Humour was business leader’s calling card

Penticton auto dealer Bob Brown died Sunday at the age of 67

Bob Brown is being remembered for his humour and community involvement following his death at the age of 67.

The South Okanagan has lost a pillar of the business community and tireless supporter of local charities.

Bob Brown, owner of Bob Brown GM, died in his sleep on Sunday at the age of 67.

“Bob was a wonderful guy. He had an incredible sense of humour and just a great love of his community and family,” said Janet Parker, president of the Penticton Automotive Dealers Association.

Parker said she first met Brown and his wife Toni when they moved to the community about 27 years ago. She remembers him for his passion for fundraising on behalf of women’s and children’s charities with the PADA.

Kevin Lamb, general manager at Bob Brown GM, said he has been receiving calls from across the country from people Brown has touched. Brown worked as a banker for many years and ended up working through the ranks at Carter GM in Vancouver. He eventually bought Carter GM in Penticton, and over his 27 years Brown successfully expanded the business and sold some 24,000 vehicles along the way.

“It is a big loss. It is like losing a family member here because he considered everyone working here as family. He was very full of energy, lived life to its fullest and wasn’t happy if everyone around him wasn’t laughing,” said Lamb, who worked with Brown for 13 years. “Everybody who I have talked to that has ever met Bob, even if it was for five minutes, they remember him. What they really remember is his sense of humour and how much he loved a good joke and loved to repeat it.”

Lamb said Brown knew every employee’s name, their spouse’s name and their kids. It was the reason, Lamb said, why many of the staff remain working at the dealership since Brown bought it. As the dealership just underwent a million dollar renovation Brown had been spending a lot of time in the office, but Lamb said he slowly had been stepping back to semi-retirement to spend time golfing, landscaping his property and to be with his family.

“His philosophy as the owner of the business was his job was to reduce stress for people that worked for him. And he did a good job of doing that,” said Lamb.

The general manager recalls many of the pranks Brown would pull around the dealership. Lamb said Brown would shut out the lights just at the moment a customer was about to put their pen to the final paperwork so they couldn’t see what they were signing. Another time he pulled yellow police tape across the doors and announced to not let the customers leave until they certified the cheque.

Penticton Mayor Dan Ashton is a personal friend of the Brown family and their neighbour in Trout Creek. Ashton remembers Brown as being the life of any event and as a man that could never say no when it came to community involvement.

“I can’t say enough about Bob, Toni his wife and Kim and Derek his children. Bob was a huge contributor to this community and the surrounding area. Our hearts go out to his family” said Ashton. “Bob was a man full of continual one-line zingers. You may have heard them dozens of times but you still laugh at them. It wasn’t the joke or the delivery — it was the gentleman behind it.”

A celebration for Brown’s life will be held at the Penticton Lakeside Resort on Wednesday, July 20 at 2 p.m. In lieu of flowers, the family is asking donations be made to the South Okanagan Similkameen Medical Foundation.

“We would like to invite everyone to come out and all we ask is please bring some new jokes,” said Lamb.

 

Just Posted

October power disruptions planned

Summerland to upgrade switches at electrical substation

Man in custody linked to Silver Creek property search

Police are not saying how this search is related to Wayne Curtis Sagmoen’s current criminal charges

Police officer hit by car, stabbed in Edmonton attack back on job

Const. Mike Chernyk, 48, returned to work Thursday

Third period surge lifts Penticton Vees to victory

Vees Ryan Sandelin gets the game winner over the Merritt Centennials

Penticton patient care tower fundraising going strong

About $14.3 million in donations for the Penticton hospital has come in

Mixing up local talent and cocktails

The annual Okanagan Spirits Craft Distillery Mixoff takes place in Kelowna in November

Dorsett has 2 goals, assist in Canucks’ 4-2 win over Sabres

‘It was a real good hockey game by our group,’ Canucks coach Travis Green said.

Berry disappointed: Bear tries to eat fake fruit on woman’s door wreath

A Winnipeg woman has taken her berry-embellished wreath down, after a hungry bear visited her porch

B.C. search groups mobilize for missing mushroom picker

Searchers from across the province look for Frances Brown who has been missing since Oct. 14.

Have you heard about Black Press scholarships?

Up to 37 scholarships are awarded each year to students throughout British Columbia

Search for missing B.C. man a race against winter weather

David Jeff of Williams Lake was last seen in Kamloops during the chaotic wildfire evacuations

Bantam Vees tournament good prep for start of the season

Penticton hockey team heads into regular season with just one loss in nine exhibition games

Auntie Says: Don’t bring your dope to my house

Don’t judge me and I won’t judge you, but if you try and smoke at my house, you’ll be asked to leave

Man steals police car, goes for a ‘slow’ ride

Mission RCMP say the motive of the theft is unknown

Most Read