Donald Joseph Brown, 81, of Rensselaer passed away at the Rensselaer Care Center on Friday, Feb. 28, 2014. Donald was born on Aug. 14, 1932, in Rensselaer, the son of Joseph Andrew and L. Mildred (Nagel) Brown, both deceased. He graduated from Rensselaer High School, the Class of 1950. He enlisted in the United States Army in February of 1953 and served overseas for two years. During his military enlistment, he shared letters back and forth with JoAnn Marie Stalbaum, whom he married upon his return to Rensselaer on June 9, 1956. Together, they shared 57 years of devoted marriage.Donald was a lifetime member of the V.F.W. Post #1279. He retired after 39 years as a cabinet maker at the former Northway Products in Rensselaer. After retirement, he enjoyed working at auctions, playing horseshoes and bingo and honing his bowling skills. He was a soft-spoken gentleman who deeply loved and cared for his family.Donald is survived by his loving wife, JoAnn; a daughter, Tammy (Jerry) Allen, Flora, Ind., a son, Kerry (Gena) Brown, Lafayette, Ind.; three sisters, Virginia (Joseph) Mackey, Chicago; Carol (William) Luttrell, Mt. Ayr, Ind.; Sandra Brown, Oconomowoc, Wis.; one brother, Richard (Monica) Brown, Las Vegas, Nev.; seven grandchildren; five great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, one son, Dale, one brother and one sister.Friends visited with family on Tuesday, March 4, from 12 to 3 p.m. CST at Jackson Funeral Chapel of Rensselaer. Funeral services were held at Jackson Funeral Chapel on Tuesday, March 4, at 3p.m., with Rev. Robert Rawlins officiating. Interment followed at Memory Gardens of Rensselaer with full military rites. Memorials may be made to the Rensselaer Care Center.
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