Charles H. Brown, Ice cream workerServices for Charles...


April 05, 1992

Charles H. Brown, Ice cream worker

Services for Charles Holton Brown, who mixed the rum in the eggnog flavor as a longtime employee of the old Hendler ice cream company, will be held at 10 a.m. Tuesday at the Bel Air Ward Chapel of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 3836 Level Road, Havre de Grace.

Mr. Brown died early Friday at Fallston General Hospital after a long battle with cancer. He was 83.

He was a resident of Forest Hill since 1969 and for the previous 17 years lived on Witherspoon Road in Govans.

An avid fire buff and founding member of Baltimore's Box 414 Association, which operates a coffee wagon in support of firefighters at all multi-alarm blazes in the city, Mr. Brown kept a police scanner close at hand and frequently called in tips on breaking news events to The Baltimore Sun.

He was a witness to the 1936 explosion and crash of the Hindenburg in Lakehurst, N.J., where he and several friends had taken the train to see the famous dirigible. "We went because it was like watching the first 747 or Concorde land," he said, recalling the disaster.

Born in Towson, Holton, as he was then known, was orphaned as a child and reared by aunts. The only boy of three surviving children, he quit Baltimore City College for a job in a grocery store. Despite objections from his aunts, he took up sports and excelled in lacrosse, softball and baseball -- even playing in a few semi-pro Eastern Shore League games in the 1920s.

He entered the dairy business at Dairy Laboratories in Baltimore, with duties that included bringing in milk samples from area farms and testing them for bacteria, cream content and butterfat.

The lab was next to a fire engine house on Lexington Street, where he enjoyed spending his lunchtime with the firefighters. They called him "Doc" because, to them, he seemed like a doctor testing the milk for dangers -- although most people knew him as "Brownie."

When Dairy Lab closed, Mr. Brown found work at the Hendler Creamery Co., where he was associated with Doc Siegmund, an expert on the delicate screen work decorating of ice cream cakes. When his mentor retired, Mr. Brown took over the work -- special requests to Hendler from across the nation.

Mr. Brown's projects included ice cream cakes sent to Washington for inaugural festivities for Presidents Harry S. Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson. The cake traditionally featured a decorative telegram informing the new president of his election.

He also was involved in mixing flavors and colors, and adding to eggnog ice cream the rum that Hendler had legal permission to use in its recipe. He later earned a certificate as a safety engineer, and won awards for helping Hendler achieve a leading safety record.

Ineligible for military enlistment during World War II, Mr. Brown became involved in many volunteer activities as a city auxiliary firefighter, on port security patrols and as an instructor for the American Red Cross -- an association that was to continue for more than 30 years and bring him honors as a member of the Regional Red Cross Hall of Fame.

In the late 1950s, Mr. Brown assisted Baltimore Fire Department Capt. Martin McMahon in research with Johns Hopkins and the old City Hospitals in developing mouth-to-mouth and cardiopulmonary resuscitation techniques.

Although not a pilot, he joined the Civil Air Patrol in 1957 and rose to the rank of major, handling administrative duties.

Mr. Brown retired from the ice cream business in 1971 and worked part-time until 1979 as a parts manager for Bill Kirk Volkswagen on Reisterstown Road.

Mr. Brown and his wife, Helen G. Brown, joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormon Church) in 1982. They did volunteer work for several years at the Washington temple and the Chesapeake-Bel Air Ward Chapel in the community of Level.

Surviving, in addition to his wife of 53 years, are two sons, Holton Franklin Brown of Baltimore and William Pacer of Randallstown; and six grandchildren.

The family suggested donations to the Bel Air-Ward Missionary Fund, in care of Bishop Steven Sparenborg, 231 Bynum Ridge Road, Forest Hill, Md. 21050. Laura Ruth Laupus, a free-lance writer and illustrator, died of smoke inhalation last Saturday in a fire at her home on South Washington Street. She was 37.

NB She had moved to the Baltimore area about three years ago from

Chapel Hill, N.C., and shared the East Baltimore home with several friends.

A native of Detroit who was reared in Richmond, Va., she was graduated with honors from the University of Virginia, where she majored in art and psychology.

She did graduate work in journalism at North Carolina State University, East Carolina University and Meredith College.

She is survived by her parents, Evelyn Laupus and Dr. William Laupus of Greenville, N.C.; a sister, Patricia O'Connell of Baltimore; two brothers, Richard Laupus of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and William E. Laupus Jr. of Denver; two nieces; and two nephews.

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