Brown, Richard Devere


Richard (Dick) Devere Brown, 80, of Rushford, died Friday, December 17, 2010, at his home; a fourteen-year victim of bone marrow failure and Alzheimer’s disease. Dick was born July 23, 1930, in Chicago, to Melvin and Alice (Jutland) Brown. When he was three years old, his parents divorced. At age eight, Thea Berge became his stepmother. “Between mothers” he joined the family of his aunt and uncle, Ann and Nels Hatlevig and their sons Clair and Arnold.

Dick was raised on a farm on North Prairie (Fillmore County) and was confirmed at North Prairie Lutheran Church. He served his country by enlisting in the Air Force for four years during the Korean War; two of those years were spent in Alaska. It left him memories of salmon fishing, moose hunting and narrowly escaping his stalled snowplow in the path of an approaching aircraft. After his time in Alaska, he was assigned to the radar site on the continental divide in New Mexico. It was time for a good thaw!

Two months after his military discharge, he needed an appendectomy in La Crosse; and he decided to keep his nurse for the next fifty-five years. At Coleman Institute in La Crosse, he continued the automotive education he began in the Air Force. He worked in various shops before launching his own small engine repair business from which he retired.

He was introduced to golf at age thirty. Golf quickly became his passion and led to an array of trophies. Finally in 1999, he achieved a celebrated hole-in-one. He taught his sons to hunt, fish, golf, and maintain their vehicles. As a Cub Scout committeeman, he followed their scouting activities. He especially enjoyed their pinewood derby participation.

He left this world before fulfilling his dream of growing to be six feet tall. That wish may have been what prompted him to make personalized wooden growth sticks for over 90 children.

He is survived by his wife, Ardith (Sprain) Brown. Their 50th wedding anniversary was celebrated in 2005 with family at Little Brown Church in Nashua, Iowa. Other survivors include three sons, Russell (Joyce) of San Juan Capistrano, CA, David (Mary) of Lake Villa, IL; and John (Patty) of Rochester, MN; six grandchildren, Travis, Justin (Grace), Amanda, Jacob, Mikaela, and Kristen; brother-in-law, Norman Sprain (Marilyn Marx); sisters-in-law, Luella (Hatlevig) Brown and Jean (Tom) Rosenthal; and four nieces and a nephew. Preceding him in death was his brother, Robert G. Brown.

And now Dick, you’ve heard one last “Rise and Shine”. This time it isn’t your drill sergeant or your wife. It’s the invitation of your Heavenly Father to enjoy Paradise.

Memorials will be appreciated to Rushford Lutheran Church, Rushford Cub Scouts/Boy Scouts, and Ferndale Golf Course.

There will be a Memorial Service for Dick at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, December 26, at Rushford Lutheran Church With the Rev. Roger Michaelson officiating. Friends may call one hour prior to the service at the church.

Leave a memory of Dick and sign his online guestbook at

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