Wilbur Allan “Al” Brown of Benton died Monday, Aug. 22, 2011, at his home surrounded by loved ones following a brief illness. He was 82.

Born Aug. 3, 1929 in Brooks, he was the son of the late Lawrence and Eunice (Cilley) Brown and a 1947 graduate of Morse Memorial High School in Brooks.

He grew up working on the family dairy farm on the Brooks-Monroe town line. After earning a bachelor’s degree in marine engineering in 1950 from Maine Maritime Academy, where he was a three-sport varsity letterman, he served in the U.S. Merchant Marine, sailing the Farrell lines between New York and Africa.

He joined the U.S. Navy as a commissioned engineering and logistics officer in 1955, serving as a lieutenant in the Pacific while based in San Diego, where he married in 1956. He continued his military service in the U.S. Naval Reserves, retiring in 1985 with the rank of Captain.

Mr. Brown joined Bethlehem Steel’s Fore River shipyard in Quincy, Mass., as a design engineer in 1957. He also undertook graduate engineering courses at Northeastern University in Boston before moving to Springfield, Mass., in 1960.

There he began a 25-year career with Monsanto Chemical’s plastics division, where he was awarded two U.S. patents as a conveyance systems engineer before moving into roles in sales and marketing management. He moved his family to Wilbraham, Mass., in 1968.

In 1985 he joined CPC Rexcel in Ludlow, Mass., as assistant to the president, and in 1987 joined Osterman & Company to found and serve as president of its Engineered Polymers (EPI) plastics compounding division in West Springfield, Mass. He retired in 1993, returning to the family farm in Maine to care for his parents, but served four more years on EPI’s board of directors and as a consultant.

In 1993 he met Gail Bailey of Winslow, who would remain his life partner until his passing. In 1997 they moved to Benton where they restored two historic farmhouses. He also became more active with his alma mater, heading up numerous capital campaigns and scholarship drives.

Mr. Brown was inducted into the MMA Wall of Honor in 1999, was appointed director of the MMA Alumni Association in 2000, and received the school’s Outstanding Graduate Award in 2003. In 2007, the academy established a scholarship fund in his name and launched the Wilbur A. Brown Annual Alumni Golf Championship, held at Clinton Golf Course in Clinton. He was thrilled to have been able to attend and speak at the fifth annual event on Aug. 10.

Al was a lifelong Red Sox fan who enjoyed gardening, hunting, golfing, clamming, storytelling, skiing and music, and was proficient as a self-taught harmonica and concertina player. He was an avid and competitive poker and cribbage player, making numerous trips to Foxwoods and winning the Western New England Cribbage Association championship in 1978.

Al loved spending time at his parents’ cottage on Randall Pond in Brooks, and at the beach home he and his wife built on Cape Cod in 1965. A jack-of-all-trades handyman, there was no project he wouldn’t tackle with whatever tools and materials happened to be at hand.

His true passion was sailing, whether plying the waters of Penobscot Bay as an MMA cadet, teaching his children to handle the halyard and rudder on his hand-built boat in Buzzards Bay, or cruising the Caribbean and island hopping with longtime friends.

Besides Ms. Bailey, he leaves his sons, Stephen of Hingham, Mass. and his wife Sheila, Allan of Stewart Manor, N.Y. and his wife Valerie, and Mark of West Falmouth, Mass.; daughter, Dessa Meyer of Manhattan Beach, Calif. and her husband Karl; the mother of his children, Mrs. Aphrodite Brown of East Falmouth, Mass.; grandchildren, Ashleigh Brown of South Boston, Arianna, Alexandra and Amelia Brown of Hingham, Mass., and Olin and Zoe Meyer of Manhattan Beach, Calif.; sisters, Betty Littlefield of Brooks, Virginia Robertson of Carmel, Calif., Joanne Stephenson of Port Joli, Nova Scotia, Marlene Wight of Old Town, and Marsha Shibles of Knox; Ms. Bailey’s son, Jason, of Waterville and daughter, Jennifer of Myrtle Beach, S.C.; his two cats, Adora and Kiku; and numerous cousins, nieces, nephews and friends.

Besides his parents, he was predeceased in 2008 by an elder brother, Robert of Kennebunkport and Brunswick.

A celebration of his life will be held Saturday, Sept. 17 at noon at First Congregational Church in Brooks, with a reception to follow next door at the Varney Memorial Building.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Wilbur A. Brown Scholarship Fund at Maine Maritime Academy, Advancement Office, Attn: Leah Bishop, Castine, ME 04420.

The family wishes to thank Hospice Volunteers of the Waterville Area for their compassionate care, and Dan & Scott Adams Cremation and Funeral Service in Skowhegan for their dignified handling of arrangements.