Robert 'Muck' Brown

Mar 20, 2014

Servant of God and Country

WAYNESVILLE — Lt. Col. (Ret.) Robert Hadley “Muck” Brown, 56, passed away March 18, 2014, at The Homestead Hospice facility in Clyde, after bravely battling cancer for the past three years. He was born to Glenn and Evelyn Brown on July 14, 1957, in Waynesville. A member of Tuscola High School’s class of 1975, he went on to receive his Bachelor of Arts in political science with honors from Wake Forest University in 1979.

He joined the U.S. Air Force in 1981 and became an A-10 fighter pilot with over 3,100 hours in the cockpit. He flew NATO peacekeeping missions out of Aviano AB over Bosnia during his time at Spangdahlem AB from 1995-1997, and he flew combat missions over Iraq in support of Operation Southern Watch in the late 1990’s. He retired in 2001 after 20 years of service and flew briefly thereafter as an international co-pilot for UPS before returning to the USAF post-9/11 for three more years of service. During these last three years, he served for three months in Operation Iraqi Freedom. His military awards and decorations include Top Gun, Top Graduate, the Robbie Risner Award, the Meritorious Service Medal with four oak leak clusters, the Aerial Achievement Medal, the Air Force Commendation Medal with one oak leaf cluster, the Air Force Achievement Medal, the combat Readiness Medal with two oak leaf clusters, the National Defense Service Medal, the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal and the Armed Forces Service Medal.

He returned with his daughter to Haywood County in 2005 to teach AFJROTC at Tuscola High, where he touched and mentored the lives of many.  On March 17, 2007, he married Martha Weathers Youngwood, with whom he shared a passion for music and faith. In 2010, he left teaching to take a job as a defense contractor training some of America’s elite combat forces with Patriot Technologies Group.  In late 2012, he became unable to continue his work with PTG due to his hard and courageous ongoing fight with cancer.

Although he was only with us for 56 years, he had a lot of life in his years. He served, taught, loved, supported and inspired. He leaves behind an extraordinary and far-reaching legacy. He is survived by both of his parents; his brother, Bill Brown, of Durham; his wife, Martha Brown; his daughter, Anna Brown; his stepchildren, Liam and McLain Youngwood; and their loving dog, Bach, and fat cat, Duchess.

Funeral services will be held at 3 p.m. Monday, March 24, in the sanctuary of First Baptist Church of Waynesville with the Revs. Dr. Robert Prince, Dr. Charles W. “Chuck” Wilson and Dr. Dick Maples officiating.  Burial will follow at Garrett-Hillcrest Memorial Park.  The family will receive friends from 4 to 7 p.m. Sunday at Wells Funeral Home of Waynesville.

Robert cared deeply for the service men and women of our country and for the choir that brought he and his wife, Martha, together. In lieu of flowers, memorial tributes may be made to either of the following: Wounded Warrior Project, P.O. Box 758517, Topeka, KS  66675; Voices in the Laurel Children’s Choir, P.O. Box 1581, Lake Junaluska, NC 28745; or Haywood County Schools Foundation, Attn. Robert Brown Scholarship Fund, 1230 North Main Street, Waynesville, NC  28786.

An online memorial register is available at