Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Epilogue | Steven Walter Brown

Epilogue: Steven Walter Brown, 'down-to-earth guy' leaves a mystery

PINELLAS PARK — No one knew where Steven Brown came from, only where he had been lately.

He lived in a tent at the end of a dirt road. He rarely spoke, but sometimes helped his landlady round up aluminum, or repaired toys they found in the trash. Friends say he was an electrician once, and later drove a cab.

The trail always turns cold with Mr. Brown, a private man who died Monday in his makeshift tent. He was 56. Pinellas County authorities believe he died of natural causes, and are trying to find family members.

"We talked, but it sure as hell wasn't much of a conversation," said house-mate John Naify, 59. "To tell you the truth, I didn't really like the SOB."

Mr. Brown began renting a trailer from Jo Ann Mills two years ago at 9561 68th St. N. In recent months he moved into the yard, saying it was easier to breathe there. Mr. Brown suffered from chronic lung disease and breathed through an air hose.

"He wasn't a very happy person," said Mills, 67, as she and neighbors reminisced this week. "He either liked you or he didn't like you."

"He didn't like me one bit," said Roger Klemett, 43.

He did seem to like Deborah Klenk, who tends bar at nearby Bottles Pub, where Mr. Brown played darts and did occasional electrical work. Klenk, 40, described Mr. Brown as a "really down-to-earth guy" who was fond of his two nieces. The nieces used to check on him at the bar sometimes, Klenk said. She hasn't seen them in eight years, and thinks they live out of state now.

He also liked animals. He trained squirrels to eat out of his hand, and had taught Mr. Green, Mills' Amazon parrot, to say good morning.

About 5 p.m. Monday, Mills checked on Mr. Brown in his tent and found him unresponsive.

An investigator from the Pinellas County Medical Examiner's office found no signs of foul play. Mr. Brown's body was transferred to A Life Tribute, a Gulfport funeral home. The Anderson-McQueen subsidiary handles unclaimed bodies for the county.

As of Thursday, the county's Health and Human Services department had not found anyone related to Mr. Brown. It had determined, however, that Mr. Brown was a veteran, according to eligibility specialist Annie Shaw.

That means Mr. Brown might be eligible for burial at the Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell or the Sarasota VA National Cemetery. Only a dishonorable discharge can derail a veteran's eligibility for a military burial, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Web site. Shaw would not reveal Mr. Brown's discharge status, citing confidentiality.

If Mr. Brown does not receive a military burial, his remains will be cremated.

Mr. Brown seemed to anticipate the mysteries his death would create. Inside his worn-out wallet was a card, titled "My Living Will" and some lines to fill out.

It was blank.

Andrew Meacham can be reached at (727) 892-2248 or ameacham@sptimes.com.

>>Biography

Steven Walter Brown

Born: June 20, 1952

Died: June 15, 2009

Survivors: None

Epilogue: Steven Walter Brown, 'down-to-earth guy' leaves a mystery 06/19/09 [Last modified: Friday, June 19, 2009 10:18pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Trigaux: Amid a record turnout, regional technology group spotlights successes, desire to do more

    Business

    ST. PETERSBURG — They came. They saw. They celebrated Tampa Bay's tech momentum.

    A record turnout event by the Tampa Bay Technology Forum, held May 24 at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg, featured a panel of area tech executives talking about the challenges encountered during their respective mergers and acquisitions. Show, from left to right, are: Gerard Purcell, senior vice president of global IT integration at Tech Data Corp.; John Kuemmel, chief information officer at Triad Retail Media, and Chris Cate, chief operating officer at Valpak. [Robert Trigaux, Times]
  2. Take 2: Some fear Tampa Bay Next transportation plan is TBX redux

    Transportation

    TAMPA — For many, Wednesday's regional transportation meeting was a dose of deja vu.

    The Florida Department of Transportation on Monday announced that it was renaming its controversial Tampa Bay Express plan, also known as TBX. The plan will now be known as Tampa Bay Next, or TBN. But the plan remains the same: spend $60 billion to add 90 miles of toll roads to bay area interstates that are currently free of tolls. [Florida Department of Transportation]
  3. Hailed as 'pioneers,' students from St. Petersburg High's first IB class return 30 years later

    Education

    ST. PETERSBURG — The students came from all over Pinellas County, some enduring hot bus rides to a school far from home. At first, they barely knew what to call themselves. All they knew was that they were in for a challenge.

    Class of 1987 alumni Devin Brown, from left, and D.J. Wagner, world history teacher Samuel Davis and 1987 graduate Milford Chavous chat at their table.
  4. Flower boxes on Fort Harrison in Clearwater to go, traffic pattern to stay

    Roads

    I travel Fort Harrison Avenue in Clearwater often and I've noticed that the travel lanes have been rerouted to allow for what looks like flower boxes that have been painted by children. There are also a few spaces that push the travel lane to the center that have no boxes. Is this a permanent travel lane now? It …

  5. Palm Harbor boat dealer facing litany of complaints of bad deals

    Business

    PALM HARBOR — With an aging father sick in the hospital and a son just graduating high school, Andrew Kashella, in between jobs, knew what he had to do.

    A sign on a front window of Gulf Coast Boat Sales, 37517 Us Highway 19 N, in Palm Harbor, notifies people they are under restructuring  The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office has received 20 complaints against Gulf Coast Boat Sales in Palm Harbor. Complainants say they sold the shop their boats and never got paid and/or paid for boats they never received. Pinellas County Consumer Protection is leading the investigation.