|Pilot Tribune 20 Feb 2007|
John J. Brown, 89, of Blair, died Saturday, Feb. 17, 2007, at Memorial Community Hospital in Blair.
Funeral services are 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 20 at Campbell-Aman Funeral Home. Interment will be in the Kennard Cemetery.
John Junior Brown was born Sept. 16, 1917 on a small farm near Wellsville, Kan., to John Madison and Viola Valentine Brown. His boyhood years were spent on that farm and in the surrounding eastern Kansas vicinity, near Kansas City. As with many young people of that era, he had to quit school at an early age and go to work. In 1938, at the age of 20, he came north to Nebraska to work on Missouri River construction projects. While working near Blair, he noticed a young girl, working in her mother's tavern. He asked her for a date and subsequently, on that first date, also asked her to marry him. This question was posed on every date after that until, in 1940, she finally said "Yes". That young woman was Betty Pedersen. They were married on June 22, 1940, and that union began 66 1/2 years of nearly constant companionship, except for the years during World War II, when Mr. Brown was overseas in the military.
On May 1, 1942, he was drafted into the U.S. Army. He trained with a field artillery unit and, in 1944; he was shipped to Germany where his "Bastard Battalion" led the march across Germany. In 1945, after the military victory in Europe, he was shipped home for a short furlough and was to be re-deployed to the Pacific. After the atomic bombs were dropped, bringing an end to the war in the Pacific, Mr. Brown was directed to report to Newport News, VA, for discharge. After the war and until his final days, he maintained an undying love and a fierce sense of loyalty and patriotism for his county. The nation's flag flew in front of his home every day.
After his discharge from the service, the Browns came to Blair, (Mrs. Brown's home), where he went to work for Perk Bohs at the Sinclair service station. Mr. Brown drove the tank truck and made fuel deliveries to many of the farms in the Blair, Herman and Fort Calhoun areas. That job - intended to be only a temporary job - lasted for 10 and a half years.
In the mid-1950s, river construction work returned to the Blair area and Mr. Brown was asked to return to the construction company he had worked for prior to the war. He got a boat operator's license and operated a river tug until the construction company closed operations in 1968. Mr. Brown then went to work for the State of Nebraska Road Division.
On Sept. 26, 1969, a tractor overturned on him, pinning him beneath it and crushing part of his body. Medical authorities gave him little hope for survival, but after three months in the hospital, he went home. Experts said he would never walk again, but through sheer determination and the help of his wife, the couple figured out a way to get him on his feet and walking again. From then on, he was a daily walker, and covered between one and three miles each day.
From the time of his accident in 1969, he battled health problems of various sorts. He remained active, however, and loved to go out for supper, play cards, read and visit with friends. On their 60th anniversary, Mr. and Mrs. Brown renewed their wedding vows.
He is survived by his beloved wife, Betty; sister-in-law, Donna Bridwell of Minnesota; many dearly loved nieces and nephews; his pillar of strength and acting son, Russ and Peg Cowley of Blair; his family-like friends, Kenny and Norma Truhlsen, Mary Loudon, and Ann Ibsen, and many other friends.
He was preceded in death by two brothers and five sisters.
Omaha World Herald 19 Feb 2007
Brown- John, age 89, of Blair. Survived by wife, Betty; nephews and nieces.
Services 1:30 PM Tues. Campbell-Aman Funeral Home with Burial in Kennard Cemetery. Memorials to Blair Rescue Squad. Visitation begins 12 Noon Mon. with family receiving friends from 6-8 PM. Campbell-Aman Funeral Home Blair, NE 402-426-2191
Note: John is buried in the Kennard Cemetery, Kennard, Washington County, NE, Plot: Blk 7 Lt 7 Sp 2.