Passing of Wayne Brown

February 2, 2021

Ottawa, ON - - Passing of Wayne Brown

     - Obituary added

February 1st, 2021
Passing of Wayne Brown


Softball Canada is saddened to announce the passing of Softball Canada Hall of Fame member Wayne Brown on January 31, 2021.
“Our national umpiring program was built on the shoulders of many giants, and Wayne was the biggest of them all” said Softball Canada’s National Director of Umpires Jeff Whipple. “It is simply impossible to measure Wayne’s contributions to our program and the sport in general.”
“We all owe him so much. Being a member of the same local umpire association as Wayne was one of the great blessings of my life. There are too few words and so many stories to share. I will miss his support, wise counsel and, most of all, his friendship. He was a true gentleman and his friends and family will miss him deeply.”
Wayne Brown began umpiring in 1969 and became the living embodiment of what an umpire should be both on and off the field. His national umpiring career began in 1975 when he was an on-field umpire for five consecutive Canadian Championships, followed by serving as a supervisor at 21 Canadian Championships, two Canada Summer Games as well as being the Chair for the 1994 Women’s Canadian Fast Pitch Championship.
In 1986, Wayne was promoted to Deputy Umpire-in-Chief for Softball Canada before being named as the National Director of Umpires in 1994 - a reign that lasted until 2004. In 1995, he was named the ISF (now WBSC) North American Regional Umpire-in-Chief and held this role until 2005.
At the international level, Wayne was an on-field umpire at the 1989 WBSC Junior Men’s World Championships and the 1993 Maccabiah Games in Israel. He later held the position of Deputy Umpire-in-Chief for the 1997 WBSC Junior Men’s World Championships, the Men’s Softball competition at the 1999 Pan American Games, the 2001 Women’s and 2002 Men’s Pan American Championships, and the 2002 WBSC Women’s World Championships. He was also an Evaluator at the 2001 WBSC Junior Men’s World Championships.
Wayne’s contributions to umpiring extended beyond the actual ball diamond. He is responsible for the implementation of the Level IV certification program, the restructuring of the Mechanics School and the creation of “Between the Lines” and the “Canadian Indicator” newsletters. He is also responsible for the launch of the “Blue Convention”, the “Umpire of the Year” Award and the creation of the Instructor/Evaluator Clinic.
Wayne Brown was inducted into the New Brunswick Sport Hall of Fame in 2005, the Softball New Brunswick Wall of Fame in 2003, the City of Fredericton Wall of Fame in 1998, and the Softball Canada Hall of Fame as an Official in 2006. In the years following his direct involvement as an umpire, he continued to work on nominating several other deserving umpires for induction to the Softball Canada Hall of Fame.
“Our sincere condolences to Wayne’s family and our extreme gratitude for sharing him with the Softball community” stated Softball Canada CEO Hugh Mitchener. “He is indelibly linked to the excellence of our Umpiring program and as such tens of thousands of Umpires have been positively impacted by him. We are all so fortunate that he shared his knowledge, passion and generosity of spirit with us.”


For more information, please contact:

Gilles LeBlanc
Manager - Marketing & Communications
Softball Canada
p: (613) 523-3386 ext. 3105 | m: (613) 795-1996
w: www.softball.ca | e: gleblanc@softball.ca



Wayne Brown

Bishop's Funeral Home


At the Dr. Everett Chalmers Hospital on Sunday, January 31, 2021, Wayne Brown of St. Mary’s First Nation passed away at the age of 72. He was a son of the late David and Kathleen (Chapman) Brown.

Wayne is survived by his daughters Heather Currie (Sheldon) of St. Mary’s First Nation and Barb Brown of St. Mary’s First Nation; son David Labillois of Fredericton; special nephew Ian Brooks of St. Mary’s First Nation; eight grandchildren Brandi, Shannon, Adie, Paige, Brock, Brady, Hart and Rayne; seven great grandchildren; brothers Clair (Ruth), Gary (Catherine) and Tim (Jeannette); sisters Sharon, Heather, Marjorie (Joe) and Cindy; several godchildren; numerous nieces, nephews and cousins; last, but not least, his faithful canine companion, Pokie. He was predeceased by his loving wife of 49 years, Patricia; and a brother Don.

If you talk about softball and St. Mary’s in the same breath, you have mentioned two things that were near and dear to Wayne. As a long-time community member, Wayne, under the leadership/support of the late Chief Arthur Bear embarked on an economic development journey that included the construction of the St. Mary’s Entertainment Centre, Kcihkuhsis (little woods) Commercial Centre, and Chief Harold Sappier Memorial Elementary School.

As a past Recreation Director at St. Mary’s, Wayne was instrumental in the development of little league ball and softball teams. He coached many teams and athletes throughout the years and was a true champion of the New Brunswick Indian Summer Games. The many sporting events over the years within St. Mary’s First Nation impacted and inspired the entire community to engage in community spirit.

Wayne’s passion was softball. He was the youngest umpire across Canada to achieve Level V Certification and was appointed as an International Softball Federation Umpire. Wayne held many high-level positions with Softball Canada and supervised 21 Canadian Championships. Wayne was recognized for his many accomplishments in his sport and was inducted into the Fredericton Wall Fame, New Brunswick Sports Hall of Fame, Canadian Softball Hall of Fame and received the Order of New Brunswick Medal from Lieutenant Governor Graydon Nicholas in 2011.

Wayne valued family, friends and community, his never-ending love for his wife Pat, and the pride he felt for his daughters, Heather and Barb. Wayne and Pat were both extremely passionate Toronto Blue Jays fans. His favorite pastime was playing poker with his buddies.

Wayne will be resting at the new Community Center (Maqiyahtimok) at St. Mary’s First Nation, located beside the ballfield on Thursday February 4, 2021. Viewing will begin at 12:00 pm and continue until Friday at 12:00 pm. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, the number of people will be limited to 25 in the building at a time. A funeral service, by invitation, will be held on Friday February 5, 2021 at 2:00 pm at the St. Mary’s Community Center (Maqiyahtimok). Those who are unable to attend may watch the service online at a streaming address that will be updated on Wayne’s obituary on Bishop’s Funeral Home’s website prior to the service. Pallbearers will be Bob Stanton, Rick Lifford, Rick Russell, Jeff Whipple, Alfie Doucet, John O’Leary; Honorary Pallbearers, who will be watching virtually, are Max Pye of NS, Brian VanOs of BC, Chris Lee of BC and Don Bracey of BC.

Those who are unable to attend may watch the service online at this streaming address


In lieu of flowers, donations made to the Canadian Diabetes Association would be greatly appreciated by the family. Online condolences and expressions of sympathy may be expressed at www.bishopsfuneralhome.com





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