David W. 'Bill' Brown

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David William (Bill) Brown died Friday, Oct. 8, 2021, at Lexington Estate, Independence. He was born in Council Bluffs on Feb. 17, 1946, to Darold Louis and Norma Maxine (Skelton) Brown, shortly after his father returned from serving in the Navy. Bill was the middle child of Darold and Norma Brown, now deceased. Shortly after he was a year old, Bill contracted polio, leaving him with one partially paralyzed leg. His father worked with him daily, giving him hot baths and massages to bring his leg back to where he could learn to walk. Bill did learn to walk, but he had a severe limp. He did not let this disability stop him from living life fully. When Bill was about 12 years old, he was responsible for watching his younger sister Becky.  While the parents were away, he heard noises he thought were in the basement stair. He was always a little bit jumpy at night, so he had a CO2-powered air pistol that fired BBs; he opened the door to the basement and, without looking, fired eight shots into the wall behind the stairs. The BBs are still embedded in the knotty pine wall; they were still there 20 years later.


Bill was not an exceptional student because he probably had dyslexia when he was approximately 18 years old. He went over to Des Moines for training at a trade school. I am not sure what he studied there, but I have on good authority that one of the subjects he studied was Janice Larson, who Bill married shortly after they finished school. Bill and Janice were married in 1967. Bill was a devoted husband who cared for his wife for 47 years. 


After they were married, they lived in Council Bluffs for two years when Bill got an opportunity to work for a company in Monticello after a couple of years. Bill had a chance to work for a company in Elkader. Until Orval passed away, Bill and Janice all lived with Janice’s parents Orval and Iowa Larson, on the farm. Then they moved to the house in Elkader, where they resided until Iowa and Janice passed away. However, Bill worked for Larson construction until health problems made it impossible for him to continue during the ensuing years. During the ensuing years, however, Bill developed a hobby of woodworking where he made all kinds of different items in his basement. Bill also did some handyman stuff for other people around the city. He also made craft items that he sold at craft fairs and gave hundreds to friends and family. Bill was always generous with his time and helped out many people around the town.


Bill and Janice were long-time members of Highland Lutheran Church and rural Elkader. I am told Bill used to help around at the church. When God created man, he created man in his own image, which means man has a soul and spirit that will live on eternally. So we can have the hope of seeing our loved ones again in the future. God has made it easy for us to have the assurance of this future salvation. All we need do is believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, the fact that he was the son of God, lived a perfect life and voluntarily gave his life to pay for the sins of not only us but the entire world. He died, was buried and was resurrected, and will sometime come back to establish his kingdom, maybe soon. The story is that all who put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ can know that they are forgiven for all of their sins and are acceptable for fellowship with God. They can also know God has plans for them. We don’t know what the plans are for the future. 


We will all miss Bill, but in the hope that he was a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, we can know we will see him again and then enjoy fellowship with Jesus Christ and our loved ones who have gone on before us. That is the good news for all who have put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ.


Survivors include his brother Theodore Louis (Ted) Brown of Crystal, Minn.; his sister, Rebekah (Becky) Sue Brown of Golden Valley, Minn.; nieces and nephews, Steven Brown, Jennifer Brown, Mark Brown, Samuel Beckman, Rachel Lynch and Ellen Beckman; and many friends.


Bill was preceded in death by his parents and his wife Janice.


Funeral service was held on Oct. 13, at Leonard-Grau Funeral Home in Elkader, with Rev. David Coffin officiating. Interment was at Highland Lutheran Church Cemetery, rural Elkader.


Leonard-Grau Funeral Home and Cremation Service of Elkader is assisting the family.

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