John E. Brownell Jr., a former top executive for PPG Industries and a longtime Fox Chapel resident, died Sunday from leukemia at the Longwood at Oakmont retirement community where he had lived for the past three years. He was 80.
Mr. Brownell joined PPG Industries in Cleveland and worked his way up the ladder over the course of 25 years to become a vice president of marketing and sales in the fiberglass division and later vice president of corporate purchasing.
A Pittsburgh native, Mr. Brownell grew up in Squirrel Hill and would walk to the Pirates games at Forbes Field as a kid when there was free admission after the fifth inning. He attended Shady Side Academy and was a member of the Junior Davis Cup tennis team, as well as a nationally ranked squash player at Williams College.
Mr. Brownell was a resident of Fox Chapel for 45 years and was a member of the Fox Chapel Golf Club, an elder at Fox Chapel Presbyterian Church, a former member of the Duquesne Club, the Pittsburgh Golf Club and Mill Reef Country Club.
His community service included serving as president of the Arthritis Foundation Board and vice chairman of the Mercy Hospital Board of Trustees. He was chairman of the board of trustees of Shady Side Academy where he was active for 28 years.
He is survived by his wife of 51 years, Nancy Gemmill Brownell; a son Jeffrey Brownell of Richmond, Va.; a daughter Leslie Timmons of New Albany, Ohio; and a sister, Ann Orgel of Rochester, N.Y.
Friends will be received Sept. 8 from 3 to 6 p.m. at the Fox Chapel Presbyterian Church, 384 Fox Chapel Road, and a memorial service will be held Sept. 9 at 11 a.m. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Fox Chapel Presbyterian Church or Shady Side Academy.
Arrangements were made by Weddell-Ajak Funeral Homes in Aspinwall.
Tim Grant: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1591.