John J. Brown
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John J. Brown, 99, of Emmetsburg, Iowa passed away on February 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 1936 to 1960. He also served in the Iowa 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 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. John was also known to have backed his station wagon, while unloadng a boat, a little too far, and had water up to 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, Greg (Becky) Brown of Des Moines, and eight grandchildren, Stephanie, Steve, Scott, Natalie, Christina, David, Michael, and Allison.
He is also survived by a sister, Rosemary Sneeringer of Seatte, Washington, and brothers, James W.R. Brown of Omaha, Nebraska and Donald J. Brown of Des Moines.
John was preceded in death by his wife Joyce, his parents and brothers, Bill Brown of Ruthven, Bob Brown of Ruthven, Dick Brown of Ruthven, and his sister Kay Hyde of Seattle, Washington.
Visitation will be at Joyce Funeral Home in Emmetsburg on Sunday, March 3, 2013, from 3 to 5 p.m.
A funeral mass will be held at Holy Family Catholic Church in Emmetsburg on Monday, March 4, 2013 at 1:30 p.m.
John was proud of his family, his church, and his community. He will be missed by all those who knew him.
Joyce Funeral Home
2302 23rd St Emmetsburg, IA 50536
Published in Des Moines Register from Mar. 2 to Mar. 4, 2013