PINCKNEYVILLE -- After a long and eventful life, Dr. Albert Neir Brown, 105, formerly of Hollywood, passed away at 10:04 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 14, 2011, in Friendship Manor Health Care in Nashville.
Albert was born Oct. 26, 1905, in North Platte, Neb., a son to Albert "Bert" and Ida (Neir) Brown. After his father was killed in a train engine explosion, his mother married Howard H. Graham and the family moved to Council Bluffs, Iowa. He excelled in sports in high school and became involved in ROTC.
He secretly wed his high school sweetheart, Helen Johnson, on April 15, 1925, in Logan, Iowa, and she preceded him in death July 19, 1985.
He graduated from Creighton University School of Dentistry where he continued his athletic career on the football and basketball teams and his ROTC involvement. He became a First Lieutenant in the reserves. He established a dental practice and a family with his wife, Helen. He became a licensed pilot. Albert was called to active military duty with a medical regiment in October 1940. By early 1941, he was deployed to the Philippines where Clark Field was destroyed a few hours after Pearl Harbor was attacked. This is where Albert and thou-sands of other American soldiers began a journey through hell. Albert survived the infamous Bataan Death March and more than three years as a Japanese prisoner of war. At the time of his death he was the oldest living survivor of the Bataan Death March. He is also listed as the oldest living World War II veteran. He was awarded the Purple Heart, the Philippine Defense Ribbon with one star, the Presidential Unit Citation, the American Defense Ribbon with one star, the American Theater Ribbon, the Asiatic-Pacific Ribbon and the World War II Victory Medal. Upon his release, he was treated for three years at Fitzsimons Hospital in Denver. He then moved to Hollywood, where his sister and brother-in-law were involved in show business. He became an active member of Hollywood YMCA and an avid handball player. In 1993, Albert moved to Pinckneyville, where he made his home with his daughter. Albert was a member of Presswood-Daffron American Legion Post 2504, a former member of Eagles in Pinckneyville and American Dental Association. He was a family friend of "Buffalo Bill" Cody.
Albert is survived by his daughter, Margaret "Peg" Doughty of Pinckneyville; his son, Robert G. (Ann) Brown of The Dalles, Ore.; daughter-in-law, Dr. Emma Limon Brown of Mexico City; 12 grandchildren, Susan (Wilbur) Engelhardt of Pinckneyville, Mike (Norma) Doughty of Dallas, Sean (Christine) Patrick of Nashville, Tenn., Sara Brown (Eduardo) Sanchez of Mexicali, Mexico, Dr. Albert (Sol) Brown of Mexico City, Fernando (Layla) Brown of Morning Sun, Iowa, Chris (Karl) Borg of Hillsboro, Ore., Robert F. (Dorene) Brown of The Dalles, Ore., Mike (Julie) Brown of Burns, Ore., Kathryn (David) McBride of The Dalles, Ore., Kim (Joe) Snyder of The Dalles, Ore., and Deanne Saldivar of The Dalles, Ore.; 28 great-grandchildren; and 19 great-great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents; wife; two sisters; one brother; his son, Dr. Albert N. "Sonny" Brown II; and his son-in-law, Dr. Al Doughty.
Services will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 20, in Pyatt Funeral Home in Pinckneyville with Brother Rob Mathis officiating. Military rites will be provided by Presswood-Daffron American Legion Post 2504. Friends may call from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday and from 8 to 11 a.m. Satur-day, both at the funeral home.
Memorials may be made to Wounded Warrior Project.
For more information or to sign an online guest register, visit www.pyattfuneralhome.com.
Published in The Southern Illinoisan from Aug. 16 to Aug. 17, 2011