RICHFIELD SPRINGS – John B. Barown, 67, an Air Force veteran and former Milford postmaster, died Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020, at his home in the Village of Richfield Springs after a period of declining health.
John was born May 31, 1952, in Jersey City, N.J., the son of Bartholomew and Inge (Wappler) Barown, Sr. When John was young, he and his family moved to Hartwick, where, for many years, they engaged in farming.
He attended Hartwick Elementary School through the sixth grade and then entered the Cooperstown Central School System, graduating in the Class of 1970. He enjoyed and excelled at athletics and was a multi-year member of the Cooperstown Boys Track and Field and Cross-Country Teams.
After high school John briefly attended SUNY Cobleskill for Horticulture before enlisting in the Air Force, serving his country from 1971 to 1973 as a security specialist with the 416 Security Police Squadron/ Strategic Air Command.
Following his discharge from the military, John worked for many years in the Postal Service in Cooperstown and Hartwick before he became postmaster of the Milford Post Office.
He served as the Hartwick Troop 72 Scoutmaster and additionally, was a member and later became the commander of Milford American Legion Post 1566. John then moved to Florida where he resided for many years before recently returning to this area to be near family.
John loved the outdoors, and was an avid hunter, fisherman and sportsman. He especially loved gardening (both vegetables and flowers) and was often sought out for his self- taught knowledge of trees and plants.
He was a life-long Buffalo Bills fan, a lover of animals, dogs of all types, and especially and most recently his dog “Rosie.” He was an avid “collector of everything,” including stamps, coins, and Hess trucks.
He had a wonderful, well-developed sense of humor, was the life of many parties, and simply “lived life to its fullest.” He was best known for his quote, “The main thing is to stay calm”.
John is survived by his children, Chris (Julie) Barown of Cherry Valley, Leanne (David) Ducharme of Naples, Ontario County, Carrie (Sherman) Jewett of Albany, Matt (Haley Groat) Barown of Hartwick, Julie (Mike) Skramko of Richfield, and Nicole Barown of Fly Creek; his seven grandchildren, Graham, Heath, Maeve, Grace, Jack, Blake and Olivia, and six nieces and nephews, Bart, Mike, Jennifer, Katie, Jeremiah and Scott. He is also survived by his father, Bart O. Barown, Sr. and his wife, Eileen, his brother Bart (Pat) Barown, Jr. of Hartwick, and his sister Linda (Allen) Curran of Sylmar, Calif. John was predeceased by his mother, Inge, in 1988.
A Memorial Service officiated by Rev. Dane Boston, Rector of Christ Episcopal Church in Cooperstown will be at 3 p.m. Saturday Feb. 1, at the Tillapaugh Funeral Home, 28 Pioneer Street, Cooperstown.
The family will be present at the funeral home 1-3 p.m. to receive friends; a reception at the Cooperstown Veterans’ Club will follow the service. Burial with full Military Honors will occur in the spring in the Hartwick Cemetery, Hartwick.