Boats 08
Official Obituary of

Herbert Prescott (Jr.) Browne

November 30, 1930 ~ July 6, 2023 (age 92) 92 Years Old
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Herbert Browne Obituary

After a wonderful 92-years of life, Herbert P Browne, Jr. died next to his wife of 66 years, Christine Gorcynski Browne, on July 6, 2023 at the Dawn Hill Home in Bristol, RI

Herbert is survived by his wife, Christine Gorcynski Browne, his three sons James (Kim) of Georgetown, ME, Mark of South Yarmouth, MA, Robert (Kristin) of Bristol and his daughter, Stephanie Brightman (Thomas) of North Hampton, NH. He is also leaving behind his 7 beloved grandchildren: Dana Spinney (David), Jamie Browne (Billie), Nicholas Browne, Isabel Browne, Samuel Andreottola, Oliver Browne, Benjamin Browne, and 3 great grandchildren, Madison Browne and Pearl Spinney and Ethan FLower.

Herb & Christine founded The Bristol Bagel Works in 1994 with their son, Rob where they worked side by side until first Christine stopped due to alzheimer's disease and then Herb had to stop coming into the shop because of his failing health, just a few short months ago. Prior to his role as the Bagel King of Bristol, Herb was the general sales manager for Wayne Distributing, a Miller distributorship based in Cranston, where he also worked alongside his lifelong childhood friend, William Considine.

Herb began sailing at the Edgewood Yacht Club in 1944, developing a lifelong passion for the sea. He began racing “Beetle Cats” and later moved on to larger and faster boats. When winter came, he and his friend, Tom Breslin, participated in Sunfish frostbite racing throughout New England. He owned many sailboats throughout his life and loved the camaraderie of boating with his friends and family on the waters of Narragansett Bay and to Block Island. Never too old for an upgrade, at age 89, Herb took ownership of his “dream boat,” a Hinckley Pilot 35 yawl, with his son, Rob. Herb was a long time member and former Commodore of the Bristol Yacht Club, where spent many of his summer days sailing and racing until he could sail no more, just last summer. He was again recently also a social member of his childhood yacht club, Edgewood YC, where he often visited for a Beetle Regatta or for one of his grandson’s sailing events.

After graduating from Cranston High School in 1949, Herb worked for Narragansett Brewery in Cranston. A few years later, he was in the U.S. Army in Korea. On his way back from Korea, Herb experienced a traumatic experience that impacted his life. He boarded a transport plane for his return to the United States. The aircraft was overloaded, so Herb, being the last to board, had to exit and wait for a second aircraft. The first plane crashed, and everyone aboard was killed. Herb was interviewed by the Providence Journal about this experience in a 2021 article that got him a lot of local praise.

In 1956, Herb attended the University of Rhode Island, where he met Christine Gorcynski, a nursing student. Within a few months, they became engaged. Tall and good-looking,. His close friends worried that he might be acting in haste. To further complicate things, Herb and Chris faced what was called a “mixed” marriage. Herb was Presbyterian, while Chris was Catholic. If they had listened to their friends, one of the great marriages in the history of matrimony would not have occurred.

Christine and Herb lived in several states over the course of their 66-years of marriage, from Cape Elilzabeth, Maine to Dallas Tx. and several homes between Barrington and Bristol, RI. He was a

dedicated husband and in his recent years converted to Catholicism so that he could sit aside his wife at church each Sunday. He quickly became a cherished member of the St. Mary’s Church and found his faith and friendship to really flourish in a very special men’s group that lifted him up and added even more great friends to his already long list.

Herb was an avid reader and a quiet patriot. He believed in family, faith, and friends. You didn't need much else if you could include Herb and Chris Browne in your circle of friends. Every hat that Herb wore, he wore with great distinction – son, brother, husband, father, grandfather and friend.

Special thanks to his good friend, Ken Dooley, for a life of friendship and for honoring Herbert’s past by helping to write this memorial.

Services will be Sunday, September 24, 2023 3 PM at the Bristol Yacht Club, 101 Poppasquash Road. In lieu of flowers the Browne family kindly asks that you make donations to the East Bay Sailing Foundation at Bristol Yacht Club.

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Thanksgiving & Celebration of Life
September 24, 2023

3:00 PM
Bristol Yacht Club
101 Poppasquash Road
Bristol, RI 02809


East Bay Sailing Foundation
101 Poppasquash Road, Bristol RI 02809


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