'Mr. Veteran' Kenneth Finis Brown, 92
Kenneth Finis Brown, 92, passed away Tuesday, June 17, 2014, at his home in Blackfoot, Idaho.
Much admired for his heroic work for veterans, Ken's life will be celebrated at 12 noon on Wednesday, June 25, 2014, at the Southern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Boulder, Nev.
Ken was preceded in death by three wives: Margaret Seagle, Lorraine Henderson, and Sonja Plesko; his parents Glen and Ruth Brown, and his son, Kenneth.
Surviving are his daughter, Dixie (Jacob, deceased), Peoria, Ill.; his stepson, Chris Henderson (Linda), Blackfoot, Idaho and grandchildren: Bridgette (Gray) Angelo, Pekin,Ill.; Brenda (Gray) Eberley (Dave), Trivoli, Ill.; Jacob Gray, Jr., Sumter, S.C.. Also surviving are six great-grandchildren and four great-great grandchildren.
Ken will be most remembered for his self-sacrificial work to found and establish the Southern Nevada Veterans' Memorial Cemetery. It was his wish that the cemetery honor in a special way the men and women of the United States Navy. For this service, Ken received a God and Country Award May 8, 2002 at the cemetery with hundreds of veterans attending.
The God and Country Award honored Ken reminding us all that our freedom was bought in part with thousands of lives and sacrifices of brave US Navy Armed Guard Gunners and US Merchant Marine Sailors. These mariners delivered food, clothing, war materials, and troops to war-torn battlefronts around the world during WWII. The oceans and seas upon which they sailed to make their deliveries were infested with Japanese, German, and Italian Men of War.
While under attack, the Armed Guard Gunners' orders (one of them Ken) were to keep firing their guns until the decks were awash, thus depriving the enemy of the cargo aboard their ships. 710 merchant and tanker ships were lost; thus, thousands died for the cause of freedom.
Born June 5, 1922 in East St. Louis, Ill., Ken graduated from Christopher High School. He married Margaret Seagle on Sept. 6, 1940, in Perryville, Missouri. They soon went to Chicago, Ill. where he worked at Douglas Aircraft. While there, he enlisted in the United States Navy where he served from August 1944 to March 1946 as a Gunner's Mate.
After his honorable discharge, he moved his family to Peoria, Ill., where he owned and operated several car dealerships for 20 years before settling during the 1970's in Las Vegas, Nev. While there, he married Lorraine Henderson on Dec. 28, 1996. Ken worked in the real estate and stock markets gaining a reputation for savvy investing.
For over 50 years, he and Lorraine became active in veterans' and seniors' affairs lobbying for better benefits for both. His many accomplishments and awards include Commander of the Disabled Veterans, Honorary Lifetime Member of Vietnam Veterans, God and Country Award, Key to the City of Las Vegas, and Proclamation from the City of Las Vegas declaring April 6,1990 Ken Brown Day.
Ken and Lorraine enjoyed extensive traveling of the United States and Australia. Many years after the death of his beloved Lorriane, Ken married Sonja Plesko in April of 2011. They, too, traveled to Australia. Due to health issues, Ken and Sonja relocated to Blackfoot, Idaho in 2010. There he became a beloved war hero to his community.
The family wishes to recognize Hearts for Hospice and Home Health for the excellent care of their cherished family member.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Southern Nevada Veterans' Memorial Cemetery, 1900 Veterans Memorial Drive, Boulder City, NV 89005. Local arrangements are under the direction of Buck-Miller-Hann Funeral Home in Idaho Falls.