Paul “Ren” Brown, known affectionately by his family as “Pere”, passed away peacefully on February 5, 2016. Ren was born October 11, 1925 in Akron, Ohio, the second of four sons of Paul Revere and Marie Berry Brown. During his scouting years, he was an Air Scout, and achieved Eagle Scout rank. Following graduation from Akron East High School in 1943, Ren joined the US Navy, where he proudly served his country in the European theatre during World War II. He then attended Newberry College in Newberry, SC for two years, pursuing a degree in mechanical engineering.
Ren joined The Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company in 1947, retiring as an engineer in 1987 after 40 years of service. He is credited with several inventions, two for which he received US Patents. His passion was working with the Goodyear blimps, whether designing lights, piloting, or chasing them down when they were caught in bad storms. Ren also founded and co-owned Inflato-Ad, a company that designed and crafted advertising balloons, including a hot air balloon that was featured in the movie “Around the World in Eighty Days.”
As a leading member of The Lighter-Than-Air Society, he was the first recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award named in his honor. He was a founder of the Akron Airship Historical Center in Akron and served on its board of directors.
Ren was a life-long member of the Goodyear Heights Baptist Church and served on several committees. He was also a dedicated Red Cross volunteer for many years. His Christian faith and love and compassion for others truly guided his life.
He is survived by his wife of 68 years, Mary Alice, daughters Linda and husband Jon Geer of Durango, CO; Carol Ault of Athens, OH; and Nancy and husband Randy Wiersma of Cary, NC; and granddaughters and husbands, Melissa and Greg D’Eloia of Bellingham, WA; and Lauren and Steven Jones of Wilmington, NC, and three great-grandchildren.
A celebration of Ren’s life will be held on Saturday, March 5th at 3:00 p.m. at the Goodyear Heights Baptist Church, 1767 Goodyear Blvd., Akron, with Pastor Ed Witchey officiating. The family will receive friends from 2:00-3:00 at the church prior to the service. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a donation in his memory be made to the Goodyear Heights Baptist Church (1767 Goodyear Blvd, Akron, OH 44305) or The Lighter-Than-Air Society (526 S. Main St, Akron, OH 44311).