Stephan Brown

Obituary of Stephan John Brown

Stephen John Brown Sr. (known to many as Steve/Brownie) passed away at home on May 18, 2020 after a battle with cancer. He was 61 years old. Steve is survived by his wife, Elaine Brown (née Bobb), his son Stephen J. Brown Jr, stepsons Michael (Llana) and Christian, brother Tom Brown (Ali), sisters MaryBeth Peyton (Robert) and Chrissy Tracy (Harry), nieces and nephews Karen Cavalieri (Dino), Bill Brown, Alyson Wrisley (Will), Bobby Peyton, Katie Valle (Anthony), Kyle Tracy, and Bryan Tracy, several grand-nieces and grand-nephews, and two step-grandchildren. Steve was born to William and Eileen Brown in the Chelsea Heights neighborhood of Atlantic City. He attended Our Lady Star of the Sea School in Atlantic City, followed by Holy Spirit High School in Absecon. Steve's life was forever changed the first day he sat down into a rowing shell. He joined the boy's crew team his sophomore year, and the rest was history. Under the mentorship of coach Stan Bergman and Fr. Michael D'Amico, Steve had an extraordinarily successful rowing career at Holy Spirit, culminating in 1976 during his senior year when he was the captain and stroke seat of the undefeated boys Varsity Eight. That crew, after winning a national championship, went on to win the Princess Elizabeth Challenge Cup at the Henley Royal Regatta in England. After graduating from HSHS in 1976, Steve spent a year rowing at Rutgers University, and then made his way up to Boston to continue his educational and rowing career at Northeastern University. Steve helped the NU Huskies to numerous notable finishes and victories across the country, including a first-place finish at the 1979 Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) National Championship in the 2nd Varsity Eight. Steve graduated from Northeastern in 1981 with a Bachelor of Science in Sociology and a minor in Social Studies. Steve's athletic achievements did not end at the finish line of his final collegiate race. During many a summer, he traded in the bays and rivers for the ocean waves of the South Jersey shore. As a beach patrol lifeguard, Steve won numerous victories as both a doubles and singles rower for the Ventnor and Wildwood Beach Patrols. In the summer of 1987, Steve's singles victory at the South Jersey Lifeguard Championships in remarkably rough surf conditions carried Wildwood to a team victory. It was during his lifeguarding days that his radio handle of "Brown 1" morphed into another nickname he would carry forever. If you ever found yourself at Maloney's or Robert's Place in Margate while he was tending bar, you certainly would have heard it being called out by friends when they walked in. Though an accomplished athlete in a crew shell and a lifeboat, Steve truly wanted to be remembered for his accomplishments as a mentor, educator, and coach. In 1984, Steve began his career in education in at his alma mater, Holy Spirit High School. There, he was an English teacher and served as boy's rowing coach. While head coach at Holy Spirit in 1990, Steve co-founded the NJ Scholastic Rowing Association which hosted the NJ state championship regatta for the next 18 years. The regatta was at one point the largest scholastic athletic event in the state of New Jersey. In 1992, Steve moved to the Atlantic City School District and began teaching as an elementary school teacher at the New Jersey Avenue school. He served as an assistant girl's rowing coach at Atlantic City High School in 1994 and 1995. In 1996, Steve, along with several lifelong friends, established the rowing program at Mainland Regional High School, where he was the head boys rowing coach for the next four seasons. Steve became the Dean of Discipline of Atlantic City High School in 1999. In 2006, he earned his Master of Arts in Educational Administration and was made an Assistant Principal in 2007. He also served as director of rowing for ACHS in the early 2000s and coached both the boys and girls rowing teams for several seasons. Steve had a special gift when it came to helping students face the trials and tribulations of life. He was always fair and level-headed in his judgement, and everyone loved and respected "Mr. Brown." Steve will be remembered warmly as a father, husband, brother, uncle, coach, teacher, mentor, and true friend. His smile could light up a room and his infectious laugh provided a unique sense of calm. Due to the COVID-19 crisis, a funeral mass and memorial service will be held in the near future when large gatherings are again permitted. In lieu of flowers, a foundation is being established in Steve's honor so that his legacy of giving and mentorship may continue in perpetuity. For more information, please visit