Longtime Owner of F.C. Hardware Store, Hugh Brown, Dies at 92

HUGH BROWN standing beside some pull wagons inside Brown’s Hardware in 2016. (Courtesy Photo)

Hugh Brown, the owner of Falls Church’s home improvement staple Brown’s Hardware, died shortly after midnight Monday morning. He was 92.

Brown suffered from natural medical complications throughout his last month of life. He spent 10 days of treatment in Virginia Hospital Center before being moved to the rehabilitation center in the Arlington-based retirement community, The Jefferson for another two week stint. Brown was then relocated into a hospice unit at The Jefferson where his condition worsened rapidly to a point that further treatment was no longer sufficient. Having no direct relatives, his medical power of attorney was given to the hardware store’s manager John Taylor, who was alerted of Brown’s death soon after midnight Monday morning.

Despite Brown’s passing, Brown’s Hardware will continue to operate as usual, according to Taylor. Prior to Brown’s death, he set up a trust to ensure the store will stay afloat following his passing. Taylor also told the News-Press that there are no plans to relocate the establishment unless, as he joked, someone presents “an offer we can’t refuse.”

The Brown family has a long legacy in the City of Falls Church.

In 1883, Brown’s grandfather, James W. Brown, opened up the store. It is the City’s oldest business at 125 years old.  In 1949, the store switched from being a general store to a hardware store. Hugh Brown had been running the store in a hands-on fashion since 1959. That same year, Brown helped oversee the store’s relocation to its current spot on the corner of Broad St. and Washington St.

Brown’s father, Horace E. Brown, was an original trustee of the Falls Church Volunteer Fire Department in 1925 and participated in ceremonies in 1952 to dedicate the (then) new George Mason High School.

A memorial service will be held for Brown on Saturday, Dec. 8 at 10 a.m. at the Falls Church Presbyterian Church (225 E. Broad St., Falls Church).