Dennis R. Brown

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  • "Dear Brown Family, My most sincere condolences for your..."
    - Tracie Grant
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Dennis Ruel Brown finished his work on earth Wednesday, Sept. 22, 2010, at 7:30 p.m. He died as he lived - working hard in the service of others. Dennis suffered a heart attack while helping one of his sons re-plumb his house in Tonica, Ill.
Dennis was born on Feb. 15, 1944, in Malad to Leo and Leora Brown. He spent his childhood milking cows, raising grain, fixing machines, wrestling and playing football. He enjoyed good relationships with his three brothers and one sister. He also was always a proud son and loved his parents very much. Though he wasn't a stranger to trouble as a young man, his sense of right and wrong was always strong and bright. He served a two-and-a-half year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Santiago, Chile, and, while there, he taught and baptized many people.
Once home from his mission, Dennis enrolled at Ricks College in Rexburg in 1967 and there met Laurie Sheffield. The two met in September, became engaged in October and were married in November in the LDS temple in Salt Lake City. This swift beginning led to a nearly 44-year marriage that produced four sons, four daughters-in-law and 13 grandchildren.
Except for a brief time working in the insurance industry, Dennis spent his entire professional career as a banker. Though he spent a good portion of those years in managerial and leadership positions, he was at his best as a loan officer, helping farmers and small-business owners in southeastern Idaho. Dennis was regularly recognized for his diligence and determination in doing the best job possible for people. In his career, he worked for First Security Bank, West One Bank, U.S. Bank, and, most recently, Zions Bank.
Dennis also had a distinguished career in the United States National Guard. Enlisting in 1969, he was commissioned as an officer in 1970. His primary specialty was in logistics, and he was awarded commendations for his abilities to plan and execute the movements and organization of hundreds of men and thousands of tons of equipment and food. Dennis always took great pride in his military service and in the experiences and friendships it brought him. He retired as a major after nearly 30 years in the Guard.
Though he had many accomplishments as a businessman and a soldier, Dennis Brown's greatest source of satisfaction in life was his family. He was devoted to his wife, Laurie, and never spared any effort or expense to make her comfortable and happy. He often remarked privately that he felt had "married up" and was lucky to be married to such a good woman.
He was deeply proud of each of his sons and considered them his best friends. Each new daughter-in-law brought him a new friendship and a new opponent in games like Monopoly and Acquire. As tough-minded and rough as Dennis could be, he was at his most tender and loving with his grandchildren. Each of his 13 grandchildren spent time balanced on his knee while he kissed his or her bald head, saying, "You are the best baby in the world. Yes, you are."
In addition to his missionary service as a young man, Dennis served in elder's quorum presidencies, high priest group leadership, as a home teacher, as a ward clerk, as a Sunday school teacher and as the instructor of a class on financial health.
Dennis rarely did things for himself. His main hobby was visiting his children and helping repair and improve their houses and their cars. He enjoyed mowing his neighbors' lawns and snowblowing their sidewalks. He rarely waited to be asked to serve others, but instead simply did what needed to be done without waiting around for praise, thanks, or recognition. He was the very best of men. Those who knew him will miss him profoundly.
Dennis is survived by his wife, Laurie; and his four sons, Jason (Mindy), Mark (Suzanne), David (Melanie) and Daniel (Shalee). His grandchildren are Dylan, Megan, Kate, Jonah, Maryn, Avery, Parker, Brianna, Kyle, Kameron, Naomi, Hadley and Blake.
Dennis was preceded in death by his father, Leo, and his younger brother, Roy.
Funeral Services will be held Monday, Sept. 27, 2010, at 10 a.m. at the Rigby Stake Center. The family will visit with friends on Sunday from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at Eckersell Memorial Chapel and Monday from 8:30 to 9:45 a.m. at the church. Burial will be in the Pleasant View Cemetery near Malad City. Condolences may be sent to the family online at
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Eckersell Funeral Home
101 West Main St.
Rigby, ID 83442
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Published in Rexburg Standard Journal on Sept. 26, 2010