Juneau wildlife guide, advocate Greg Brown passes away

Greg Brown

Juneau wildlife guide and advocate Greg Brown passed away over the weekend. Photo by Casey Kelly/KTOO.

Juneau resident and well-known wildlife guide Greg Brown has died. He was 63.

Brown passed away over the weekend, according to his wife Tina, who says he’d recently been diagnosed with angiosarcoma, a rare and aggressive form of cancer.

The couple realized a longtime dream when they moved to Juneau almost a decade ago.

“Our first trip here it was rainy, and it was cold, and we looked up at the waterfall, and that evening we said, ‘Well, when we retire, we’re going to move to Juneau,’” Brown recalled in a 2010 interview when he was running for Juneau Assembly.

“And when the time came, literally it was a three minute conversation about when are we going to get a flight to Juneau?” he said. “It’s a great spot to live, it has some of the nicest people I’ve ever seen anywhere in the world, and I would stack Juneau up against any city in the world.”

Brown was born in Evanston, Illinois, but grew up in Virginia. He attended Virginia Tech University, where he double majored in mechanical engineering and nuclear engineering.

He was an executive for major international electric companies, including Siemens and Schneider Electric.

In a 2008 Evening at Egan lecture at the University of Alaska Southeast, Brown described himself as “an environmental capitalist.”

“I build things, I’ve done that most of my life – plants all over the world in China, Latin America, Europe. But I always try to do it with the most friendly environmental look at how to build it,” he said.

Greg and Tina Brown

Greg and Tina Brown enjoy a walk with their dog, Oscar. Photo courtesy Kerry Howard.

After moving to Juneau, the Browns started a guiding business, Weather Permitting Alaska. But Tina says Greg never considered it a job.

“He loved taking people out to see the whales, because he wanted to teach them about the whales,” Tina Brown said. “He never wanted just to run out there, show them a whale, and run back. He was known to stay up to an hour at no extra charge if the whales were cooperative and the people were enjoying it. Being out on the water and showing people the beauty here and the wildlife was just dear to his heart.”

Tina Brown says she’s not planning a public memorial for her husband. She says Greg didn’t like people making a fuss over him, and never even wanted a birthday cake. But she encourages friends to remember him in their own way.