W.D. Brown, Jr., of Waco, Texas, went home to be with Jesus
on March 14th at the age of 83 at Providence Hospice Place.
W.D. was born at home in Hubbard, Texas, to William Doyle
Brown and Jodie Addice Collier Brown.
W.D. graduated from Hubbard High School in 1953 and married his high
school sweetheart, Sondra Holmes. After borrowing
$25 from his in-laws to purchase a TV tube tester, W.D. and his bride moved to
Dallas where he attended TV Technician School.
After school, the couple moved to Waco where he was employed by Bates TV
Repair. In 1963, he was hired by Sears, Roebuck and Company, and over the years
his skills grew to keep pace with the change of technology and he retired from
Sears in 1993 as an Electronics Technician.
In 1988, W.D. married
Frankie. The pair enjoyed all things flight, and built upon relationships with their
extended families. W.D. and Opal met while caring for Frankie. They later
married and spent the last thirteen years of his life together. Experimental
aircraft was W.D.’s passion. He and his brother, Don Brown, were charter
members of Waco’s Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), Chapter 59. For years, he attended the EAA annual fly-in,
even in the days it was held in Rockford, Illinois, before it moved to Oshkosh,
Wisconsin. Many of his days were filled with
adventures of flight, including a minor test crash or two, but mostly a love of
the hobby he shared with the people he had come to know and respect. After
retirement, W.D. expanded his interests to gardening. He went back to school at McClennan Community
College to learn organic gardening and enjoyed growing all things vegetable.
W.D. is survived by his wife, Opal, his daughter, Shira
Zippe and her husband Kirk of Pflugerville, Texas, his grandsons, Justin Brown
and wife Jennifer of Lincoln, Nebraska, Brandon Zippe and wife Melanie of
Austin, Auggie Zippe of Pflugerville, his granddaughter, Ashley Welch and husband
Josh of Brownwood, Texas, his step-children, Joy Leathers, Bryan Plagens, R.J. Warren,
Jr., Charlsey Whitney, Randall Mattlage, Kevin Mattlage, his brother, Jan
Brown and wife Linda of Burleson, Texas, his brother, Tommy Brown and wife Lisa
of Austin, Texas, his great-grandchildren Garytt, Westyn Dean, Clint and
Larkyn, as well as six nieces and nephews.
W.D. was preceded in death by his daughter Sonna Dea, his
son Alvah Dwain, his granddaughter Courtney Gail Brown, his wife Frankie Brown,
his brother Don Brown, his parents and step-son Steven Plagens.
Visitation will be Friday, March 23rd from 5:00-7:00pm at
Bellmead Funeral Home, 809 LaClede Street.
Funeral service will be on Saturday, March 24, at 10:00am at
Sparks Memorial United Methodist Church, 900 Maxfield Street, Waco. Graveside
services and EAA Fly-over will be in the afternoon at 1:00pm at Rosemound Cemetery
3201 South 12th Street in Waco.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made
to EAA Chapter 59 at https://www.youcaring.com/eaachapter59inmemoryofwdbrown-1135834, or checks can be sent to: EAA
Chapter 59 C/O Phillip Perry 210 Oak Creek Circle McGregor, Tx 76657 or the charity of your choice.
Aviation dreams to reach beyond the heavens. May our