• John Joseph Brown

    Birth: April 19, 1936 | Died: January 14, 2024

    Funeral Service Details

    Thursday, February 1, 2024
    4:00 - 7:00 p.m.
    Hilgenfeld Mortuary Chapel
    Anaheim, California

    Funeral Mass:
    Friday, February 2, 2024
    10:30 a.m.
    St. Irenaeus Catholic Church
    Cypress, California

    Good Shepherd Cemetery
    Huntington Beach, California

    It is with the heaviest of hearts that we share the news of the passing of John Joseph Brown in the early morning hours of January 14, 2024. He was surrounded by family and friends as he made his final journey to be with his beloved wife Celine in heaven. John was a devoted husband, loving father, dear friend and cherished son. Throughout his life he excelled in all that he endeavored. Most notably was his ascension up the corporate ranks of Hughes Aircraft to ultimately being named Staff Vice President of Taxes in 1982. His illustrious career included testifying before congressional committees, lobbying high profile matters germane to the aerospace industry while planning and defending company relations with more than 200 tax authorities worldwide. John was born in Bisbee, Arizona on April 19, 1936 to John and Viola Brown. He often spoke of his storied family history emerging from Ireland, New York and his relatives who were copper miners in Arizona. His favorite was his grandfather who owned the Capital Saloon in Brewery Gulch, Bisbee. He loved reciting the colorful tales of those exciting eras while collecting as much memorabilia and historical data from those times as possible. He and his family moved to Los Angeles while he was young and settled in Rosemead, California along with many of his family members. He attended Mission High School where he was quarterback on the football team. He then went to UCLA where he obtained his Bachelor’s Degree in 1959. In 1969, he obtained his Master’s Degree from California State Long Beach. He then became a Certified Public Accountant. John began his career at Hughes Aircraft in 1963 and was a member of their tax department beginning in 1973. He also served as President of the Los Angeles chapter of the Tax Executive Institute. John served in the United States Army Reserve until 1964. In 1961, it was through a mutual acquaintance that John first laid eyes upon the love of his life, Celine. He called her a “stunner.” They were married on September 29, 1962. They lived in Alhambra for a short time before moving to their permanent residence in La Palma, California in 1965. They both lived at that house until their passing. They were married 59 years. Family was always first. He relished in the accomplishments of his children and celebrated each of their notable milestones. In times of crisis, he was always there to lend an ear, an encouraging word, a relevant story or offer his go to remedy for essentially all amiss matters, a good steak. His proudest accomplishments in life were his two grandsons, Aiden and Ryan. You could regularly find him at their football and baseball games cheering them on. After the games they would gather for a meal where he would lend helpful tips on playing the sport and back those up with historical anecdotes relating to that particular game. They enjoyed regular trips to Disneyland together. When they would go to his house, he would have already thoughtfully selected various movies to watch with them that highlighted his chosen topic of discussion for the day or to mirror a recent conversation he had with them. It was a great joy to witness the deep bond they shared and his elation to spend precious time with them. That was his favorite title: Grandpa. Story telling was his strong suit. No matter what the situation – he had one ready to go. Most were predictable but like so many things, they were him, they were familiar and that was our dad. His love, appreciation and respect for history was at the forefront of just about every interaction. He loved watching historical movies about wars, especially World War II. His love for this era was apparent in every way – his house full of military collectibles from around the world, he was surrounded by dioramas he made depicting various historical events, his travels to the beaches of Normandy and the many trips he took the family on to major historical cities and museums. He knew everything there was to know about history and the major players in it. The wealth of knowledge he had was staggering. He admired and was incredibly proud of the brave young men that fought for our country often bringing him to tears as he recounted the insurmountable obstacles they faced to protect our country’s and our world’s freedom. Sports was a close second to his love for history. Especially UCLA. No one is still entirely sure how it came to pass that his daughter Kathleen attended USC but miracles do happen, although it was more of a tragedy to him. College football was by far his favorite. He was an UCLA football season ticket holder for well over forty years. He and Celine traveled many times to various cities where UCLA played. He loved the adventures they had on those trips as well as the opportunity to experience parts of the country they might not have otherwise visited. John enjoyed attending the Hot Stove League over the last few years where various baseball greats would come and speak each month that baseball was not in season. He loved hearing the stories from such greats as Pete Rose, Dave Winfield and Garret Cole while commiserating with fellow baseball enthusiasts. John was 100% Irish. He loved the heritage, of course the history and especially the Irish music. It seemed only fitting that we bid him farewell with an Irish Wake that encompasses the essence and the spirit of the Irish – we are saddened but we also celebrate a life well lived, admired and a life well respected. John is survived by his three children, Cindy Marie, Kathleen Ann, John Patrick and his two grandsons, Aiden John and Ryan Daniel. Arrangements are entrusted to the care of Hilgenfeld Mortuary, Anaheim, California. Funeral Mass to be held at St. Irenaeus Catholic Church on February 2, 2024. An Irish Wake will follow at the Mesa Verde Country Club.

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