Vernon Joseph “Vern” Brown, age 87, of Comstock Park, passed away on December 4, 2018, at St. Ann’s Home in Grand Rapids. He was born on May 17, 1931 in Grand Rapids to Peter A. and Edith F. (Thome) Brown, both of whom preceded him in death. Following his graduation from Catholic Central High School with the Class of 1949, he served his country in the United States Army during the Korean War. He married Mildred Rose Dietrich on August 8, 1953, at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Wright, Michigan, and she survives. Vern worked in several capacities during his lifetime, including serving for the Diocese of Grand Rapids, from which he retired in 1996. He also owned his own lawn care service for many years. A farmer at heart, he truly enjoyed working for area farms during the planting, growing and harvesting seasons. He and Milly enjoyed the good weather in Florida, wintering there for many years, socializing with their seasonal neighbors and participated in the many available activities. Vern enjoyed planting the garden at home each year, playing checkers, cards and shuffleboard competitions. He had a quick wit, was a great storyteller and was continually working on the next practical joke with his group of friends. Among the many things that will be missed is the unique perspective that Vern brought to nearly every conversation he was in.
In addition to his devoted wife, Milly, Vern is survived by his dear children, Barb Dietrich, Fr. Tom Brown, Diane (David) Reynier, Norm (Katy) Brown, Terri (John) Paul, Paul (Mary) Brown, Kevin Brown, Ruth Hess, Janet Brown and Mike Brown; 21 grandchildren; 13 great grandchildren; siblings Sr. Donna Brown, OP and Carolyn (Joe) Szagesh; several brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law; numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and many dear friends. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a son, Daniel Brown; a son-in-law, Gene Dietrich; and a sister, Sr. Phyllis Brown, OP.
Visitation will take place on Wednesday, December 12, 2018 from 6 to 8 p.m. with a Rosary Service at 7:30 p.m. at Holy Trinity Catholic Church, 1200 Alpine Church Road, Comstock Park, Michigan 49321. A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11:00 a.m. Thursday, December 13, 2018 at Holy Trinity Catholic Church. Visitation will precede the Mass at the church on Thursday beginning at 10:00 a.m. Interment with military honors will take place in the spring at Holy Trinity Cemetery. Memorials are welcomed to the Building Fund at Holy Trinity Catholic Church or the activities program at St. Ann’s Home. Vern’s family feels a great debt of gratitude to the staff members and administration at St. Ann’s Home for the love and care extended to Vern during his stay with them.