Robert Nelson Brower

June 24, 2018

AUBURN | Robert N. Brower, of Auburn, passed away on Sunday, June 24, 2018, surrounded by loving family.

Bob is survived by his wife, Gilda; children, Patrick Brower (Erin), and Sarah Yaw (Douglas Lloyd), and his grandchildren, Cecilia, Avery, Jed, and Ella.

For 35 years Bob served in his dream job as the Cayuga County Environmental Planner, and eventually Director of Planning. He went on to found the Institute for the Application of Geospacial Technology at Cayuga Community College. Bob worked with the Executive Committee of the Owasco Watershed Lake Association (OWLA) to preserve and protect Owasco Lake, the source of drinking water for 50,000 people. During his career, he was instrumental in the creation of the Finger Lakes Association, the Historic Preservation Committee, and served as the Chair of the Auburn Public Theater Board of Directors.

In recent years, Bob worked with the Cayuga County Health Department, Auburn City Council, Cayuga County Soil & Water Conservation District, the Owasco Lake Watershed Association, and other organizations to work toward coordinating solutions to the challenges of the algae blooms and toxins affecting Owasco Lake and the threat to drinking water. Bob enjoyed working with community stewards and throughout his career demonstrated a unique dedication to stabilizing and sustaining the work of local organizations in Auburn, Cayuga County, and the Finger Lakes region.

Bob loved playing music at Auburn Public Theater’s Tuesday night open mics and on Sundays with the APT house band. He reveled in the wonderful camaraderie and musicianship of fellow performers. He was kind and funny, always, and found ways to impart wisdom and insight with his wry sense of humor and ability to celebrate people. Bob also had a lifelong interest in collecting fossils and studying local geology. He loved sharing his knowledge. His fossil collection has been presented to the Boy Scouts and his fossil hunting trip became an annual excursion for the Montessori School of the Finger Lakes.

Gifted with time to contemplate the Grand Mystery, Bob believed the spirit of love lives on in the hearts and minds of family and friends. He felt deep love for his family, friends, OWLA colleagues, and his fellow musicians. You can hear his spirit in his music and the stories people tell in his remembrance.

Calling hours will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, June 28, and Pettigrass Funeral Home, 196 Genesee St., Auburn. A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, June 29, at the Auburn Public Theater.

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