Albert "Jack" Brown, 86, of Fairview Heights, Ill., born Thursday, May 8, 1930, at St. Mary's Hospital in East St. Louis, Ill., died Friday, Sept. 30, 2016, peacefully at his home surrounded by his loving family.
Jack and his wife, Leta, owned and operated two Mr. Softee ice cream trucks before he was called into active duty during the Cuban Crisis. He was in the U.S. Navy reserve for 25 years and retired as a Master Chief Petty Officer. He had a "temporary" position at Illinois Power that lasted 29 year as a gas fitter, gas supervisor, superintendent of Belleville, Ill., and East St. Louis, Ill., and he retired in 1989 as supervisor of Gas Distribution in Decatur, Ill. Jack and his wife Leta enjoyed 19 years of retirement traveling throughout the U.S. in their motor home and cruising the world.
Jack was a member of Westminster Presbyterian Church in Belleville, Ill., where he was a Gateway Chapter charter member since 1957, he served as an elder, deacon and was involved in many church committees. He also was a member of Gothic Lodge No. 852 in Fairview Heights, Ill., Scottish Rite Bodies in Valley of Southern Illinois, Ainad Shriners in East St. Louis, Ill., AARP, VFW Post 7074, Moose Lodge 1221 in Belleville/ Swansea, Naval Enlisted Reserve Association, and was also a former member of Pipe Fitters Local 101. Jack loved his baseball and was a lifelong Cardinals fan.
He was preceded in death by his wife of 62 years, Leta Fay, nee Thompson, Brown; and parents, Albert T. and Ruth E., nee Hagenlocher, Brown.
Surviving are his children, Linda J. (Jeffrey) Wehrle of Smithton, Ill., Carol S. (Tim) Berglund of Mound Ridge, Kan., Kenneth J. (Belinda) Brown of Smithton, Ill.; grandchildren, who affectionately called him Paw Paw, Julie (Colin) Byrne, Eric (Elizabeth) Bickel, Christopher (Ivy) Bickel, Kellie Berglund, Christie (Jay) Laramore, Robbie Berglund, and Brittany (Kelly) Langley; great-grandchildren, Ryan, Vincent, Samara, Collette, Alaine, Eric, Evelyn, and Melody; a brother-in-law, Garry Jenkins; a sister-in-law, Joyce Wood; and numerous nieces and nephews who loved him dearly.
Having a Dad like you is a gift of a lifetime...
You gave us a hug when we were in need.
You guided us along the way and gently took the lead.
You taught us the difference between right and wrong.
Showed us how to walk tall, be brave, and stay strong.
You took pride in all we achieved,
With a smile that told us you really believed.
You said "Always remember how special you are".
You supported our dreams so we could go far.
Thank you Daddy, for being a man to respect and admire and a father to love. We love you and are so very proud of you.
A heartfelt thank you to his very compassionate caregivers Ruth Howard, Vicky Hayes and her daughter Lacy, Hospice of Southern Illinois, and all the Memorial Hospital East nurses and doctors, especially Dr. Malcomb.
The family requests, in lieu of flowers, donations to be made to Westminster Presbyterian Church in Belleville, Ill., or
in St. Louis, Mo. Condolences may be expressed online at www.kurrusfh.com.
Visitation: Friends may visit from 2 to 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 8, 2016, at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Belleville, Ill.
Funeral: Memorial Service will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 8, 2016, at Westminster Presbyterian Church with Rev. Meg Overstreet officiating. A private family interment was held.
KURRUS FUNERAL HOME, Belleville, Ill.
Published in Belleville News-Democrat on Oct. 6, 2016