Delbert Brown's life, committed to God, family and hard work, will be celebrated at 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 9, 2013, at Calvary Baptist Church in Portales. Delbert Wesley Brown, 91, a longtime resident of Roosevelt County, died Saturday, January 5, 2013,, at his home in Portales. Rev. Galen Isaacs of Artesia and Brad Morgan, Pastor of Calvary Baptist Church, will officiate at the services. Burial will be at Mt. Zion Cemetery in Dora.
Delbert was born on March 22, 1921, in Velma, Oklahoma, the son of Mary Ethel and Troy Lee Brown. One of ten children, he grew up in Oklahoma, Texas, and New Mexico, moving with his family to Roosevelt County when he was nine. He attended the Dora schools, served in the U.S. Army during World War II
, and earned his high school diploma on the GI Bill.
Delbert carried out the best decision of his life when he married Eva Verla Allen who was to be his guiding star, inspiration, and business partner for the next 65 years. Raising five children together, they were active in the church and community where they farmed, ranched and processed peanuts.
Survivors include their children, Glenda Brown Balas, Eva Brown Stevens and husband, Fred, Carolyn Brown and husband, Jerry Zimmermann, Wesley Brown and wife, Linda Miller Brown, and Naida Brown and husband, Michael Termini; 12 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren; Verla, their five children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren will cherish his memory.
Delbert Brown's life was anchored by Verla, his faith, and his dedication to family, love of home, and hard work. Delbert proposed to Verla on Christmas Eve of 1947 and they were married on April 22, 1948. After a brief honeymoon in Dallas and Galveston, TX, they set up housekeeping and began farming in the Dora community. They subsequently moved to a farm west of Portales in 1951, where they raised their family, supported their community, and committed their lives to their church.
Delbert taught Sunday school for more than fifty years at Calvary Baptist Church, served as a deacon and chaired the building committee for the "new" building constructed in 1964. Based upon the Biblical story of the Good Samaritan, Delbert and Verla started the "Good Samaritan Fund" that provided assistance to people in need from all faiths and walks of life.
Delbert and Verla raised their family in a tight-knit and loving household founded on the values of honesty and hard work. Delbert Brown was a devoted father who challenged his children to use their talents to serve others. He loved kids and dogs. Over the years, he and Verla have been unfailingly dedicated to their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren; and even in his last days, Delbert reached out to his family with prayerful words of wisdom for living a successful, ethical life.
Throughout his professional life and partnership with Verla, he remained an innovative and confident entrepreneur. Delbert invented and built a self-propelled combine, a double row peanut thresher, and a peanut digger to make his farming operation more efficient. He worked with New Mexico State University to develop the Valencia a peanut. He loved buying items from auctions to use in his persistent remodeling and engineering projects. Delbert and Verla constructed and operated Portales Select Peanuts for a decade. Delbert also found time for his community, serving as a member of the ASCS Board of Directors, National Peanut Grower's Group, FHA, and REA.
He was an optimistic, generous man who believed in solutions. These characteristics-as well as an unfailing belief in God, country, and family-will be his strongest legacy. Delbert often recounted that amongst his happiest moments were the simplest. He, often, fondly recalled the happiness of getting home from the war and sleeping under the stars on bed rolls with his brothers, waiting for the next day's work as young farmers making their way. Verla, in remembrance, said it best. "He was a handsome man. He was a good man. He was a wonderful husband and wonderful father."
Pallbearers will be Alvin Smith, David Olinger, Joe Wellborn, John Gentry, Jose Alfredo Jiminez, and Terry Travis.
Honorary pall bearers will be Delbert's grandchildren, Heather Balas, Jason Balas, Matthew Stevens, Erika Stevens Olinger, Aaron Stevens, Allison Brown Zimmermann, Adam Brown Zimmermann, Audra Brown, Keane Brown, Maeve Brown, Blake Termini, and Jared Termini.
Contributions can be made in Delbert's memory to the Good Samaritan Fund at Calvary Baptist Church or the Alzheimer's Research Organization at Mayo Clinic.
Arrangements by Wheeler Mortuary of Portales, Inc., 505-356-4455, Condolences can be made at www.wheelermortuary.net