Foster Lloyd's Story
ONEONTA - Foster Lloyd Brown, professor emeritus at the State University of New York at Oneonta and best-selling college textbook author, passed away Dec. 1, 2017, at Albany Medical Center, of complications following heart surgery. He was 86.
He was born May 26, 1931, in Wheeling, West Virginia, the eldest of three children of Durward Belmont Brown, a Methodist minister, and Dorothy Rine Brown, an author. Upon graduation from Shinnston (West Virginia) High School in 1949, he served in the Navy.
Degrees included a bachelor's in botany from West Virginia University; a master's in physiology, also from WVU; and a doctorate in statistics from Cornell University, with post-doctoral research at the Imperial College London.
His co-authored book,"Statistical Concepts," published by Harper & Row, became the world's best-selling paperback textbook on statistics, according to the publisher.
Teaching was a passion. From 1956 to 1962 he taught anatomy, physiology, and microbiology at Bethany College (West Virginia), and anatomy to nursing students for Penn State at Guthrie Robert Packer Hospital in Sayre, Pennsylvania.
While a graduate student at Cornell, he became a senior systems analyst for Cornell's Computer Center in Ithaca.
In 1964, he became a professor of psychology at SUNY Oneonta, where he taught statistical analysis, measurement, chaos theory, and use of computers in psychology.
He also team-taught subjects ranging from music theory to history, literature and philosophy. Students knew him as an entertaining and kind professor who reassured students on the first day of class that no student who gave their all would fail.
Following retirement in 1995, he taught statistics during summers for another two decades as a professor emeritus, and served as faculty fellow for the college's computer center. He refused repeated nominations for distinguished teaching awards.
He was a devoted husband, father and grandfather; lover of books, all things science, nature and future, history, bad puns, dancing, scuba diving, chess, Scrabble, music, theater, and Mel Brooks; and possessed an indefatigable optimism and enthusiasm for learning. He served on several community boards.
He married Barbara Feather in 1956 and Rita Shulman in 1981.
During retirement Foster and Rita enjoyed traveling and being with family, splitting time between Sarasota, Florida and Oneonta.
He is survived by his wife of 36 years, Rita; daughter, Celeste Brown Thomas; son, Wendell Douglas (Craig) Brown; stepchildren, Ginny (Steven) Twersky, Paula Shulman, Emanuel (Stephanie) Shulman, Rebecca Friedman; grandson, Charles "Chase" Foster Thomas; step-grandchildren, Michael Twersky, Anna Twersky, Hannah Shulman, Alex (Sarah) Shulman, Michaela Shulman; brother, David (Jean) Brown; niece, Laurie Brown; nephew, Ahmad Madjlessi; and numerous in-laws.
He was predeceased by his parents; sister, Mary Brown Madjlessi; and first wife.
He had arranged that his body be given to Albany Medical Center for research.
A celebration of Foster's life will be held from 1 to 4 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 14, in the Atrium at Fitzelle Hall at SUNY Oneonta. A private family celebration will follow on Foster's next birthday, May 26.
Memorial donations may be made through the College at Oneonta Foundation (oneonta.edu/give) specifying the "Steven Edelstein '79 Scholarship in Honor of Dr. Foster Brown," to the Catskill Symphony Orchestra, or Community Arts Network of Oneonta.
Remembrances may be expressed at memorialwebsites.legacy.com/fosterbrown/homepage.aspx.
Published on December 10, 2017