Sunday, November 12, 2006

Fred T. Brown
A Giant Among Men

Dad passed away yesterday, November 11th 2006 at 9:30 pm. He had just turned 89 this past August 17th. It's been a long day, sorting through things and preparing for the funeral. And it is horribly difficult to deal with the fact that he is really gone to be with the Lord.

As I've said previously, dad was a true Renaissance man. It seemed that he was capable of doing anything extremely well. He came by that through observing others carefully and also noticing their mistakes.

We came to Galesburg in 1956 with mom and us three kids. He went straight to a bank to borrow the first month's rent. What did he do for a living? He came here to manage Oak Lawn Memorial Gardens. He also sold cemetary lots. He earned a living on a commission only basis. He was successful because he believed in integrity and service above all else. His mantra to me was "if you serve others, the money will follow". Would that we saw more of that today.

Later, he became a real estate broker and started his own office. At one point, he also sold Shelter Insurance while operating the real estate business and the cemetary.

While we would agree that obtaining material goods is not the main point of life, his business ventures were so successful that he was able to invest in (I think) 15 rental properties, some of which were multiple income homes. Of course, he did all the plumbing, electrical and carpentry work on those properties.

It was in 1998 that he designed a new home for mom and himself. He took his drawings to a contractor and had blueprints produced. After making modifications to the blueprints, he and one other person built the house. This was at age 82 and included all work except for digging and pouring the foundation.

He also busied himself with the Lions Club, of which he was a 40 year member. Over that time, he never missed a meeting. He was devoted to helping others who needed it.

In his later years, he showed the fruit of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. As a matter of fact, in one of his last hospital stays he was constantly asking everyone he saw "do you know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior?". And today I was cleaning off his computer hard disk and ran across at least two devotionals that he wrote, one of which he wrote in 2000 and which I think I'll post here.

Watching him pass was tough. But he had been fighting for some time. Near the end he was being given 1200 mg of Lasix every 8 hours. He was also being given heparin and Dobutamine to try to keep things going. Over the last two days he had two heart attacks...and before that his ejection fraction was only 10% to 15%. His kidneys were also failing and his lungs were filling.

At perhaps 6pm last night the hospital staff recommended morphine to help him rest. This calmed him down considerably although he was able to communicate somewhat up to a little before he died. And even with the morphine it was obvious that he was fighting to stay with us.

That word "died" is hard to absorb. And to say I am proud of him is a vast understatement. The Lord blessed me with a tremendous dad.

The funeral is this coming Wednesday. My mother and I would like to thank each and every one of you who has been praying for us through this.

May God bless you.


Kim T said...

Again, May you, and your mother, and all who love your dad be comforted greatly by the Father of mercies, the God of all comfort.

Ken Silva said...

Dear Tim,

Other business had prevented me from coming by and I only saw this today. My prayer and condolences to you and your family.

Speaking as a pastor, I'm sure you know that grieving is a normal part of this process my brother and there is nothing wrong with that. Jesus wept.

We take heart that it is written that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. I pray this might make you smile. Years ago Dr. Walter Martin was to go preach at the very church in Salt Lake City where Brigham Young once held court.

He received numerous death threats and was advised not to go. However Dr. Martin felt the Lord moving him to go and so he said: "Just so you know; if they do get me, I wouldn't come back if I could. I'd be with Jesus!" :-)

*Raising my Sword of the Spirit to you*

You're a good soldier of the Cross Tim, I'm proud of you and I'm sure your dad is as well...