In memory of Jack H. Brown
Office of Strategic Communication
Jack H. Brown, 78, long-time donor and supporter of CSUSB and the man in whose honor the Jack H. Brown College of Business and Public Administration was named, died on November 13, 2016.
A native of San Bernardino, he was a Navy veteran, assigned to the Pacific fleet during the Vietnam War. He joined Stater Bros. in 1981, serving as president and CEO for more than 35 years and chairman for over 30. He chose to keep the company headquartered in the IE, moving it back home to San Bernardino in 2008, and was a leading member of the community.
A committed philanthropist and booster of the lives of all of the city’s inhabitants, he included Cal State San Bernardino in his vision of the institutions which were key to supporting and strengthening his home. He was a founder of the Boys and Girls Club of San Bernardino and the founding chair of the Children’s Fund of San Bernardino County. In 2008, he created Stater Bros. Charities which supports a variety of initiatives including Redlands’ annual Believe Walk (women’s cancer) and San Bernardino’s Salvation Army chapter.
He received numerous awards during his lifetime, including the Friend of the Veteran Award from the Riverside National Cemetery’s Veterans’ Advisory Committee (2004); the Patriot Award (2011), the highest award bestowed by the Congressional Medal of Honor Society; and the Horatio Alger Award (1992).
President Morales told the San Bernardino Sun that, “His leadership and philanthropy have been a benchmark for others to follow, creating countless opportunities for economic and social growth at every level of his organization…. His commitment to the values and sacrifices of those that served our country in the military was unwavering. He championed education, children’s well-being, hunger relief, health, and help for our nation’s veterans.”
His commitment to his employees was legendary, and many long-term Stater Bros. personnel attended and participated in his memorial celebration. A recording made in 2008 was found in his office after his death and excerpts were played on that occasion. To his family, “I loved each of you so. Keep me in your hearts, because I still stand beside you.” And to his Stater Bros. family, “You, too, were my life. You, too, are my legacy.”
He was survived by his wife, Debbie; three daughters: J. Kathleen Smith (Michael Smith), Cara Hoffman (Scott Hoffman) and Melissa Koss (Pete Koss); and seven grandchildren: Kaitlyn, Colleen, Caden, Dylan, Julianna, Jack Ryan and Emma.