Laguna grieves death of businessman and former lifeguard

Bill Brown, 45, was a longtime Laguna Beach resident. Photo courtesy of Nickolas Brown

Bill Brown, a longtime Laguna Beach resident and businessman was mourned by the community this week after his death June 21 at 45 years old.

Brown was remembered by friends and family this week as a Laguna Beach High athlete, successful mortgage lender, real estate broker, former Laguna Beach lifeguard, and life-long waterman.

A candlelight vigil for Brown was held Wednesday at the Promenade on Forest Avenue and attracted more than 600 people during the evening, Bill’s brother Nickolas Brown said Thursday.

“Proven by the turnout last night and the amazing love the community showed, he was obviously a big brother to not just me but the whole town, Nickolas Brown said.

Bill had already put his footprint on the town by the time his younger brother Nicholas entered high school. As a Laguna Beach High student athlete, Bill made a name for himself running the 110-meter hurdles, Nickolas said.

Bill’s love of the ocean started when he was a young kid and motivated to pursue lifeguarding at local beaches. Nickolas fondly remembers visiting his brother while he manned his post.

“I’d sit at his post at the beach and I’d be there all day during his shift,” Nickolas said. “I think his willingness to save lives and make the ocean safe for the community made it a special place for him.”

Bill spent his final Father’s Day with family at the beach and barbecuing.

Brown is also survived by his nephew Max, sister Ashtion Brown, Mikala Brown, and father William Brown Sr.

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