MPNOD- Miami Pioneers and NAtives of Dade historical society
Hello MPNOD member,
Here is a fresh update from the Miami Pioneers and Natives of Dade Historical Society
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Historic Coral Gables City Hall

Sunday Online Meeting

August 2nd at 2pm

Let's gather together online for another Zoom meeting for members of the Miami Pioneers and Natives of Dade, along with friends.

Use the link or meeting ID below and remember the passcode is history.

MP/NOD Monthly Meeting - Online

Sunday, August 2nd at 2pm - Zoom Meeting

Join Zoom Meeting link

Meeting ID: 813 1115 4693
Passcode: history

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Weather Alert!

Keep an eye our for the tropical storm heading this way, which might reach us Saturday or Sunday. If so, we'll postpone this meeting until the next Sunday at 2pm. Stay safe.
In Memoriam
Edwin Rowland Brownell

Edwin Rowland "Ed" Brownell

Brownell, Edwin Rowland "Ed" passed away peacefully in his sleep at home, on July 23, 2020. He is survived by his loving wife of 52 years, Blanche Parisi Brownell, and their daughters Elaine Brownell Dorrans, spouse to Captain Craig M. Dorrans, USN Ret., and Evelyn Brownell Mika; his grandchildren Tara Burke VanNorman, Audrey Dorrans, Christopher Mika, Matthew Dorrans and Jennifer Mika.
He is also survived by his great grandson Jesse with Ashleigh VanNorman and his great-great grandson Nolan VanNorman. He was predeceased by his first wife, Helen Kegel Brownell, and daughters Nancy Brownell Servatt, and Elizabeth Regina Brownell.
Due to the limited gathering restrictions, there will be an immediate family only Funeral Mass at the Church of the Little Flower on Thursday, July 30. The Celebration of Ed's life will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul or your preferred charity.
Edwin Rowland Brownell obtained his survey license in 1953. He was born in Tampa Florida and moved to Miami when he was only six months old. In the near century since, Ed established himself as a journeyman surveyor, an incredibly successful business man, a profitable banker, and a respected leader and advocate in the surveying profession. Added to that are his generous volunteer obligations, dedicated membership to committees and societies, and various expert status in his recreational activities.
He was graduated from the University of Florida in 1947 with a degree in Civil Engineering. He often recalled memories from decades ago, telling many stories from his time as a surveyor. He started E.R.Brownell & Associates in 1954 in Miami. Blanche left her teaching job to help run the office after they were married in 1967.
At the height of the cold war, Ed was contracted by the federal government to complete a then-Top secret project. After the required background investigations were complete he was told of his assignment. He later had a similar experience where he was required, after conducting the necessary surveys, to make recommendations to the Joint Chiefs of Staff under the President's direction as part of a 60 person committee. He investigated and reported on the engineering readiness of the US Armed Forces and met with the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Defense Secretary Brown in their Pentagon offices.
Ed has had an eventful life and many stories of the Everglades and the adventures while surveying there. He became an expert witness for the Everglades. His long experience with the Everglades, led to a friendship with the Miccosukee Tribe of Florida and a personal relationship with Buffalo Tiger, the leader of the tribe. To add to his professional experience, and dedication to the education of the future Surveyors, Ed served on the first Board of Directors for the FSMS and eventually became president in 1973 of the Florida surveying society. He stressed education as a core value. His dedication to education of those in the surveying field was not limited to the state level. He was the first president of the National Society of Professional Surveyors in 1978 and president of the American Congress of Surveying and Mapping in 1980.
Ed examined and critiqued engineering and surveying programs at universities around the U.S. for their accreditation in standards for education of future engineers. His professional experience was not in surveying alone, he wrote financial articles for a National Savings and Loan Association publication, was interviewed on TV regarding the Everglades and testified before Congress about the Everglades. He was a retired president of Totalbank and retired president and chairman of Brickellbank.
In 1990, Ed retired from the Surveying business. He was a respected boss and businessman, honor and trust were key elements in his every day. Tom Brownell, was Ed's nephew and business partner. After retirement, Ed went in only to help and advise when needed. But for the better part of the near 30 years since, Ed has enjoyed the advantages of retirement.
Ed loved to play golf and was the president of the 10th Holers at the Country Club of Coral Gables, he played golf every Saturday morning with the same foursome until his doctor told him he had to quit. He picked up Duplicate Bridge and quickly became a valued partner, where he holds a Silver Master as of 2012 and was near to achieving Gold Master before he passed.
He has been a long time member of the Riviera Country Club, serving on committees and participating in the bridge club there. He also was a long time member of the Country Club of Coral Gables, and was president for three years, from 1992 to 1995. He and Blanche spent some wonderful nights dancing and attending parties.
He was dedicated to the Catholic Church and was a 4th degree Knight of Columbus. He was a president of Kiwanis Club of Miami.
He was voted "Man of the Year" in 1989 by Dade County. He was president of Business Inc. and Century Club.
He was an active member in the Miami Pioneers Natives of Dade, the Committee of 100, and the Elks Lodge 948.
He was active in his Fraternity, the Kappa Alpha Order, a member of the University of Florida Grand Guard, University of Florida President's Counsel, and Historic Society for the City of Coral Gables. Ed received more certificates and awards of appreciation for his Distinguished Standing for the Board of Directors for the American Biological Institute and also from them, an award for Outstanding Contributions to the Surveying Profession. He received Certificates of Appreciation from the City of Coral Gables for his work and contributions to the Planning and Zoning Board and the Board of Adjustments.
Even with so much given to the community in which he lived and the profession he loved, he also found time to be with his family. He was there to offer help with school projects, homework assignments, giving career day talks, and science projects. His favorite was building balsa wood bridges.
He taught his daughters to love the Church, help those in need, to turn the other cheek, and respect elders. He resided in Coral Gables with his wife, the lovely Blanche Parisi Brownell and three daughters for over fifty years. Blanche was his partner in every endeavor and he owes much of his success to her help and direction. He was a dedicated father willing to help or provide advice, when needed to his kids.
He will always be lovingly remembered and his spirit will be kept alive in the stories they tell of the man they called grandpa, 'd-dad, granddaddy, dad, and Ed.
Miami Pioneers and
Natives of Dade Historical Society
PO Box 144353
Coral Gables, FL 33114-4353
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