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Local News

November 9, 2012

Friends cope with deaths of Franklin couple

Friends and associates of Wendy and Willis Brown struggled Thursday to grasp the loss of the couple in an apparent murder-suicide at their Franklin home.

Meanwhile, Delaware County deputies said they continued an investigation into the deaths of the local professor and the financial adviser without finding a reason for the double shooting.

Delaware County deputies received a call at about 6:45 a.m. Wednesday and found the bodies of the couple after they arrived at the house on Main Street in the village.

Willis Brown, 58, apparently shot his wife, also 58, before turning the rifle on himself, deputies said.

Undersheriff Craig DuMond said Thursday that the investigation, including interviews with relatives, friends and associates, hadn’t revealed a motive for the crime. He withheld other details about the investigation pending results from autopsies, which were being conducted at Lourdes Hospital in Binghamton.

Dumond said the investigation included looking into the postings on canoetripping.net.

Willis Brown, site administrator, posted on the “What’s New” tab at 6:34 a.m. Wednesday a message that said “I” am Sorry Good by’’ and a link to www.thedailystar.com.

The posting prompted about 30 replies, including some expressing shock, sadness and sympathies.

Willis Brown said in his biographical that he “has been married to the same woman for more than 30 years. We have two wonderful sons.” Interests listed were canoeing, mostly solo, camping, fishing, hunting, hiking and target shooting. In an Oct. 29 thread, he posted that he would be interested in a canoeing trip in May.

Willis Brown was an assistant professor of applied sciences and building technologies at the State University College of Technology at Delhi, and Wendy Brown was a financial adviser with the Morgan McReynolds Group at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney in Oneonta.

A memorial service for Wendy and Willis Brown will be held at the Foothills Performing Arts and Civic Center on Market Street in Oneonta at 3 p.m. Sunday, funeral director Les Grummons said. Calling hours will be at the Lester R. Grummons Funeral Home at 14 Grand St., in the city, from 3 to 5 p.m. Saturday, he said.

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