Bruce R. Brown
Bruce R. Brown, age 80, of Willmar, passed away Friday evening, May 5, at CentraCare Nursing Home in Willmar.
A Celebration of Life service will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Friday, May 19, at Assembly of God Church (Kids World) in Willmar, MN. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service. Interment will be at Fort Snelling National Cemetery in Minneapolis at a later date. Arrangements are entrusted to the Peterson Brothers Funeral Home. www.petersonbrothers.com
Bruce Rollen Brown was born on December 5, 1942, in Gibbon, MN, son of Bruce and Lois (Baumgarten) Brown. He grew up in Olivia, MN and graduated from Olivia High School in 1960. After high school, Bruce enlisted in the U.S. Navy. He was stationed in Florida and Alaska. Following his Navy discharge in 1964, Bruce was married to Gloria Jean Sims and they had two children, Bruce Luverne and Tracy Lee. They made their home in Minneapolis and Coon Rapids MN. Bruce was employed at Minnegasco as a serviceman for 17 years, Central Container Corporation as a maintenance engineer for 11 years and finally at Pitney Bowes as a service technician for 4 years, before retiring in 1999.
On August 12, 2000, Bruce was married to Carol Ann Solbrack and Bruce added three “bonus” children, Jeff, Brett and Amy. Bruce and Carol made their home in Willmar, MN, where they attended the Willmar Assembly of God Church. They spent 16 summers volunteering at Cutty’s Okoboji Resort in Spirit Lake, IA. They also enjoyed vacationing on the beaches of Mexico during the winter months. His number one hobby was fishing, especially Minnesota walleye. He also loved chasing salmon and trout on Lake Michigan and Lake Superior. Bruce had a passion for ham radio that he developed during his time in the Navy. His hobby required a full room at the house with many antennas visible from the roof.
He is survived by his wife, Carol of Willmar, MN; his two sons, Bruce and (fiancé, Kimberly Sievers) of Cottage Grove, MN and Tracy and (Anne) of Rochelle, IL; five grandchildren and five great grandchildren. Also surviving are three bonus children, Jeff Sims and (Judi Orland) of Andover, MN, Brett and (Jennifer) Sims of Austin, MN and Amy (and Doug) Goergen of Rochester, MN; six bonus grandchildren and five bonus great grandchildren as well as many other relatives and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents and brother, Gary Brown.
Even though life presented many medical challenges, Bruce pushed himself to recover, so that he could enjoy fishing, trips to Mexico and time with family. Bruce will be best remembered as a smart, witty, gentle and kindhearted man who loved his family and Jesus.