Robert F. “Bob” Brown, of Atascadero, passed away on May 8, 2024, at the age of 97. He was born October 13, 1926, in Stuart, Nebraska to A. Earl and Blanche (Johnson) Brown. He spent his childhood in Nebraska and South Dakota (where his sister Neva was born). His family lived through the Great Depression, eventually following other family members in 1941 to Los Angeles, California. He graduated from Manual Arts High School, where he was active in student government, Aeolian Club, and Sr. Glee Club, singing not only at school functions but at a monthly appearance at the L.A. Breakfast Club, which was broadcast on the radio and during war bond drives, and rallies at Pershing Square in downtown L.A. Many of the members of this club formed an off-campus club called the “Loyal Order of Riffs.” They worked on paper drives and other activities to aid the war effort. He spent much of his free time on the beaches of southern California. As a senior in high school, Bob looked forward to serving in the armed services during WWII and enlisted in the U.S. Navy, joining right after graduating high school and serving on the USS Oneida, transporting troops throughout the Pacific. He first was assigned to the Captains Gig and later promoted to Coxswain of the Gig. Later, once the war ended, he transferred to the job of Storekeeper 3rd class and had charge of ordering food for the officer’s mess and operating the ice cream room. He felt his experience in the Navy gave him the opportunity to grow up and become more self-confident and prepared him for a long career in broadcasting and advertising sales.

After his honorable discharge from the Navy in 1946, Bob attended L.A. City College, where he met his first wife, Charlotte Stevens, while she was attending Cal State LA.  He then attended the Don Martin School of Radio Arts in Hollywood, receiving his FCC First Class Operators License, launching his career in radio. His first radio job took him to Ogden, Utah, in 1950 as an announcer-engineer. Next, he took an announcer-engineer job in Billings, Montana, before moving back to California in 1951, working in sales and announcing for KVEN and KVVC in Ventura and KOXR in Oxnard. The opportunity to become the general manager of KVEC radio station in San Luis Obispo was offered to him in 1958, where he stayed for 18 years. In 1966, KVEC sold, and Bob became part owner as well as Vice President of West Coast Broadcasters and continued as general manager. He prided himself on the fact that KVEC became the most successful radio station in San Luis Obispo, doing more business than the other two AM stations combined. In addition, he had the opportunity to broadcast high school and Cal Poly football and basketball games, plus baseball for Cal Poly and playoff games for Little League, Babe Ruth League, and American Legion. When KVEC sold in 1976, Bob decided to leave and began consulting (Bob Brown Consultant) in advertising, radio broadcasting, public relations, management, political campaigns, and fundraising. As a consultant, he managed KATY and KPRL radio stations, did fundraising for the Cal Poly Mustang Boosters, served as Executive Director for the North County Contractors Association, and managed several successful campaigns. He also formed Brown and Clarkson Advertising Agency and ran it until he retired in 1993. Even in retirement, Bob continued working. He worked part-time for KIQO Radio in Atascadero, selling advertising, and spent four years selling advertising for the Atascadero News. Fun fact, Bob spent several years as “the voice of the fair” at the Mid State Fair in Paso Robles. He had the most incredible radio voice and didn’t hesitate to use it in everyday conversation. 

Community Service was always an objective of Bob’s. He held various positions in the Ventura Junior Chamber of Commerce, including President, State Vice President, and National Director. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Award as Young Man of the Year and worked with Babe Ruth Baseball. After moving to San Luis Obispo, he served as President of the Junior Chamber of Commerce, and served on the Chamber of Commerce Board in various positions, including President of the American Cancer Society, El Presidente of La Fiesta, Little League President, Assistant Director of Babe Ruth League, Fund Raising Chairman and President of Mustang Boosters, Charter President for the Young Republicans, was an alternate delegate at the 1964 Republican National Convention in San Francisco and awarded Distinguished Service Award as Young Man of the Year in San Luis Obispo. In Atascadero, he served on the Colony Days committee for a few years, and in 2018, he was awarded the Grand Marshall honors. He sold ads for the Greyhound Football Program, the Western Art Show, and other non-profits in Atascadero.

Bob joined the San Luis Obispo Elks in 1960 and transferred to the Atascadero Elks in 1990, serving on and chairing many committees and events, including BBQs in the park on Tuesday evenings during the summer at Atascadero Lake, Dinner-4-2 fundraiser, House Committee, Public Relations, Sickness & Distress, Velvet Antler (Lodge bulletin) editor and Veterans Service. He served as Esteemed Leading Knight, twice as Exalted Ruler and President of the Past Exalted Rulers. In addition, he served as Wagon Master of the Elks Roadrunner camping group. He also helped out on many Elks projects.

When Bob married Sue Terry Fruchtman in 1976, they brought together two families. In addition to his five children from his first marriage, he inherited Sue’s four daughters. The two of them opened a business, Gems and Jewelry, in Atascadero, which Sue managed while Bob ran his consulting business and advertising agency. Bob and Sue enjoyed traveling, taking cruises, and adventuring in their motorhome. Twice, they rented out their home in Atascadero, traveled for two years, and visited all 48 contiguous states and 8 Canadian provinces. Their travels took them to places such as Tahiti, Fiji, Hawaii, Mexico, and The Bahamas with cruises to the Caribbean, Mexico, Panama Canal, and Alaska.

Bob was preceded in death by his wife, Frances “Sue” Brown, daughter, Terry Stuart, and grandson, Beau Pryor. He is survived by his children Bonnie Brown, Steven Brown (Vicki), Donna Amos (Matthew), and Bradley Brown; his grandchildren Jason Stuart, Amy Bruton, Dylan Brown, Matthew Brown, Jill Brown, and Cody Amos; his great-grandchildren Anthony Alaniz, Jade Bruton, Callie Stuart, and Caleb Stuart. Bob is also survived by Sue’s daughters Teri Lynn Hardy (Bob), Marcia Moloney (Jim), Cynthia Bevans and Sandra Dewar (Ken); her grandchildren Tiffani Pryor, Jacob Moloney, Jordan Moloney, Chelsea Moloney, Joshua Ritchey, Brandon Bevans, Morgan Voss and Rachel Gill; her great-grandchildren Kendal Pryor, Alexis Pryor, Kaitlyn Pryor, Claire Ritchey, Cole Ritchey, Kaiden Moloney, Paisley Moloney, Zane Matta, Byron Voss and Jack Gill.

The family would like to give special thanks to those who cared for him so lovingly and with great compassion at Park Place in Atascadero and Central Coast Hospice. You are all amazing, and we are so thankful to have had him in your care.

A Celebration of Bob’s life will be held Friday, June 28, at 11 a.m. at the Atascadero Elks Lodge, 1516 El Camino Real, Atascadero. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Central Coast Hospice, 253 Granada Drive, Suite D, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401.