Obituary: Barry Drew Brown

Barry D. Brown, of Marlton and Spray Beach, has passed away at the age of 83.

Barry D. Brown, of Marlton and Spray Beach, has passed away at the age of 83.

Mr. Brown was president and CEO of the West Jersey Health System from 1973 until his retirement in 1995, overseeing its expansion from a single facility in Camden to include hospitals in Berlin, Voorhees and Marlton. The system has evolved until today and has become the Virtua Health System.

Mr. Brown, born in 1933, the son of Dr. Stanley Brown and Alice Drew Brown, spent his early years in Laurel Springs and graduated from high school in Haddonfield. He received a bachelor of arts degree from Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pa., in 1956 where he was a member of Phi Delta Theta fraternity and served as its president in his senior year. In 1961 he received a master’s of public administration degree from Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y.

He served in the U.S. Army Medical Service Corps from 1956 until 1958 as a 1st lieutenant and was employed by RCA in the Defense Electronic Products Division in 1958 and 1959.

Mr. Brown had more than 30 years of hospital management experience, serving from 1961 to 1966 as assistant administrator at Memorial Hospital of Burlington County, Mount Holly; from 1966 to 1968 as administrator of the West Jersey Health System’s Berlin division; and from 1968 to 1973 as administrator of both the Camden and Berlin hospitals of the system. In 1973 he became president and CEO of the system.

Mr. Brown was a board member of the Virtua Health and Hospital Foundation, was on the board of Summit Bank, Princeton, and chairman of the Health Care Insurance Company and Princeton Insurance Company, Princeton, for almost 25 years. He was a past chairman and vice chairman of the Board of Trustees of the New Jersey Hospital Association and served as Delegate-at-Large and a member of the House of Delegates for the American Hospital Association. Additionally, Mr. Brown was a member of the American College of Health Care Executives and the American Hospital Association.

In 1992 the American Cancer Society presented him with the Race for Life Community Service Award for his and West Jersey Health System’s contributions. He received the Excellence Award in the recognition of outstanding contributions to Camden County College by the New Jersey Council of County Colleges in 1993 and that same year the New Jersey Hospital Association Certificate of Recognition for West Jersey Health System’s commitment to both quality health care and community service. Mr. Brown served as the professional department chairman of 1993 United Way campaign.

In 1995, to recognize Mr. Brown’s years of excellence in health care, the Barry D. Brown Health Education Center in Voorhees , was dedicated and opened to the public.

Mr. Brown enjoyed boating and golf and especially spending time with his family at Long Beach Island. He had been a member of several country clubs, including Tavistock Country Club.

Mr. Brown’s first wife, Nancy Rombach, died in 1976. He was predeceased by his daughter Katherine Drew Brown of Catawissa, Pa. He is survived by their three sons; Stanley D. of Kailua, Hawaii and his wife the former Nancy Stoelker; Stephen W., of Virginia Beach, Va., and his wife the former Cathy Williams; and James B. of Evergreen, Colo., and his wife the former Kelly Huesman; five grandchildren, and one great grandson and his present wife, Barbara Boffemmyer Newcomer Brown.

Mr. Brown’s family will receive friends on Saturday, March 25, from 10–11:45 a.m. at Kain-Murphy Funeral Services, 15 West End Ave., Haddonfield, where his memorial service will follow at noon. Interment is private. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in Mr. Brown’s name may be made to Virtua Foundation, P.O. Box 70260, Philadelphia, PA 19176–9703 or via