Kenneth R. Brownstein
Publish Date: Monday, March 24, 2008 – Bangor Daily News
Kenneth Robert Brownstein ORONO – Kenneth Robert Brownstein, 71, died Friday, March 21, 2008, at his home, after a long fought battle with Parkinson’s and diabetes. His dignity, courage and determination will continue to serve as a source of inspiration to those who knew him. After graduating with a Ph.D. in physics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, N.Y., Ken, a native of Brooklyn, N.Y., came to Orono in September 1965, when he began teaching for the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Maine. During his 39-year career at Maine, he encouraged his students and his family by example to utilize the capabilities they possess to exceed their expectations. With his unassuming manner, his clarity and his humor, Ken connected the relevance of theoretical predictions with practical applications, whether lecturing about Paul Dirac’s analysis of the Schrodinger equation or offering the Brownstein version of “Two Men Fall Down a Chimney,” an adaptation from The Joys of Yiddish. In addition to teaching, Ken published more than 85 articles and served as chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy from 1992 to 1998. For the baccalaureate address delivered to the Orono High School, Class of 1998, the students elected him to speak on behalf of their parents. Ken retired from the University of Maine in August 2004 because of the boundaries imposed by Parkinson’s. His survivors include his wife, Andrea; their son, Louis, daughter-in-law, Alexis, and their treasured grandson, Jack Andrew Brownstein; their daughter, Miriam; Ken’s brother, Samuel Henry Brownstein of Falls Church, Va.; and cousins throughout the country. In addition to his family, Ken’s dear friends, Patricia Byard of Veazie, Barbara Csavinszky of Old Town and Celia Kay and Mike Vietti and their family of Manset and Swan’s Island, mourn his death. Funeral services will be held 1 p.m. Monday, March 24, at the Jewish Funeral Chapel, 118 Center St., Bangor, with Rabbi Darah R. Lerner officiating. Interment will be at Beth Israel Cemetery, Bangor. Donations in Ken’s memory may be made to Orono Firefighters Association, P.O. Box 143, Orono, ME 04473. A service of Brookings-Smith, LaBeau Chapel, Orono.