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William Charles "Bil" Brown

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Brown, William Charles "Bil" and Betty Jean SAN DIEGO -- William Charles "Bil" Brown passed away peacefully on March 31, 2014 at the age of 93 and has joined his loving wife Betty Jean Brown in heaven. Betty passed away on September 15, 2013 in San Diego, CA. Their life together was a beautiful love story. They celebrated 70 wonderful years of marriage. Bil was born on Nov. 17, 1920 in Peoria, Illinois to Raymond and Josephine Brown. Betty was born on Jan. 22, 1921 in Maquoketa, Iowa to Cecil and Beulah Smith. Bil met Betty Jean Smith in High School and they were married in May of 1943 before relocating to San Diego where Bil was stationed. He served in the Pacific as a Navy Pilot during WWII. After the war, Bil and Betty settled in the San Fernando Valley where Bil became a real estate broker and started Showcase Properties, which specialized in the sale of luxury homes and estates. In the early 1970s, Bil sold his business and was very successful as a property developer/broker until his retirement in 1983. Bil always had an adventurous spirit. As a young adult, he traveled throughout Mexico on his own and learned to fly before joining the Navy. In 1956 and 1957, after 2 years of planning with another family, Bil, Betty, Bil's mother and his 11-year-old son rafted down 4 major whitewater rivers, documenting it all on film. Bil put together an exciting 20 minute Travelogue that became a hit on the Rotary Club circuit around So. Cal. A photo of them also appeared in the April 1957 National Geographic magazine. Bil was a life-long member of Rotary International with many great achievements, while serving in various leadership roles. He was an active member of The Adventurers Club for many years, and he was instrumental in establishing the local branch of The Explorers Club. Betty was much more than a housewife; she was an equal partner in their relationship and Bil often credited her for much of his success. For those that knew them, this was certain. Bil was known as the dreamer, while Betty was the realist. They complemented each other perfectly and have now passed on to The Great Adventure together. Bil and Betty are survived by their two children Kent and Kristi, five grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren who all have been influenced by their wisdom and love. The family would like to thank the staff at Casa de las Campanas for all their care and support to our family. Services will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Friday, April 18, 2014, at the Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery located at 1800 Cabrillo Memorial Drive, San Diego, CA 92106. In lieu of flowers, we ask that all memorial donations may be made to Rotary International. www.rotary.org/en/give.

Published in U-T San Diego on Apr. 16, 2014
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