred so well from the fabulous Digital days. He was brilliant, kind, funny and all around terrific guy. I remember a conversation that I will share. There was a meeting that I wanted to attend and told Fred that I would be quiet as a a mouse. He looked at me and said, so seriously, “Jane, mice are never quiet.” And then we both howled. I haven’t seen Fred for 30+ years but I will never forget his sense of humour. To the family, please accept our deepest sympathy and know that he is fondly remembered.
      Sincerely, Jane and Barry.

  • Nick Stephens says:

    Dear Marilyn and all the family.
    This has come as such a huge shock and our thoughts are very much with you today and into the future. I have known David all my life as well as his family in the UK who we have spent many times with, leaving some fantastic memories indeed David had a very British sense of humour and is already sorely missed. We send our love xx

  • Jim Leedham says:

    Marilyn and family
    I was privileged to work with Fred for many years at DEC. Seeing that someone of his caliber worked there helped me decide to join.
    I know he will be missed by many, me included.
    My heartfelt condolences.
    Jim

  • Geoff and Carrie Murray says:

    Dear Marilyn and family,

    Carrie and I were shocked and saddened to hear of Fred’s passing, and are sending our deepest condolences to you all. When we think of Fred, the first thing that comes to mind is his laughter, and the twinkle in his eyes. His English sense of humour was always a welcome respite from the challenges of the task we were working on, or the woes of the day. Among our most treasured of memories were working on the Variety Club Telethon in the early days, and then Fred and Stephen carrying that torch for years afterward.

    For me, his guidance and constant encouragement while at Digital is something I will never forget.

    Thinking of you all,
    Geoff and Carrie Murray.

  • Bruce Piper says:

    Marilyn and Family
    I had the privilege of working with Fred and learning so much from him. He was a kind, gentle man who will be missed.
    My deepest condolences to you
    Bruce

  • Ian and Barbara Caesar says:

    Marilyn and Family
    Our thoughts and prayers are with you during your time of grief.
    We remember the times our family spent time together fondly and Ian’s work life was made better by having Fred in it.
    Ian and Barbara Caesar

  • Keith Lipsett says:

    Marilyn and Family,
    I was so very sad to hear of Fred’s passing. I remember working with Fred at DEC in Vancouver in the 80’s. He was always so supportive and would always take the time to listen. He was always a “bright spot” around the office, and he will be missed. May you and your family find peace and comfort in the fond memories and time you had together. My thoughts and prayers are with you at this most difficult time.
    Keith and Denise Lipsett

  • Bridget Hale (and Geoff Snowdon) says:

    Dear Marilyn and family,
    We were stunned and saddened to hear the news of Fred’s death. We met Fred on the first day of our degree course in Computer Science and over the 4 year course became firm friends. That friendship continued after university and we have such strong memories of shared holidays (including one in Scotland in a car that frequently broke down), parties, bridge evenings and oh so many other things. We missed Fred’s presence when he moved to Canada and always looked forward to the ‘Christmas letter’. Our thoughts are with you at this sad time

  • Richard Moseley says:

    So sorry for your loss, our thoughts and best wishes to you all. With much love from all of the Moseley family in England. 💔

  • Taylore Einarsson says:

    To Freds’ family, loved ones and friends,
    I was a receptionist at DEC Richmond, BC,, and that’s where I met Fred. Fred was a really nice man. His British sense of humour was something that made me like him from the start. I never knew Fred to be cross or angry at work. He had a way of listening to and understanding people when situations would arise, which put everyone at ease, and whatever problems there were, then dealt them with in a professional, caring way. I liked working with him for those reasons.
    Please take care of yourselves and each other.
    With Respect, Taylore

  • Jim McDougall says:

    Marilyn and family
    I had the great pleasure of working with with Fred for many years from his early days at Digital and after we both went our separate ways. .

    Since then, I don’t know how many times we passed through Kelowna & said “we should give Fred and Marilyn a call”
    He will be truly missed by anyone that knew him.
    .Our heartfelt condolences.
    Marg & Jim

  • Judith Baugh says:

    Marilyn and family
    I knew David all of my life – our parents were lifelong friends. David’s passing has come as a big shock to all of us here in the UK. I remember very happy times when our families got together and have lovely memories. Our thoughts go out to you all xxxx

    Judy and family x

  • John and Heather Dolman says:

    Marilyn and family,
    We were very saddened to hear of Fred’s passing. Memories of many enjoyable times spent with you both and the kids. Our deepest condolences. Our thoughts are with you all. Love, Heather and John

  • David Freer says:

    I first met Fred at Goldcorp (Newmont), about 7 years ago. Like so many, there is a age gap between us. If you listen to the conversations between us you would never know the age gap existed. Truly treating everyone as equal.
    Fred was a great teacher, and a great loss. I only spoke to him last month for work reasons, we agreed a beer after Covid. I will still have that beer, with a silent toast.
    David

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