Obituary Record

Ralph W. Brown
Died on 2/11/1946
Buried in Blair Cemetery

#1-14 Feb., 1946 - The Enterprise - Edna Mae (Wood) Brown and her son, Ralph Brown (photos of both)


Apparent Murder, Suicide, Mrs. Edna Mae Brown, Son Victims


Blair was sensationally shocked Tuesday when Mrs. Edna Mae Borwn and her son, Ralph, were found dead in her home on East South Street.

A roomer in the home gave the alarm and sent word to the police. She stated that the shooting occurred on Monday night and the discovery was made early Tuesday afternoon. Chief of Police Willard Gustin, after a thorough investigation, stated that in his opinion the son, a returned serviceman, had shot his mother and then turned the gun on himself.

Mrs. Brown, a prominent club and church worker, was employed in the Paxton Hotel in Omaha, making daily trips to her work. She had returned from her work as usual Monday evening and as was her custom had laid down on a davenport downstairs and apparently had gone to sleep. The conjecture is that while she slept the son shot and killed her.

After killing his mother, he disconnected the telephone, fastened the door and windows, and going to his room locked himself in and with the same revolver ended his own life. This, apparently is the case, although no one knows definitely, nor will they ever know.

A lady roomer, Mrs. George Dodson of Topeka, Kansas who had been rooming there while being treated by a local physician, told the police that she heard shots at about 11 p.m. and then heard young Brown hammering on the front door. She called to him, asking what was going on and he mumbled, “I don’t know”. In his room the police found the son’s body with a bullet hole in his head and the gun that had been used on the mother.

On Tuesday morning, Mrs. Dodson attempted to get out of the house but found herself locked in. About 1:30 p.m. a neighbor stopped at the house to see if Mrs. Dodson needed anything from the store. Mrs. Dodson shouted through the locked door that “something has happened - call the police” and this was done.

The son had served in the navy for the past three years and had been discharged for about three months. He was planning to go to school and had considered going to the Chicago Technical College where he could get the course of study he was interested in. Letters found in his room showed that he had been investigating different schools. A letter addressed to his sister, Mrs. Howard Fairchild, contained $55 but no message.

A brother, Herbert, who is also in the service, arrived last evening and a sister, Mrs. Delbert Lowe of Coos Bay, Oregon is expected to arrive soon. These two, with Mrs. Howard Fairchild of Omaha are the surviving members of the family.

Tentative plans are that funeral services will be held at 2:30 o’clock Sunday afternoon at the local Congregational Church with Rev. Rex Moe of Fremont officiating.

#2-21 Feb., 1946 - The Enterprise - Edna Mae (Wood) Brown and her son, Ralph Brown - Veteran


Many Organizations Share in Rites of


Funeral services for Mrs. Edna Mae Brown and her younger son, Ralph, were held at the First Congregational Church on Sunday, February 17th, with Rev. Rex Moe of Fremont officiating. Mr. and Mrs. Tom Blanchard furnished the music and the officers of the McKinley Chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star participated in the service.

H. H. Brown, one of Blair’s most prominent citizens, passed on about four years ago. Last week two other members of this highly respected Christian and devoted family joined the Chapter Eternal. The surviving members of this family are Herbert, just discharged from the Navy; Dorothy, Mrs. Delmar Lowe of Coos Bay, Oregon; and Evelyn, Mrs. Howard Fairchild of Omaha. Mrs. Brown’s three granddaughters, Diana, Nancy and Linda Lowe, one grandson, David Fairchild, her father, J. E. Wood, and brother Lloyd Wood of Wiota, Iowa were here for the funeral. Also present were Mr. Brown’s sisters, Mary Ellen, Edith and Alice Brown of Lincoln, and his brother, L. C. Brown and wife of Denver.

Other visiting relatives and close friends of the family who attended the funeral were Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Wiechert of Lincoln; Mr. and Mrs. Oscar Brown of Fremont; Mrs. Lloyd Wood and daughters, Bernettes and Lucile of Wiota, Iowa; Mrs. Rex of Mel Rose Park, Illinois; and Mr. and Mrs. Frank Hightree of Walthill, Nebraska.

Pallbearers for Mrs. Brown were H. C. Jensen, Roy Atwood, Ernest Tornblad, Ray Krogh, B. F. Lundt and Dr. W. F. Hemphill of Omaha.

Those bearing the flag draped casket of Ralph were all former ex-service men and classmates of Ralph, namely, Herbert Wendt, LeRoy Voss, Junior Miller, Cully Webster, Vaden Webster and Paul Pieper.

Edna Mae Brown was born February 6, 1889, and had made many loyal friends in Blair through her associations in the Congregational Church, Eastern Star, Rebekah and Royal Neighbor Lodges, Blair Women’s Club and the Veterans of Foreign Wars Auxiliary. She was a conscientious member of all these organizations and held offices in most of them. She also held various state offices in the O.E.S. being Grand Representative of Wyoming in the Grand Chapter at the time of her death.

Ralph was born July 28, 1923. He was an outstanding student in Blair High School, graduating with the class of 1941. During his High School years he was a diligent worker in the Boy Scouts and was one of Blair’s first Scouts to attain the rank of an Eagle Scout. In 1942 he enlisted in the U. S. Navy and received many advancements during the three years he was in the service. He was given his discharge in November, 1945, and was considering attending an electrical school in the east at the time of his death.

The Bendorf Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.

~~~Obituaries courtesy of the Nebraska Washington County Genealogical Society. Newspaper clippings on file in the Blair, Nebraska Public Library~~~

Find a Grave Memorial #113534221

Printed in the Washington County Enterprise on 2/21/1946