John J. Brown, 99, of Emmetsburg, passed away on Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013, just 58 days from his 100th birthday.
John was born April 27, 1913, the son of William and Gertrude (Donahue) Brown. He was the first in his family to attend college, graduating from the University of Iowa in 1937.
John enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1942 and married Joyce Devlin on June 19, 1943.
In 1943, John was deployed to England on the Queen Mary. There he trained for the invasion of Normandy. He was a member of the 5th Engineer Special Brigade attached to the 29th Infantry Division. John landed on Omaha Beach in the 6th wave on June 7, 1944. John was honorably discharged in 1946 with the rank of Captain.
John and Joyce returned to Emmetsburg in 1946. John was engaged in the real estate and insurance profession until his retirement in 2000. During this time, John served as Mayor of Emmetsburg from 1956 to 1960. He also served in the House of Representatives from 1958 to 1960. John was elected to the Iowa Senate in 1960 and served until 1964, when he left to devote all of his time to raising his family, and advancing his insurance and real estate practice.
John was an avid hunter, and sometimes while hunting for mallards or pheasants, he was known to occasionally elect to start the season a little early, and extend the daylight hours just a wee bit. He returned to the car on one occasion and found a note on the windshield from the game warden which read, "Hunting a little late aren't you John?"
He enjoyed spending time with his family on the water, sailing, boating, fishing and swimming. He was especially proud of being a judge for the Okoboji Yacht Club. While unloading a boat, John was also known to have backed his station wagon a little too far and had water up the back seat.
John was a member of St. Thomas Catholic Church, and later Holy Family Parish. He was also an active member of the Lions Club and other civic organizations in Emmetsburg.
John is survived by his sons: John (Sue) Brown of Emmetsburg, David (Janet) Brown of Cedar Rapids and Greg (Becky) Brown of Des Moines; and eight grandchildren: Stephanie, Stephen, Scott, David, Michael, Allison, Christina and Natalie. He is also survived by a sister, Rosemary Sneeringer of Seattle, WA; and two brothers, James W.R. Brown of Omaha, NE and Donald J. Brown of Des Moines.
John was preceded in death by his wife, Joyce; his parents; three brothers, Bill Brown, Bob Brown and Dick Brown, all of Ruthven; and his sister, Kay Hyde of Seattle, WA.
John was proud of his family, his church, and his community. He will be missed by all who knew and loved him.
A funeral mass was held Monday, March 4, at Holy Family Catholic Church in Emmetsburg. Burial was in St. John's Catholic Cemetery in Emmetsburg. The Joyce Funeral Home in Emmetsburg was in charge of arrangements.
Online condolences: www.joycefuneralhomes.com